Album of the Day: The Jam, All Mod Cons (Deluxe Edition) (1978/2006)

712ojKmc4eL._SL1096_

ROCK ‘N’ ROLL FREAKS ALBUM OF THE DAY FOR THURSDAY, DECEMBER 31:

THE JAM, ALL MOD CONS (1978/2006)

Track Listing:

Original Album
CD-1 All Mod Cons 1:20
CD-2 To Be Someone (Didn’t We Have A Nice Time) 2:30
CD-3 Mr. Clean 3:29
CD-4 David Watts 2:56
CD-5 English Rose 2:50
CD-6 In The Crowd 5:41
CD-7 Billy Hunt 3:01
CD-8 It’s Too Bad 2:37
CD-9 Fly 3:21
CD-10 The Place I Love 2:52
CD-11 ‘A’ Bomb In Wardour Street 2:39
CD-12 Down In The Tube Station At Midnight 4:49
Bonus Tracks…
CD-13 News Of The World (Single) 3:28
CD-14 Aunties And Uncles (Impulsive Youths) (B-Side) 2:33
CD-15 Innocent Man (B-Side) 4:18
CD-16 Down In The Tube Station At Midnight (Single Version) 4:05
CD-17 So Sad About Us (B-Side) 2:38
CD-18 The Night (B-Side) 1:47
CD-19 So Sad About Us (Demo) 2:42
CD-20 Worlds Apart (Demo) 1:55
CD-21 It’s Too Bad (Demo) 2:27
CD-22 To Be Someone (Demo) 2:25
CD-23 David Watts (Demo) 2:45
CD-24 Billy Hunt (Alternate Version) 3:00
CD-25 Mr Clean (Demo) Previously Unreleased
Remix 3:27
CD-26 Fly (Demo) Previously Unreleased
Remix 3:19

DVD
DVD-1 The Making Of All Mod Cons
Film Director – Don Letts
36:04
DVD-2 English Rose (Acoustic Version)

AllMusic Review by Chris Woodstra [5/5]

The Jam regrouped and refocused for All Mod Cons, an album that marked a great leap in songwriting maturity and sense of purpose. For the first time, Paul Weller built, rather than fell back, upon his influences, carving a distinct voice all his own; he employed a story-style narrative with invented characters and vivid British imagery à la Ray Davies to make incisive social commentary — all in a musically irresistible package. The youthful perspective and impassioned delivery on All Mod Cons first earned Weller the “voice of a generation” tag, and it certainly captures a moment in time, but really, the feelings and sentiments expressed on the album just as easily speak to any future generation of young people. Terms like “classic” are often bandied about, but in the case of All Mod Cons, it is certainly deserved.

Buy from Amazon

Album of the Day: Eric Burdon & the Animals, Winds of Change (1967, MGM)

eric_burdon___the_animals-winds_of_change(mgm_records)

ROCK ‘N’ ROLL FREAKS ALBUM OF THE DAY FOR WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 30:

ERIC BURDON & THE ANIMALS: WINDS OF CHANGE (1967, MGM)

Track Listing:

Winds Of Change 4:00
Poem By The Sea 2:15
Paint It Black 6:20
The Black Plague 6:05
Yes I Am Experienced 3:40
San Franciscan Nights 3:24
Man – Woman 5:25
Hotel Hell 4:20
Good Times 2:50
Anything 3:20
It’s All Meat 2:50

AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder [2.5/5]

