Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Angry Young Them & Show # 395

Them are often overlooked when considering at the career of Van Morrison, but with Them Van Morrison treaded his early R&B influenced Garage Rock roots. Coming from Belfast in Ireland, Them’s first full length album was released in two different versions in the US and the UK. The UK version of The Angry Young Them features a different track listing and cover than the one that was featured on the US version. The UK version of the album features fourteen songs. Songs found on the UK Decca release that were not found on the US release of the album are “You Just Can’t Win” an organ filled Bob Dylan influenced R&B Garage ballad about a gold digger, “Just A Little Bit” a slow and raucous shouter that would give any early Rolling Stones song a run for its money, “I Gave My Love A Diamond”, “Bright Lights, Big City”, and “My Little Baby”. In addition to these five tracks that were featured on the UK Decca release of The Angry Young Them, the cover also features the band in a standard 60s Rock album pose, not unlike album covers released by The Rolling Stones, it also has no titles or indication of the name of the band or album title.

The US version of The Angry Young Them was amended to add Them’s single “Here Comes The Night” a slow catchy ballad, “One Two Brown Eyes” the erratic Garage track which was originally the B-side of Them’s first single “Don’t Start Crying Now”, and another Them single entitled “One More Time” Now this wasn’t a strange thing for UK and US releases of the same album to have different track listings. In the US albums were often modified to better market the band based on their current charting singles. The cover of the US version of The Angry Young Them, is a more classic looking cover featuring the words Them in giant orange letters not unlike the style you would find on B-Horror movie posters. It also originally was released saying that the album featured the song “Here Comes The Night”. Following the release of the Them single “Baby Please Don’t Go” with “Gloria” as the B-side, the album was re-released with a similar cover advertising the song “Gloria”.

Despite these differences in the track listings of The Angry Young Them, the album is a statement, the first album to be released by song writer Van Morrison, it introduced the world to him. The album also serves as having historical Rock music status due to the fact that it features many studio musicians, as part of the bands ever changing line up, with the exception of Van Morrison, the album features many studio musicians including future Led Zeppelin and Yardbirds guitarist Jimmy Page. The Angry Young Them features the now iconic, Garage Rock standard “Gloria”. This simple chord structured song was originally released as the B-side to the “Baby Please Don’t Go” single, a cover song. Ironically the cover, while it is a standard and Them’s version is most definitely of high quality, was overshadowed by “Gloria”, which is now considered a standard, but was not a at the time. The single charted at number ten on the UK singles charts and number 102 on the US singles charts. Additionally the album contains the song “Mystic Eyes”, which is a highly regarded Them gem that was generated from a ten minute jam the band did in the studio while recording. The album is notable for its unique placing of R&B covers juxtaposed with Van Morrison originals for a debut album that is often compared and contrasted to debut albums released by The Rolling Stones, The Who and The Beatles. The Angry Young Them is an uninhibited, pure Rock and Roll album, often falling under the category of Garage Rock, making it a strong debut not only for Them, but for Van Morrison who would go onto further musical acclaim.

It is Jammy Award time again. Every year CJAM FM holds an annual award ceremony in which programmers at the station can receive awards for the work they put into their shows every year. My program Revolution Rock is nominated for two awards in two different categories, best indie/alternative//rock/punk show and best on air personality. Vote for it here:

This Week's Play List:

1.  Mystics – Wasting Time
2.  The Famines – The First World War
3.  Vivian Girls – Such A Joke
4.  The Clean – Anything could Happen
5.  Mother’s Children – Dance To The Rock and Roll Band
6.  Beach Blankets – Greatest Hit
7.  The Diodes – Action Reaction
8.  Terminal Sunglasses – Could That Be People Crossing My Lawn
9.  Hunx – Private Room
10. Silent Movie Type - Pastels
11. BA Johnston w/ The Moby Dicks - McDonald's Coupon Day
12. Them – I Like It Like That
13. Them – I'm Gonna Dress In Black
14. Jack Oblivian –Rat City
15. The Libertines – Up The Bracket
16. Buzzcocks – Harmony In My Head
17. Generation X – Wild Youth
18. MC5 – High School
19. The Sonics – Dirty Robber
20. Deja Voodoo – Rock Therapy
21. Young Rival - Workin'
22. The Mark Inside - House of Cards
23. Long Weekends - Shame On You
24. Radio Birdman – Anglo Girl Desire
25. The D4 – Omerta

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for March 13. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.


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