Saturday, June 04, 2016

The Complete Them & Shows # 615 & # 616

In December 2015, The Complete Them 1964-1967 was released via Legacy/Exile Productions. The set compiles all of the recordings made by Them, the band that featured a young Van Morrison. In the linear notes to this set, which were written by Van Morrison himself, he states that Them was “a way for me to sing and play the blues”. Them drew influence from early R&B and blues artists such as Howlin’ Wolf, Jimmy Reed, Bo Diddley Slim Harpo and Muddy Waters, among others. He took the raw blues sound and influence and it was applied to Them. Forming in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1964, Them began first became known for their live performances at the Maritime Hotel. The original group featured Van Morrison on vocals/harmonica, Billy Harrison (guitar), Alan Henderson (bass), Eric Wrixton (keyboards) and Ronnie Millings on drums. Them’s R&B and blues covers were executed in a musical style that would become known as garage rock. Them soon found their way to Decca Records and recorded their first session in July of 1964. They recorded songs such as “Don’t Start Crying Now”, “One Two Brown Eyes”, the popular live favourite “Turn On Your Love Light”, the future garage rock staple “Gloria” and a few others.

Soon after this recording session, the band line-up began to shuffle and Them featured numerous different session musicians on their recordings. It was also during this early point in Van Morrison’s career where he began working with producer/songwriter Bert Burns. One of his contributions to Them was the song “Here Comes The Night”, which was recorded along with a cover “Baby Please Don’t Go”. In this set’s linear notes, Morrison describes first hearing this song on an acoustic guitar. The version that was recorded features Van Morrison’s raw and soulful vocal delivery, and guitar performed by then session musician Jimmy Page. “Here Comes The Night” was Them’s third single. It reached number two on the UK singles charts and number 24 on the US singles charts when it was originally released in October of 1964. Them continued to record with varying lineups. They released several singles and two full-length albums, The Angry Young Them (1965) and Them Again (1966), all of which are included on The Complete Them 1964-1967.

Part of what makes this collection of recordings from other Them compilation releases, most notably The Story Of Them, is the fact that the mono recordings featured here are sourced from the original master tapes from Decca. In addition to this, the third disc featured in this collection features 24 songs made up of demos, alternate versions of session tracks and live recordings from BBC’s Saturday Club. Some of the alternate versions of songs featured here are drastically different. The slow build of “Turn On Your Love Light”, as mentioned earlier, a popular live favourite during the band’s live set in their early days. This version picks up to a rapid R&B rave-up pace, rivaling the previously released studio version. “Go On Home Baby (Take 4)” features more sprawling, aggressive guitar and vocals, while “I Gave My Love A Diamond (Take 8)” is drenched in tremolo guitar, staccato guitar parts and glassy sounding bass. There are numerous nuggets like this throughout this 69-song set. The name Them has often been described as being influenced by the 1954 science fiction film of the same name, but in the linear notes to this set, it is also revealed that it was partly influenced by an ad for another band in Melody Maker. Throughout this set, we can see Van Morrison develop and reveal a sound of raw, wide-eyed garage rock seeped in the blues, to a more soulful sound. It was at this point in 1967 that Van Morrison would branch off from Them and would then go onto a successful solo career.

Below are the playlists for the two most recent episodes of Revolution Rock (Download links are below each playlist):

Show # 616 (Originally Aired on June 4th, 2016):

1. Them - Baby Please Don’t Go (Take 4)
2. Them - Turn On Your Love Light (Alternate Version)
3. Them - Richard Cory
4. Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band - Frying Pan
5. The Standells - Rari
6. The Howlies - She’s In Control
7. The Velveteins - Beach Reprise
8. The North Carolina Music Love Army - Stick To The Plan
9. Papa Ghostface - Samhain
10. Border Patrol - This World
11. Jose Contreras - Psychic Radio
12. Art Bergmann - A Town Called Mean
13. Art Bergmann - In Betweens
14. Daniel Romano - I Had To Hide Your Poem In A Song
15. White Fang - Chunks
16. Monomyth - Transmission
17. The Ronald Reagan Story - Ronnie (I Voted For You)
18. The Minstrels Of Truth - I Want Your Business
19. Generation X - Kiss Me Deadly
20. The Police - No Time This Time
21. Gang Of Four - Call Me Up
22. Dee Dee Ramone & The Chinese Dragons - What About Me?
23. The Vores - Stress
24. The Bureaucrats - Grown Up Age
25. Idols - You
26. Wreckless Eric - Whole Wide World
27. Old Code - Crooked Smile
28. The Mark Inside - Where You Are
29. The Mark Inside - Shark Attack (I Can See Them Circling)

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for June 4.

Show # 615 (Originally Aired on May 28th, 2016):

1. Fire Engines - Discord
2. Walrus - Fur Skin Coat
3. The Burning Hell - Nostalgia
4. Simply Saucer - Dance The Mutation
5. White Lung - Dead Weight
6. Supermoon - Stories We Tell Ourselves About Ourselves
7. Frankie Cosmos - Sinclair
8. Car Seat Headrest - Fill In The Blank
9. Adriean Teacher And The Subs - Terminal City
10. Outrageous Cherry - Sign Of The Times
11. Shotgun Jimmie - Province To Province
12. John Lennon - Crippled Inside
13. Bob Dylan - As I Went Out One Morning
14. Bob Dylan - Melancholy Mood
15. Bob Dylan - That Old Black Magic
16. The Velvet Underground - Coney Island Steeplechase
17. The Modern Lovers - She’s Cracked
18. By Divine Right - Que Paso?
19. Radiohead - Identikit
20. John Cale - Barracuda
21. Leonard Cohen - Tonight Will Be Fine
22. Dead Ghosts - That Old Feeling
23. Them - Mystic Eyes
24. Them - Gloria (Demo)
25. Them - Here Comes The Night (Take 2)

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for May 28.

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