Tuesday, January 19, 2010

1055 - Mojo 46. Them - Them (1965)

Track Listing

1. Mystic Eyes
2. If You And I Could Be As Two
3. Little Girl
4. Just A Little Bit
5. I Gave My Love A Diamond
6. Gloria
7. You Just Can't Win
8. Go On Home Baby
9. Don't Look Back
10. Like It Like That
11. I'm Gonna Dress In Black
12. Bright Lights Big City
13. My Little Baby
14. Route 66


So this is Van Morrison's band before he went solo, and it is a pretty great band at that. There is an aggressiveness which surpasses even that of the Stones, the band is in fact closer to stuff like the Sonics, it is proper garage stuff.

This does not mean, however that the album is missing its tender moments, there is in fact as much an influence of soul as of garage rock here, tracks like I gave My Love a Diamond are almost Sam Cookish.

Another interesting thing about this album is the fact that Van Morrison is actually a lot more intelligible here than in his further career, his voice is still recognisable but nowhere as damaged and just the fact that the original version of Gloria appears here makes this album worthwhile indeed.

Track Highlights

1. Gloria
2. Don't Look Back
3. I Gave My Love a Diamond
4. Mystic Eyes

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Van Morrison has remarked that he wrote the song, "Gloria" while he performed with the Monarchs in Germany in the summer of 1963, at just about the time he turned eighteen years old. He started to perform it for audiences at the Maritime Hotel when he had returned to Belfast and joined up with the Gamblers to form the band Them. He would ad-lib lyrics as he performed, sometimes stretching the song to fifteen or twenty minutes in duration. After signing a contract with Dick Rowe and Decca, Them went to London where they had a recording session at Decca Three Studios in West Hampstead on 5 July 1964, including "Gloria" as one of the seven songs recorded that day. The members of Them were Van Morrison, vocals, Billy Harrison on guitar, Alan Henderson on bass, Ronnie Millings on drums and Patrick John McCauley on keyboards. Rowe brought in session musicians Arthur Greenslade on organ, Jimmy Page on guitar, and Bobby Graham on drums as Rowe considered the Them members as too inexperienced. There remains some dispute about whether Millings and McCauley were miked up but Alan Henderson contends that Them constituted the first rock group to use two drummers on a recording. Gloria was the B-side, when "Baby Please Don't Go" was released in the U.K. on 6 November 1964.


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