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Them / The Complete Them 1964-1967 / 3CD set with rarities

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Enjoy all of Them with this three-disc anthology, The Complete Them 1964-67, billed as the most thorough collection of Van Morrison’s early studio and live performances ever assembled.

This is the first release via an exclusive licensing deal struck between Sony Music Entertainment’s catalogue division Legacy Recordings and Morrison’s own Exile Productions earlier this year. The set consists of all the tracks recorded for The Angry Young Them (1965) and Them Again (1966) albums, plus singles, demos, live sessions, rarities and alternate takes from the period 1964-1967, many of which are previously unreleased. As you would expect, all 56 tracks across the three CDs have been remastered and the discs come with a 16-page booklet featuring new commentary on Them by Van Morrison.

Taking their name from a 1954 science-fiction horror film, Them formed in Belfast in the early Sixties. Their original five-man line-up consisted of Morrison (lead vocals, saxophone, harmonica), Alan Henderson (bass guitar), Ronnie Millings (drums), Billy Harrison (guitar, vocals) and Eric Wrixon (keyboards). Within weeks of their first live performance in 1964 at Belfast’s Maritime Hotel, they were the hottest band in Northern Ireland’s capital, with crowds drawn by Van Morrison’s charisma and the band’s spontaneous interpretations of R&B, blues and soul music.

Decca Records signed, er, Them up and brought them to their studio in West Hampstead, London, for their first recording session during which they recorded their debut single – Don’t Start Crying Now (which was coupled with One Two Brown Eyes), Van classic Gloria (which was later inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999) and their take on Bo Diddley’s You Can’t Judge a Book by It’s Cover and more.



It soon became apparent that Them was really Him – Van Morrison – plus a backing band. Consequently various session musicians were brought in as and when required to augment the line-up during the band’s short-lived career before Van officially went solo.

Indeed, the second Them single – a version of Big Joe Williams’ Baby Please Don’t Go (c/w Van’s original composition Gloria) – featured Jimmy Page on guitar.

In December 1964, Them appeared for the first time on television, along with the Rolling Stones on Ready Steady Go! and by March the following year they had a Number Two UK chart hit with Here Comes the Night. Them joined the so-called British Invasion of the US in 1965, charting Stateside with Here Comes the Night and Mystic Eyes.

Their two albums were released in quick succession in the UK and US – The Angry Young Them in June/July 1965 respectively, with Them Again following in January/April 1966. The April release of the second album Stateside preceded a US tour where they enjoyed an historic residency at the Whisky A Go Go in Los Angeles (The Doors were their opening act) and headlined at the Fillmore in San Francisco before Morrison left the group later that year.

This retrospective on his early work caps a momentous year for Van Morrison, who turned 70 in August. Previously, in June he was awarded an honorary knighthood for ‘services to the music industry and to tourism in Northern Ireland’ and the Johnny Mercer Award at the Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala in New York City.

The Complete Them 1964-1967 is released on 4 December 2015.

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track_listing

CD1: (1964-1965)

  1. Don’t Start Crying Now
  2. One Two Brown Eyes
  3. Baby Please Don’t Go
  4. Gloria
  5. Philosophy
  6. Here Comes The Night
  7. All For Myself
  8. One More Time
  9. How Long Baby
  10. Mystic Eyes
  11. If You And I Could Be As Two
  12. Little Girl (album version)
  13. Just A Little Bit
  14. I Gave My Love A Diamond
  15. You Just Can’t Win
  16. Go On Home Baby
  17. Don’t Look Back
  18. I Like It Like That
  19. I’m Gonna Dress In Black
  20. Bright Lights, Big City
  21. My Little Baby
  22. (Get Your Kicks On) Route 66
  23. (It Won’t Hurt) Half As Much

CD2: (1966-1967)

  1. Could You Would You
  2. Something You Got
  3. Call My Name (album version)
  4. Turn On Your Love Light
  5. I Put A Spell On You
  6. I Can Only Give You Everything
  7. My Lonely Sad Eyes
  8. I Got A Woman
  9. Out Of Sight
  10. It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue
  11. Bad Or Good
  12. Hello Josephine
  13. Don’t You Know
  14. Hey Girl
  15. Bring ’Em On In (album version)
  16. Richard Cory
  17. Friday’s Child
  18. The Story Of Them Part 1
  19. The Story Of Them Part 2
  20. Baby What You Want Me To Do
  21. Stormy Monday Blues
  22. Times Getting Tougher Than Tough

CD3: (Demos, Sessions & Rarities 1964-1967)

  1. Don’t Start Crying Now (demo) – Previously Unissued
  2. Gloria (demo) – Previously Unissued
  3. One Two Brown Eyes (demo) – Previously Unissued
  4. Stormy Monday Blues (demo) – Previously Unissued
  5. Turn On Your Love Light (alternate version) – Previously Unissued
  6. Baby Please Don’t Go (Take 4) – Previously Unissued
  7. Here Comes The Night (Take 2) – Previously Unissued
  8. Gloria (Live on BBC’s “Saturday Club”) – Previously Unissued
  9. All For Myself (Live on BBC’s “Saturday Club”) – Previously Unissued
  10. Here Comes The Night (Live on BBC’s “Saturday Club”) – Previously Unissued
  11. Little Girl (version one)

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14 responses to Them / The Complete Them 1964-1967 / 3CD set with rarities

  1. paulb says:

    About time -an important band gets the box set treatment and it certainly looks a good set.
    Sensible pricing too; £16.99 on spin.cds

  2. Dr Avalanche says:

    Nice one!
    Question (to Paul or any other Them fan out here): Track 12 of CD 1, Track 3 & 15 of CD 2 ‘are called ‘album versions’.

