Them was an influential Northern Ireland blues rock group with a garage band sound that became famous during the mid 1960s at the height of the British Invasion. Formed in 1964 by Van Morrison with members of an East Belfast group known as The Gamblers, the original lineup also consisted of Billy Harrison (guitar, vocals), Ronnie Milling (drums), Eric Wrixon (keyboards), and bassist Alan Henderson (d. April 9, 2017). The band renamed itself to Them after the same-named 1954 sci-fi horror movie. In 1965, Them released its debut album, "The Angry Young Them," which includes the band's signature song, "Gloria," plus "Mystic Eyes" and other hits. Morrison, who served as the band's lead vocalist as well as saxophone and harmonica player, left Them in 1966 and went on to launch a highly successful solo career.
Them made its debut in 1965 on the U.S. Pop/Rock charts with its rock version of the traditional blues song, "Baby, Please Don't Go," which was a Top 10 hit in the U.K. the previous year. The band's fame took off soon after with the Morrison-penned "Gloria" (1965), an extensively covered garage rock classic that later became a Top 10 hit in 1966 for The Shadows Of Knight, with some lyrics changes. The original (and raunchier) version by Them was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999 and ranked at #208 by Rolling Stone in its 2004 list of "500 Greatest Songs of All Time." Them also had two Top 40 hits in 1965 with "Here Comes The Night" and "Mystic Eyes." The band's other hits included "Half As Much" (1965), "Call My Name" (1966), and a final recharting of "Gloria" in 1966.
After Morrison's departure from the band, Them continued performing and recording with many personnel changes before finally dissolving in 1972. In 1979, original members Billy Harrison and Eric Wrixon reformed Them with a new lineup to tour and record. Since the 1990s, Wrixon has toured under the name, Them The Belfast Blues Band, and in 2012-2013, Harrison created a new Them lineup to perform at various music festivals.
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- Gloria 1965
(This song recharted for Them in 1966 and also became a hit for the Shadows Of Knight (1966) and the Doors (1983, originally recorded in 1969).)
- Here Comes The Night 1965
- Mystic Eyes 1965
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