Friday, September 18, 2015


Them were a Northern Irish band formed in Belfast in April 1964, most prominently known for the garage rock standard "Gloria" and launching singer Van Morrison's musical career.
] The original five member band consisted of Morrison, Alan Henderson, Ronnie Millings, Billy Harrison and Eric Wrixon. The group was marketed in the United States as part of the British Invasion.
Them scored two UK hits in 1965 with "Baby, Please Don't Go" (UK No.10) and "Here Comes the Night" (UK No.2; Ireland No.2). The latter song and "Mystic Eyes" were Top 40 hits in the US.

Morrison quit the band in 1966 and went on to a successful career as a solo artist. Although Them had a short-lived existence, the Belfast group had considerable influence on other bands, such as the Doors.

In late August 1965, Billy Harrison and Pat McAuley formed a rival Them, competing with the Morrison/Henderson line-up and leading to legal action. In March 1966, the latter won the rights to the name while the former, now without Harrison but with Pat's brother Jackie McAuley (born John McAuley, 14 December 1946, in Coleraine, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland; ex-Them, ex-Kult), were only allowed to call themselves 'Other Them' in the U.K. The McAuley brothers became, unofficially, the Belfast Gypsies (or Gipsies), though they were never actually billed as such, and recorded two singles on Island Records (one released under the name Freaks of Nature) and one Swedish-only album, all produced by Kim Fowley. They toured Europe billed as Them and released a French EP under that name but broke up in November 1966 Not long after that the Morrison line-up also reached the end of the road. In March 1967 Morrison did a short tour of the Netherlands backed by Cuby & the Blizzards and then left for New York to start his highly successful solo career. The rest regrouped in Belfast, recruited Kenny McDowell (born Kenneth McDowell, 21 December 1944, in Belfast, County Antrim, Northern Ireland) (ex-Mad Lads) as lead singer and continued touring and recording steadily after relocating to the USA in early 1967 at the invitation of producer Ray Ruff. Two albums, Now and Them and Time Out! Time In for Them, found the band experimenting with psychedelia. Then Jim Armstrong and Kenny McDowell returned to Belfast to perform as Sk'boo (Armstrong, McDowell and Ray Elliot reunited in Chicago in 1969 as "Truth" and recorded a number of demos and soundtrack songs later released as Of Them And Other Tales). Henderson hired session musicians for two more records for Ray Ruff's Happy Tiger Records, in a hard rock vein with country and folk elements; Them (1970) featured Jerry Cole as guitarist while Them In Reality (1971) featured lead guitarist Jim Parker and drummer John Stark (both ex-Kitchen Cinq). Henderson also co-wrote a rock opera, Truth Of Truths, produced by Ray Ruff in 1971.] These efforts were met with consumer indifference and in 1972 Them dissolved. Alan Henderson, Billy Harrison and Eric Wrixon reunited in 1979, without Morrison, recording another album, Shut Your Mouth and undertaking a tour of Germany using Billy Bell on guitar and Mel Austin as vocalist. Since the 1990s, Wrixon had toured under the moniker of "Them the Belfast Blues Band", at one point comprising ex-Them guitarists, Jim Armstrong and Billy Harrison.

This post does not focus on the Morrison led band but looks at music from the 6 lp's the band somehow managed to make before they finally faded out.

Tracks 1-5 from the "In Reality" Lp

Tracks 6-10 from the "Now And Them" LP

Tracks 11 -15 from the "Them" Lp on Happy Tiger

Tracks 16-20 from the "Time Out" Lp

Tracks 21-23 From the "Belfast Gypsies-Them" Lp

Track24 from the "Shut Your Mouth" Reunion Lp


Rochacrimson said...

Great compilation!
Thank you 24HOURDEJAVU!

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