Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Them, Featuring Van Morrison.

Them: 1964–66

The roots of Them, the band that first broke Morrison on the international scene, came in April 1964 when Morrison responded to an advert for musicians to play at a new R&B club at the Maritime Hotel – an old dance hall frequented by sailors. The new R&B club needed a band for its opening night; however, Morrison had left the Golden Eagles (the group with which he had been performing at the time), so he created a new band out of The Gamblers, an East Belfast group formed by Ronnie Millings, Billy Harrison, and Alan Henderson in 1962. Eric Wrixon, still a schoolboy, was the piano player and keyboardist. Morrison played saxophone and harmonica and shared vocals with Billy Harrison. They followed Eric Wrixon's suggestion for a new name, and The Gamblers morphed into Them, their name taken from the Fifties horror movie Them!.

The band's strong R&B performances at the Maritime attracted attention. Them performed without a routine and Morrison ad libbed, creating his songs live as he performed. While the band did covers, they also played some of Morrison's early songs, such as "Could You Would You", which he had written in Camden Town while touring with The Manhattan Showband. The debut of Morrison's "Gloria" took place on stage here. Sometimes, depending on his mood, the song could last up to twenty minutes. Morrison has stated that "Them lived and died on the stage at the Maritime Hotel," believing that the band did not manage to capture the spontaneity and energy of their live performances on their records. The statement also reflected the instability of the Them lineup, with numerous members passing through the ranks after the definitive Maritime period. Morrison and Henderson would remain the only constants, and a highly unsuccessful version of Them even soldiered on after Morrison's departure.

Dick Rowe of Decca Records became aware of the band's performances, and signed Them to a standard two-year contract. In that period, they released two albums and ten singles, with two more singles released after Morrison departed the band. They had three chart hits, "Baby, Please Don't Go" (1964), "Here Comes the Night" (1965), and "Mystic Eyes" (1965), though it was the b-side of "Baby, Please Don't Go", the garage band classic, "Gloria", that went on to become a rock standard covered by Patti Smith, The Doors, Shadows of Knight, Jimi Hendrix and others.

Building on the success of their singles in the United States, and riding on the back of the British Invasion, Them undertook a two month tour of America in May and June 1966 that included a residency from 30 May to 18 June at the Whisky a Go Go in Los Angeles. The Doors were the supporting act on the last week,and Morrison's influence on The Doors singer, Jim Morrison, was noted by John Densmore in his book Riders On The Storm. Brian Hinton relates how "Jim Morrison learned quickly from his near namesake's stagecraft, his apparent recklessness, his air of subdued menace, the way he would improvise poetry to a rock beat, even his habit of crouching down by the bass drum during instrumental breaks." On the final night, the two Morrisons and the two bands jammed together on "Gloria".

Toward the end of the tour the band members became involved in a dispute with their manager, Decca Records' Phil Solomon, over the revenues paid to the band; that, coupled with the expiry of their work visas, meant the band returned from America dejected. After two more concerts in Ireland, Them split up. Morrison concentrated on writing some of the songs that would appear on Astral Weeks, while the remnants of the band reformed in 1967 and relocated in America.

NOTE: "All of the text above was taken from Wiki's page [HERE], because I suck at writin and want you to have a better chance at gettin the point.

The Story of Them , Disc 1

14 Mystic Eyes.

15 Don't Look Back.

16 If You and I Could Be as Two.

17 I Like It Like That.

18 I'm Gonna Dress in Black.

19 (Get Your Kicks On) Route 66.

20 Just a Little Bit.

21 You Just Can't Win.

22 Bright Lights, Big City.

23 Baby, What You Want Me to Do.

24 I'm Gonna Dress in Black [Alternate Mix].

25 One More Time [Alternate Stereo Mix].

26 Little Girl [Alternate Version].

Disc 1, tracks 14-26 all in one Zip file.

The Story of Them , Disc 2

01 How Long Baby.

02 It Won't Hurt (Half as Much).

03 Something You Got.

04 Call My Name.

05 Turn on Your Lovelight.

06 I Put a Spell on You.

07 I Got a Woman.

08 Out of Sight.

09 It's All over Now, Baby Blue.

10 Bad or Good.

11 Hello Josephine.

12 Don't You Know.

Disc 2, tracks 1-12 all in one Zip file.

13 Hey Girl.

14 Bring 'Em on In.

15 Time's Gettin' Tougher Than Tough.

16 Stormy Monday.

17 Friday's Child.

18 Richard Cory.

19 My Lonely Sad Eyes.

20 I Can Only Give You Everything.

21 Could You, Would You.

22 Bring 'Em on In [Alternate Version].

23 Richard Cory [Alternate Version].

24 Call My Name [Alternate Single Version].

Disc 2, tracks 13-24 all in one Zip file & the last of this damn long-assed embedding project.

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