Saturday, February 25, 2023

"Sold Me Down the River" by The Alarm

Song#:  4060
Date:  10/07/1989
Debut:  94
Peak:  50
Weeks:  12
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  Although it contained a pair of Pop chart singles including the #6 Rock hit "Rain in the Summertime," The Alarm's third album Eye of the Hurricane could only manage to reach #77. Back in their UK homeland, the LP would do better reaching #23. The results were certainly good enough for I.R.S. Records to ask for a follow up and The Alarm emerged in '89 with Change. This first single would be issued out and it would become a hit at Rock (#2) and Modern Rock (#3). That action helped the single's prospects on the Pop chart and the tune would end up being The Alarm's most successful topping out at #50. Unfortunately, that wasn't enough to really push the album, which did nearly the same business as their previous effort peaking at a mild #75.

ReduxReview:  This blues-rock track has late-70s glam influences galore. T. Rex is certainly apparent as the beginning of the song sounds like a cousin of that band's "Get It On." Not surprisingly, the producer of The Alarm's album, Tony Visconti, just happened to have produced that T. Rex hit along with several David Bowie albums. If that was the sound that The Alarm was going for, then they hit the mark. This was a good jam with a hooky chorus and solid production. While it was a great track for rock radio, I think it was a little ruff 'n' tough (not in the then-popular glam metal way) for pop and it didn't have much of a chance getting any further than it did. Still, it was a good track.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  The Alarm's next studio album, '91's Raw was basically seen as a contractual obligation effort. With little promotion, it limped to #161 and the only song to chart was the title track, which got to #15 Modern Rock/#29 Rock. Not long after its release, the band would split. Tension in the band had members at odds and it seemed the writing was already on the wall. A meeting was set up the following day after their last scheduled show to figure things out, but one member said they couldn't attend. So instead of finishing up their last gig and figuring out stuff later, lead singer Mike Peters boldly and unexpectedly announced on stage at the band's last performance that he was done and left the stage. Peters would then head off on a solo career for the balance of the 90s. In 2000, Peters would form a new version of The Alarm, but due to potential legal issues he started to attach Roman numerals to the end of the band name for performances and releases that would indicate the year (i.e. The Alarm MM, The Alarm MMIV, etc.). A general way to do the band name became "The Alarm MM++" to cover the new era. The original band would reunite just once over the years. The members were ambushed by VH1 and coaxed into appearing and performing together on the show Bands Reunited. The four members eventually agreed and performed a set of songs in London. The full concert along with full interviews and rehearsal footage would be culled into a 3-DVD set and released as VH1 Band Reunited Uncut.


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