5/07/2007

The Spirit Of '86.


The Alarm to reissue Spirit Of '86 on DVD

The concert, held at UCLA in 1986, with Waist High and good friend Amy Langfield in attendance, has been held back to accommodate audio commentary from all of the original members. An official release date will be set in the coming weeks once production has been completed.

The Alarm's 1985 Strength tour and it's 1986 counterpart the Spirit Of '86 tour were a triumph. Massive radio airplay in the UK and USA created steady sales, pushing the album into the Top-40 in the UK and all the way to #31 in the USA. The band treated the new in-flux of fans just like they had treated the die-hard ones that had been with them since the beginning in 1981. No one waiting for an autograph or to talk to the band after a show was turned away. The band seemed to thrive on their fan-base, and more than mere showmanship, they really wanted to bridge the gap between artists and fan. In the middle of their tour, The Alarm decided to give something back.

On April 12, 1986 The Alarm made their most striking mark on the world of rock music. In front of 20,000+ fans at UCLA and millions more around the world watching on MTV, they played a free, 75 minute live concert called The Spirit Of '86, which holds a place in history as being "the very first global satellite concert in front of a live audience."

They put on the show as a "thank-you" to all the fans who had stuck with them and all the new ones they had gained along the way. The show highlighted most of The Alarm's "hits," and was considered a triumph by most people who witnessed the spectacle, even though there were a few problems. Mid-way through "Marching On," a football thrown by a drunk frat-boy decimated Twists' bass drum, rendering it useless.

To the live crowd it made no difference, but it severely crippled the low-end of the audio broadcast, making later songs like "Spirit Of '76" sound hallow and lifeless. Furthermore, IRS waited a full six months to release the show on video, missing nearly any chance of capturing the momentum created by the show. Even so, the band was ecstatic after the show. A two-night stand opening for Queen and Status Quo at Wembly Stadium sealed the deal for them.


Photo: Kevin J.R. via thealarm.com
Material: the alarm.com, & hmmagazine.com via chrissyfessler.blogspot.com