    Since this is the Complete Them I would expect ‘single versions’ of these tracks to be on it as well. Do those exist or is the ‘album version’ mentioning not right?

    Thanx in advance for your replies.

  3. Rare Glam says:

    Nice set. And how will it be packaged I wonder? I got the wonderful Paul Revere & The Raiders complete singles 3 x cd set on Columbia Legacy not long ago a great array of music that was somewhat spoiled by the 1980s looking ‘fat’ 4 way jewel case the set came in. I’m amazed these old style cd shell cases still even exist. With the move towards plastic free digipaks and especially the individually card sleeved clam shell box sets that (in my humble opinion) enhance the presentation – like the upcoming The End box set, why should these shelf hogging plastic monstrosities still be used? Whatever I may well get this ‘Them’ set to update the 2 x CD (‘Mystic Eyes’?) Them set that came out years ago that I have.

  4. Charles Hodgson says:

    A must-have. Never picked up the previous 2CD for some reason (only a battered 7″ of “Baby Please Don’t Go” / “Gloria”). I must have better taste these days!

  5. Charles Hodgson says:

    The remastering on the recent “Astral Weeks” / “His Band And The Street Choir” sounds great to my ears, and the bonus tracks are fantastic. So this should be top-notch. Think I read somewhere that the BBC tracks are essential…

  6. Nicholas Love says:

    Will these be the original mixes or the rechannelled and posthumously overdubbed mixes like on the similar Story of Them comp from ’97?

  7. Lk4605 says:

    According to Billy Harrison interviews in Ugly things mag. J Page was not there on recordings …or so few…..it’s him who played guitar solo…maybe a great injustice in the rock world. .!

  8. ironbelly says:

    Dr Avalanche, apparently, track list for CD3 is incomplete. Those singles versions are there.

    CD 3 (Demos, Sessions & Rarities 1964-1967)
    1. Don’t Start Crying Now (demo)
    2. Gloria (demo)
    3. One Two Brown Eyes (demo)
    4. Stormy Monday Blues (demo)
    5. Turn On Your Love Light (alternate version)
    6. Baby Please Don’t Go (Take 4)
    7. Here Comes The Night (Take 2)
    8. Gloria (Live on BBC’s “Saturday Club”)
    9. All For Myself (Live on BBC’s “Saturday Club”)
    10. Here Comes The Night (Live on BBC’s “Saturday Club”)
    11. Little Girl (version one)
    12. Go On Home Baby (Take 4)
    13. I Gave My Love A Diamond (Take 8)
    14. (It Won’t Hurt) Half As Much (Take 2)
    15. My Little Baby (Take 1)
    16. How Long Baby (Take 1)
    17. One More Time (Take 14)
    18. Gloria (Live on BBC’s “Saturday Club”)
    19. Here Comes The Night (Live on BBC’s “Saturday Club”)
    20. One More Time (Live on BBC’s “Saturday Club”)
    21. Call My Name (single version)
    22. Bring ‘Em On In (single version)
    23. Mighty Like A Rose
    24. Richard Cory (Alternate Version)

  9. Dr Avalanche says:

    Thanks for the update Ironbelly!
    I’m gonna order this 3-CD set right away. :)

  10. DaveM says:

    Ordered, the wallet busting continues. Good job its nearly Christmas.

  11. Gerard Hennessy says:

    This is wonderful news. Myths and legends have abounded for years about Them-related material in the BBC vaults as well as alternate takes and other unissued or limited-issue recordings. Most, if not all, of those should now be here.

    I must say that the 1997 Polygram-issued Story of Them featuring Van Morrison – a double-CD set – was not half bad. It brought together recordings that had been scattered around the Decca, Deram and Major Minor labels here in the UK, the Parrot label in the US and offshoots of Decca in mainland Europe, especially in the Netherlands, where a number of Them EP’s (remember those?) had been issued. Helpfully, that set included five alternative versions (Richard Cory, Dress in black, One More Time, Bring ‘Em On In, Call My Name) which had not previously been widely available here in the UK. However it did not contain any BBC material, demo versions, or the almost mystical Mighty Like A Rose. All of those omissions have now been rectified.

    I cannot wait to get my hands on The Complete Them 1964-67 – what a delight it is to see such a title – and shall be at my nearest record shop at opening time on 4th December to get my cold, dead hands on it in double quick time…

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