Years: 1964 - 1972; 1979
Styles: Classic Rock, Garage Rock, Pop Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Rhythm and Blues, Soft Rock
Ronnie Milling - Drums (in band: 1964)
Billy Harrison - Guitar, Vocals (in band: 1964 - 1964)
Van Morrison - Harmonica, Lead vocals, Saxophone (in band: 1964 - 1966)
Alan Henderson - Bass Guitar, Vocals (in band: 1964 - 1966; 1966 - 1971; 1979)
Eric Wrixon - Jew's harp, Keyboards, Piano (in band: 1964; 1965)
Pat McAuley - Drums, Keyboards (in band: 1964 - 1965)
Jackie McAuley - Keyboards (in band: 1965)
Peter Bardens - Keyboards (in band: 1965)
Joe Baldi - Guitar (in band: 1965)
Terry Noon - Drums (in band: 1965)
John Wilson - Drums (in band: 1965)
Dave Harvey - Drums (in band: 1965 - 1966; 1966 - 1969)
Jim Armstrong - Guitar, Lead guitar (in band: 1965 - 1966; 1966 - 1969; 1979)
Steve Reush - Drums (in band: 1966)
Sammy Stitt - Drums (in band: 1966)
Eric Bell - Guitar (in band: 1966)
Mike Brown - Bass Guitar (in band: 1966)
Joe Hanratty - Drums (in band: 1966)
Ray Elliot - Flute, Keyboards, Organ, Saxophone (in band: 1966 - 1967)
Kenny McDowell - Lead vocals (in band: 1966 - 1969)
Jerry Cole - Guitar, Percussion, Vocals (in band: 1969 - 1970)
Jim Parker - Guitar, Vocals (in band: 1970 - 1971)
John Stark - Drums, Lead vocals (in band: 1970 - 1971)
Mel Austin - Lead vocals (in band: 1979)
Billy Bell - Drums (in band: 1979)
Brian Scott - Flute, Keyboards (in band: 1979)
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 Milling, Billy Harrison and Eric Wrixon. The group was marketed in the United States as part of the British Invasion.
In April 1964, Van Morrison established an R&B club at the Maritime Hotel, Belfast with entrepreneurs Jimmy Conlon, Jerry McKernan and Gerry McKervey (known as the "3Js"). He had recently been introduced to The Gamblers, an East Belfast group formed in 1962 by Ronnie Milling (drums), Billy Harrison (guitar and lead vocals), and Alan Henderson (bass guitar). Eric Wrixon, who was still in school, had been recruited as piano player and keyboardist. Morrison joined in on tenor saxophone, harmonica and vocals. As the group now felt they needed a new name, they followed Eric Wrixon's suggestion and the Gamblers changed to Them after the 1954 sci-fi horror film.
Them's first recording session took place in London on 5 July 1964. "Turn on Your Love Light" and "Gloria" were recorded during this session as were both sides of their first single, "Don't Start Crying Now" and "One Two Brown Eyes" as well as "Groovin'", "Philosophy" and Bo Diddley's "You Can't Judge a Book by Its Cover". This session was remarkable in its employment of two drums tracks, which can be clearly heard in the stereo mixes of "Gloria" and "One Two Brown Eyes". Rowe used session musicians Arthur Greenslade on organ and Bobby Graham on second drum kit.
Their next single, Big Joe Williams's "Baby Please Don't Go" substituted Andy White on drums, Phil Coulter on second keyboard, and added Jimmy Page on rhythm guitar. Lead guitar was the work of Billy Harrison. It was released in November with "Gloria" as its B-side.
Their next release was Them's biggest hit in the UK, "Here Comes the Night". The producer was also the writer of the song, Bert Berns, an American, who had also co-written "Twist and Shout". Backed with "All for Myself" it charted in the UK at No.2 in March 1965, three weeks after release, and went to No.24 in the U.S. in May.
On 11 April 1965, Them made a guest appearance at the NME Pol winners Concert at Wembley Empire Pool: disc jockey Jimmy Savile was MC for this event, which also included The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Animals, The Searchers, The Moody Blues and Dusty Springfield. The bands had been expected to keep to their current hits, but Them audaciously segued from "Here Comes the Night" into a seven-minute version of "Turn on Your Lovelight". After the performances, NME's Derek Johnson commented that Morrison had "more genuine soul than any of his British contemporaries".
The band released their first album, "The Angry Young Them", in June 1965 (UK) and it appeared in the USA on Parrot Records in July. But Them's next single, "One More Time", chosen by Phil Solomon, failed – according to Billy Harrison because it never constituted single material. In July 1965, the band added drummer Terry Noon and lead guitarist Joe Baldi but they left in September. Their second album, "Them Again", was released in January 1966 in the UK and in April 1966 in the USA.
The group was marketed in the United States as part of the British Invasion. After the success of "Here Comes the Night", the band scored a chart hit again later in 1965 with "Mystic Eyes", which reached No.33. "Them Again", released in April 1966 in the US, also charted and the band began a US tour in May 1966. From 30 May to 18 June, Them had a residency at the famous Whisky a Go Go in Los Angeles. For the final week The Doors opened for Them and on the last night the two bands and Morrisons jammed a twenty-minute version of "Gloria" and a twenty-five-minute version of "In the Midnight Hour".
Van Morrison went on to great success and fame as a solo artist, but Them's combination of garage rock and blues proved a major influence on the next generations of rock musicians, and the group's best-known singles have become staples of rock and roll.
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, 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 successfu lsolo career. The rest regrouped in Belfast, recruited Kenny McDowell 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).
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.
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