Winds of Change opened the psychedelic era in the history of Eric Burdon & the Animals — although Burdon’s drug experiences had taken a great leap forward months earlier with his first acid trip, and he and the group had generated some startlingly fresh-sounding singles in the intervening time, it was Winds of Change that plunged the group headfirst into the new music. The record was more or less divided into two distinctly different sides, the first more conceptual and ambitious psychedelic mood pieces and the second comprised of more conventionally structured songs, although even these were hard, mostly bluesy and blues-based rock, their jumping-off point closer to Jimi Hendrix than Sonny Boy Williamson. The band’s new era opened with waves washing over the title track, which included sitar and electric violin, while Burdon’s voice, awash in reverb, calmly recited a lyric that dropped a lot of major names from blues, jazz, and rock. “Poem by the Sea” was a recitation by Burdon, amid a swirl of echo-drenched instruments, and it led into one of the group’s handful of memorable covers from this period, “Paint It Black” — driven by John Weider’s electric violin and Vic Briggs’ guitar, and featuring an extended vocal improvisation by Burdon, their approach to the song was good enough to make it part of the group’s set at the Monterey International Pop Festival that June, and also to get a spot in the documentary movie that followed. “The Black Plague” opens with a Gregorian chant structure that recalls “Still I’m Sad” by the Yardbirds, and was another vehicle for Burdon’s surreal spoken contributions. There were also, as with most of the group’s work from this period, a few easily accessible tracks that could make good singles, in this instance “Good Times” and “San Franciscan Nights,” a Top Ten record in various countries around the world in the last quarter of 1967, although, as Alan Clayson points out in his notes, the latter song was overlooked in England for nearly 12 months after its release elsewhere, and then appeared as the B-side to the relatively straightforward, brooding, moody rocker “Anywhere.” Burdon was so inspired by Jimi Hendrix’s music that he wrote one of the psychedelic era’s rare “answer” songs, “Yes I Am Experienced,” as an homage to the guitarist; the latter’s influence could also be heard in “It’s All Meat,” the LP’s closing track, and a song that calls to mind an aspect of this band that a lot of scholars in earlier years overlooked — the fact that Briggs, Weider, et al. had the skills to make music in that style that was convincing and that worked on record, on their terms.

Buy from Amazon

 

Album of the Day: Motorhead, No Remorse (1984, Bronze Records)

tumblr_n1ekirvJ491spxj76o4_1280

ROCK ‘N’ ROLL FREAKS ALUM OF THE DAY FOR TUESDAY, DECEMBER 29:

MOTORHEAD, NO REMORSE (1984, BRONZE RECORDS)

R.I,P. LEMMY KILMIESTER

No Remorse was a compilation album of Motorhead’s first seven years that was put out in 1984. In 1984, I was 15 and had been listening to all kinds of punk and metal, but nothing prepared me for this. I vividly recall hearing them for the first time in a friend’s attic bedroom via a cassette of this album (which came in a leather case) and feeling like I’d never heard anyone sing like this guy in my life. The funny thing is that, 30+ years later I’ve STILL never heard anyone sing like that. Hell of a fucking bass player too. And No Remorse has to rank as one of the greatest ‘greatest hit’ albums ever assembled. – TC

Track Listing:

Ace Of Spades 2:46
Motörhead 3:55
Jailbait 3:31
Stay Clean 2:38
Too Late, Too Late 3:24
Killed By Death 4:39
Bomber 3:21
Iron Fist 2:48
Shine 3:08
Dancing On Your Grave 4:27
Metropolis 2:33
Snaggletooth 3:49
Overkill 3:16
Please Don’t Touch 2:48
Stone Dead Forever 4:54
Like A Nightmare 4:10
Emergency 3:03
Steal Your Face 4:21
Louie Louie 2:44
No Class 2:37
Iron Horse 3:55
We Are The Road Crew 3:10
Leaving Here 2:44
Locomotive 3:21

AllMusic Review by Jason Birchmeier [5/5]

There have been dozens and dozens of Motörhead compilations released over the decades, but the first one remains definitive, even if it’s not perfect. Released in 1984 as a gap-filler — for Motörhead were regrouping in the wake of the bandmember shuffling that followed the odd Another Perfect Day album — No Remorse compiled two-dozen songs across two discs (latter-day editions adding a good serving of bonus tracks, too). Many of the band’s best songs to date are here, like “Ace of Spades,” “Stay Clean,” “Overkill,” “Bomber,” and “Iron Fist.” There are also four new recordings that were cut exclusively for No Remorse: “Killed by Death,” “Snaggletooth,” “Steal Your Face,” and “Locomotive.” These four songs were cut by the newly instated four-piece lineup that would go on to record Orgasmatron (1986): guitarists Michael Burston and Phil Campbell, drummer Peter Gill, and of course, bassist/vocalist Lemmy. These new recordings make No Remorse more than a standard greatest-hits package, as do the number of stray recordings compiled here as well. For starters, No Remorse rounds up “Please Don’t Touch” and “Emergency,” which were released on a 1981 split EP with Girlschool, St. Valentines Day Massacre. It also rounds up an early single (“Louie, Louie”) as well as a pair of B-sides (“Too Late, Too Late” and “Like a Nightmare”) and a tossed-about live cover “Leaving Here.” The inclusion of these stray recordings likewise makes No Remorse more than a standard greatest-hits package. Rather, it’s a collection that caters to newbies as well as completists. And furthermore, it plays well, as the new songs and stray material are sequenced toward the end of each LP side, so the collection ebbs and flows between the familiar and unfamiliar, between the great and good. Granted, a straightforward best-of collection may be more suitable to newcomers looking for a one-stop compilation. For instance, No Remorse doesn’t account for the wealth of music Motörhead would release post-1984, and too, it misses a lot of great songs that could have taken the place of the odds and ends rounded up here. So a straight-ahead, single-disc chronological survey would be a nice alternative, especially one that accounts for late-’80s highlights like “Deaf Forever,” “Orgasmatron,” “Rock ‘n’ Roll,” and “Eat the Rich.” But there’s something to be said for tradition, and No Remorse is to Motörhead what We Sold Our Soul for Rock ‘n’ Roll is to Black Sabbath — an age-old collection that every metalhead seemed to own at some point, the one that seemed to define the band for generations on end. No Remorse is one of those classic albums, no doubt.

