Friday, January 21, 2011

them again

Soulful Belfast rhythm and blues born of confusion, Van Morrison's last hurrah with Them was the sound of a band exploding.   After the success of their debut album 'The Angry Young Them', Van and bassist Alan Henderson continued the band at the behest of executives at Decca Records.  'Them Again' was recorded this garage rock in the midst of a tour and ever-shifting lineup of session musicians that included Jimmy Page. Van felt that the heart of the band had been torn out by record executives concerned only with image, and was fed up with producer Tommy Scott pushing his own songs on him. 

Morrison reveals:   "Around mid-1965 we all decided to split it up. I was still under contract, as was one of the other guys, the bass player, so we decided to finish the contract out. We got a new group together, but it was just the same group. I mean, the name was "Them", but it ended up that I was making records with four session men, and they were putting "Them" on the label. Then they got me and some other people on the road, and "Them" was just a name. That's all it ever was, except for the original group that played at the Maritime in Belfast. The group that played there was Them, but after we went out of that club it just wasn't the same people.  Our main success was with a song I wrote, "Gloria." It was capitalized on a lot by other people, especially a lot of American groups, whereas I really didn't capitalize on it all that much. But that's another story.  Then we put out a record called Them Again. We weren't putting out records at that time to get anywhere; it wasn't that scene at all. I mean, it was hard enough to get us in one place together without having to think about that. We were making records where I was making maybe three songs on an album with just studio cats, and maybe the rest of the songs with two studio cats and three members of the group. It was kinda like mishmash, and it wasn't really any good. But they released it as Them Again because obviously the record company wanted to do its thing.   When I was with the group I was still kind of on my own. I was hung up with this stupid contract, but I was always on my own. I just played with Them because that was what was happening then, but I was still playing with my friends and pickin' my own stuff."

'It's All Over Now, Baby Blue' is reinvented with a sense of genuine regret in the intensity of Van's vocal delivery as the cascading keyboards evoke real tears.

"Fill me my cup
And I'll drink your sparkling wine
Pretend that everything is fine,
'Til I see your sad eyes.
Throw me a kiss
Across a crowded room
Some sunny windswept afternoon
There's none too soon for me to miss
My sad eyes."

'Could You Would You' shows how Them gave the Stones and the Animals a run for their money.

full album:

Side 1
"Could You, Would You" (Van Morrison) – 3:15
"Something You Got" (Chris Kenner) – 2:36
"Call My Name" (Tommy Scott) – 2:23
"Turn On Your Love Light" (Deadric Malone, Joseph Wade Scott) – 2:18
"I Put a Spell on You" (Screamin' Jay Hawkins) – 2:40
"I Can Only Give You Everything" (Phil Coulter, Tommy Scott) – 2:43
"My Lonely Sad Eyes" (Van Morrison) – 2:27
"I Got A Woman" (Ray Charles, Renald Richard) – 3:16
Side 2
"Out Of Sight" (James Brown, Ted Wright) – 2:26
"It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" (Bob Dylan) – 3:52
"Bad Or Good" (Van Morrison) – 2:09
"How Long Baby" (M. Gillon aka Tommy Scott) – 3:41
"Hello Josephine" (Dave Bartholomew, Fats Domino) – 2:06
"Don't You Know" (Tommy Scott) – 2:26
"Hey Girl" (Van Morrison) – 2:59

"Bring 'em On In" (Van Morrison) – 3:46

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