Thursday, September 1, 2011

Them - The Story of Them Featuring Van Morrison [The Decca Anthology 1964 - 1966] 2cd (FLAC & MP3 320k + HQ scans)

Them were a formidable, popular group in their own right before singer Van Morrison went on to even greater fame.

This Belfast five only produced two LPs and a potful of 7" singles during its ascendance in the molten heat of the British Invasion. But they did manage two Top 40 hits in America in 1965 (the enduring number 24 "Here Comes the Night," later covered glam-style by David Bowie on Pin Ups, and number 33 "Mystic Eyes") and two Top Ten hits that same year in their native Britain ("Here Comes the Night" and a cover of Joe Williams' "Baby Please Don't Go").

And is there a single bar band in America that doesn't play "Gloria," shouting "G-L-O-R-I-A" just like the 19-year-old Morrison in 1964? Moreover, the group's West Coast U.S. tour of arenas like the Fillmore in the spring of 1966 had the Ulster youths commanding bills that included such admiring support groups as the Doors, Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band, the Grass Roots, and the Association.

At one of them, Frank Zappa even joined them on-stage. Clearly, Them's tough, heavily American blues captivated, a direct result of the vicious voice of Morrison. It was even more a weapon on this tougher-sounding material than it's been since he became a solo star.

Although the band chose songs to cover by John Lee Hooker, Jimmy Reed (twice), T-Bone Walker, Ray Charles, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, and Fats Domino, as seen here (as well as others by Bob Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, and Bobby Troup), the real precedent for the white-hot, gnashing growl in Morrison's teenage voice was Howlin' Wolf. Here's a red-throated snarl not even other great '60s English white soul singers -- such as the Small Faces' Steve Marriott or the singer for the Action -- could match, one even more unsettling than the Animals' Eric Burdon.

Talk about making the hairs on your neck stand up! It's actually a pity, then, that Them relied so heavily on others' material (as did everyone else circa 1964), for the two dozen originals stand up well.

In addition to "Gloria," Morrison was well on the road to his later genius when he penned "Could You, Would You" and "Hey Girl."

True, his material could stand to rock & roll more, just as the Yardbirds held fast to Chicago blues but made their beat stomp.

But still he comes on like some swamp-dwelling, moonshine-drinking, big man on the prowl. Them were raw and ready, and digitally brought back kicking and screaming from the original analogue master tapes, they are an eerie thing of bluesy beauty.
~ by Jack Rabid,

01. The Story of Them, Pt. 1 & 2
02. Don't Start Crying Now
03. Gloria
04. Philosophy
05. One Two Brown Eyes
06. Baby Please Don't Go
07. Here Comes the Night
08. All for Myself
09. One More Time
10. Little Girl
11. I Gave My Love a Diamond
12. Go on Home Baby
13. My Little Baby
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]

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
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]

Van Morrison - lead vocals
Ronnie Milling - drums (63 - 65)
John McAuley - drums (65 - 66)
Billy Harrison - guitar
Jackie McAuley - keyboards (63 - 65)
Peter Bardens - keyboards (66)
Alan Henderson - bass guitar

[Rip and Scans made by CRIMSON]
Click here (pass: crimson06010911)

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