June 11: Them released their debut album The Angry Young Them in 1965
“These five young rebels are outrageously true to themselves. Defiant! Angry! Sad! They are honest to the point of insult!” (original liner notes)
The Angry Young Them is Them’s first album. The album was released in the UK on 11th of June 1965. The band’s lead singer and songwriter was of course Van “The Man” Morrison. He was with Them on only two albums before deciding to go solo.
The opening track Mystic Eyes was from an 8 or 9 minute jam originally, a long intense jam session in the studio with Van making the words up on the spur of the moment. Oh why didn’t they use the long take? Anyway, a good opener.
If You And I Could Be As Two is the next song and itopens with Van’s spoken voice talking (rather angrily) before this wonderful soul ballad continues. Then it is Little Girlwhich is about watching a 14-year-old (!) school girl on her way to school, not very acceptable these days but we need to remember that Van Morrison was only a teenager himself when he sang these words (still no excuse, I know).
Just A Little Bit by Roscoe Gordon is the next one out, Morrison sings great and it is my favorite song of the non Van Morrison penned tracks. Fantastic song!
Then we are in for the weakest track on the album, I Gave My Love a Diamond. That is not a put-down, because it’s a good sixties ballad, it just pales compared to the other songs on the album.
The Best Dylan Covers: Them It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue
“I think I heard The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan in a record shop in Smith Street. And I just thought it was just incredible that this guy’s not singing about ‘moon in June’ and he’s getting away with it… The subject matter wasn’t pop songs, ya know, and I thought this kind of opens the whole thing up.”
– Van Morrison (Heylin, C. (2003). Can You Feel the Silence?: Van Morrison: A New Biography. pp. 134–135.)
“It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” is a song written and performed by Bob Dylan and featured on his Bringing It All Back Home album, released on March 22, 1965.
Morrison’s record producer at the time, Bert Berns, encouraged him to find models for his songs, so he bought Dylan’s Bringing It All Back Home album in March 1965. One of the songs on the album held a unique fascination for Morrison and he soon started performing “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” in small clubs and pubs as a solo artist (without Them).
Them Again is the second album by Them, lead by singer and songwriter Van Morrison. The album was released by Decca Records in the UK on 21 January 1966 but it failed to chart. In the U.S. it was released in April 1966 where it peaked at #138 on the Billboard charts.
21 January 1966 (UK), April 1966 (USA)
48:21Decca (UK), Parrot PA 61008; PAS 71008 (USA)
It’s a great record and often overlooked and unfavourably compared to Them’s debut. It is allmost as good. You owe it to yourself to check it out.
Two of the original Van Morrison songs included on the album, “My Lonely Sad Eyes” and “Hey Girl”, can be seen as precursors to the poetic musings of Morrison’s later Astral Weeks album, released in 1968. “My Lonely Sad Eyes” begins with the words, “Fill me my cup, and I’ll drink your sparkling wine/Pretend that everything is fine, ’til I see your sad eyes.” The title implies that the sad eyes belong to the singer but the lyrics address the singer’s love interest. It reminds me of Rolling Stones at their most soulful.
My Lonely Sad Eyes:
The song “Hey Girl” has a pastoral feel to it, enhanced by the addition of flutes and in Brian Hinton’s opinion is a “dry run for ‘Cyprus Avenue'” from Astral Weeks.
Bob Dylan took part in an afternoon workshop on the first day of the Newport Folk Festival, Freebody Park, Newport, New York State, USA. The three-day event also features Pete Seeger, Jose Feliciano and many others.
James ‘Jim’ Armstrong (born 24 July 1944, in Belfast, Co Antrim) is a guitarist from Northern Ireland.
Armstrong’s musical career started while he was still a schoolboy, when he played in Belfast’s top showband, The Melotones, who were resident in the city’s Romano’s Ballroom. Armstrong played and recorded in the mid-’60s with Van Morrison and Them, touring both Europe and America (where he lived – playing and recording – for 4 years). Of the 51 tracks recorded by Morrison and Them (1964–66), Armstrong played on over half, and while living in America met and played with Jim Morrison & The Doors, Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa. During this time he was voted 3rd best guitarist in the world (after Jimi Hendrix & Frank Zappa).
Masked and Anonymous is a 2003 comedy-drama film directed by Larry Charles, who is better known for his writing on successful TV sitcoms, Seinfeld and Mad About You and for executive producing episodes of The Tick and Dilbert. The film was written by Larry Charles and Bob Dylan, the latter under the pseudonym “Sergei Petrov”.
“Begin the Beguine” is a song written by Cole Porter (1891–1964). Porter composed the song between Kalabahi, Indonesia, and Fiji during a 1935 Pacific cruise aboard Cunard’s “Franconia”. In October 1935, it was introduced by June Knight in the Broadway musical Jubilee produced at the Imperial Theatre in New York City.
Robbie Robertson, OC (born Jaime Robert Klegerman; July 5, 1943)is best known for his membership as the guitarist and primary songwriter within The Band. He was ranked 59th in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. The Band has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.As a songwriter Robertson is responsible for such classics as “The Weight”, “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”, “Up On Cripple Creek”, “Broken Arrow” and “Somewhere Down the Crazy River”, and has been inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame.
“That’s All Right” is the name of the first commercial single released by Elvis Presley, written and originally performed by blues singer Arthur Crudup. Presley’s version was recorded on 5 July 1954,and released on 19 July 1954 with “Blue Moon of Kentucky” as the B-side. It is #112 on the 2004 Rolling Stone magazine list of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time”.
“Gloria” is a rock song classic written by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison and originally recorded by Morrison’s band Them in 1964 as the B-side of “Baby, Please Don’t Go”. The song became a garage rock staple and a part of many rock bands’ repertoires. It is particularly memorable for its “G–L–O–R–I–A” chorus. It is very easy to play (three-chord) and thus is popular with those learning to play guitar. The song continues to be played by thousands of bands from famous recording artists to unknown garage bands. Humourist Dave Barry joked that “You can throw a guitar off a cliff, and as it bounces off rocks on the way down, it will, all by itself, play Gloria.”