Popdose is pleased to present the exclusive worldwide premiere of Mike Peters’ intimate new version of The Alarm’s classic favorite “Strength.”
“Strength” (which you can listen to above) comes off of the brand new 30th anniversary reworking of the original Strength album which will be released on October 2 via Twenty First Century Records. Peters rearranged and re-recorded the entire album at Peter Gabriel’s Real World studios to create a brand new listening experience.
“It was really an evolutionary process that started from the moment that the originals came out,” Peters told us during a recent interview. “Every time I’ve played the songs, I’ve discovered something in them that I didn’t know was there. It’s a slow evolutionary process because it happened over 30 years in a way, but there’s been certain major junctions in my life where all of the sudden the songs just becomes crystal clear again, taking on a new meaning and giving me a new perspective about them. I know that the same thing sort of happens for the audience that have stayed with me through all of that time.”
“The songs that they first heard in their youth have come to mean more to them as they’ve grown older,” he explains. “They develop relationships with songs that weren’t the A-sides released off the album, but songs that have stood with them and were a bit more subtle. I felt like I wanted to approach all of the songs as if they were brand new pieces of music that I’d written today and approach them from that standpoint and see how I would treat them as new pieces of creativity, so that’s what I came up with. I was armed with a lot of hindsight to inform the songs and I’d always kept the original manuscripts of writing that I’d worked on while I was creating the song in the first days. I went back to my original lyric books and noticed that I’d left lines out that spoke more to me now than they did then, so I felt like they needed to be in the songs.”
“I think sometimes people fall in love with an idea with music and they fall in love with something that is constantly moving,” he says. “The songs that come out on the record are really a moment in time and then you take the songs out live and they start growing again in a new way. So I was very aware of that, especially with some of the dramatic incidents that have affected me in my life. Certainly a song like ‘Strength,’ with the opening line, ‘Who will be the lifeblood / coursing through my veins,’ I mean, I wrote that 30 years ago and that was really just a line that came out in the birthing process of the song and just sounded good and fit well with the song. But I don’t think that I really understood it until I found myself in need of that very same thing when I was diagnosed with leukemia and would need someone’s lifeblood to come into my own, to give me a chance to live.”
“So it’s with all of that [in mind] that I decided it was a good moment with the 30th anniversary of the records to not just dust them down and make a remaster,” Peters concludes. “Because I felt like I’d done all I could do with the original recordings in 2000 when I put out the Alarm box set and they still sound great as remasters. So I didn’t feel like I could justify another reprint of the originals again with some additional sleeve notes. I thought I would take a braver step and go in and recut the records as modern pieces of music and live with the consequences. [Laughs]
Peters will also release a similarly revised anniversary edition of Declaration, The Alarm’s full length debut (which turned 30 in 2014), for the first time in North America on October 2nd.
Both albums will be available in stores on vinyl and CD and available online via digital download.