Them

Top Songs & Albums Them

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... read morePerhaps best known as the band in which Van Morrison first made his name, Belfast, Ireland's Them were one of the U.K.'s finest early R&B/garage ensembles. A string of hits that included "Mystic Eyes," "Here Comes the Night," and the seminal anthem of teenage lust, "Gloria," give Them a legacy that...

Key songs

Them
Gloria
2:34
Them
Here Comes The Night
2:42
Them
It's All Over Now Baby Blue
3:46
Them
Baby, Please Don't Go
2:42
Them
Mystic Eyes
2:43

Biography

Active: 1960s-1970s
Country Of origin: Ireland
Group Members: Van Morrison , Jerry Cole , Peter Bardens , William Harrison , David Harvey , Brian Robertson , Eric Bell

Them forged their hard-nosed R&B sound in Belfast, Northern Ireland, moving to England in 1964 after landing a deal with Decca Records. The band's simmering sound was dominated by boiling organ riffs, lean guitars, and the tough vocals of lead singer Van Morrison, whose recordings with Them rank among the very best performances of the British Invasion. Morrison also wrote top-notch original material for the outfit, whose lineup changed numerous times over the course of their brief existence. As a hit-making act, their résumé was brief -- "Here Comes the Night" and "Baby Please Don't Go" were Top Ten hits in England, "Mystic Eyes" and "Here Comes the Night" made the Top 40 in the U.S. -- but their influence was considerable, reaching bands like the Doors, whom Them played with during a residency in Los Angeles just before Van Morrison quit the band in 1966. Their most influential song of all, the classic three-chord stormer "Gloria," was actually a B-side, although the Shadows of Knight had a hit in the U.S. with a faithful, tamer cover version.

Morrison recalled his days with Them with some bitterness, noting that the heart of the original group was torn out by image-conscious record company politics, and that sessionmen (including Jimmy Page) often played on recordings. In addition to hits, Them released a couple of fine albums and several flop singles that mixed Morrison compositions with R&B and soul covers, as well as a few songs written for them by producers like Bert Berns (who penned "Here Comes the Night"). After Morrison left the group, Them splintered into the Belfast Gypsies, who released an album that (except for the vocals) approximated Them's early records, and a psychedelic outfit that kept the name Them, releasing four LPs with little resemblance to the tough sounds of their mid-'60s heyday. ~ Richie Unterberger~ Rovi

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