Buy from Amazon

 

In Memoriam 2015

Remembering some of the performers and contributors to rock ‘n’ roll history who we lost in 2015.

This is far from a complete list of rock ‘n’ roll related passings from the last twelve months, but rather a selective tribute to those who have made a special mark in the lives of myself and Rock ‘n’ Roll Freaks everywhere.  I may have missed a few in my research, so If there is anyone I have neglected to include who you think belongs here, post in the comments. I’d be happy to add anyone I missed who you think deserves be noted. And with just a few days left in December, I sincerely hope that there is no one new to add before the year is out.

NEVER TO BE FORGOTTEN,….

Joe-Houston2large

Joe Houston, R&B saxophone legend (89)

John_Bradbury

John Bradbury, The Specials drummer (62)

2008Motorhead01Getty120914.article_x4

Lemmy Killmister, Hawkwind bassist and Motorhead founder (70)

Nazzguy

Carson Van Osten,  Nazz co-founder, bassist (70)

hqdefault

Stevie Wright, Easybeats singer (68)

william-guest-300x233

William Guest, Pip (74)

l_d661ca5c851c7ac1a9d17ff45055b19e

John Garner, Sir Lord Baltimore co-founder, bassist

cynthia-robinson_400x295_30

Cynthia Robinson, Sly & the Family Stone co-founder, trumpet player (71)

Philthy-Animal-Taylor

Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor, Motorhead drummer (61)

Allen_Toussaint_thu

Allen Toussaint, New Orleans legend (77)

Image-51179_20151022

Richard Rosebrough, Memphis engineer and drummer (66)

Bryn-Merrick-366x559

Bryn Merrick, Damned bassist (56)

gettyimages-131854688

Steve Mackay, Stooges saxophone player (66)

rico

Rico Rodriguez, The Specials trombonist (80)

2681403383

Gail Zappa, widow of Frank Zappa (70)

A-1283377-1444504287-1792.jpeg

Charles “Honeyboy” Otis, legendary blues drummer (82)

hqdefault (1)

Frankie Ford, New Orleans singer (76)

1035x1656-billy-joe-royal

Billy Joe Royal, 1960s country-pop singer (73)

73 x 7.878

Ben Cauley, Bar-Kays trumpet player (67)

LadyBo-630x420

Peggy “Lady Bo” Jones, Bo Diddley guitarist (75)

Obit_Bob_Johnston-074ea-946Obit_Bob_Johnston-074ea-946150846736_1439783963

Bob Johnston, record producer (83)

jm3neck

Johnny Meeks. Gene Vincent & His Blue Caps guitarist (78)

SynPS

Chris Squire, The Syn bassist (67)

gq2

Gary Quackenbush, SRC guitarist (67)

WENDELL

Wendell Holmes, The Holmes Brothers co-founder (71)

m_35052e945ca1c65a190d48458d620eae

Bobby Jameson, Los Angeles singer/songwriter (70)

A-155327-1398173420-2771.jpeg

Ben E. King,  R&B vocalist (76)

29e0e690-eea9-11e4-_897629c

Jack Ely, Kingsmen guitarist (71)

abc fixed

Bernard Stollman, ESP-Disk founder (86)

Daevid-Allen-resize-1

Daevid Allen, Soft Machine and Gong co-founder, multi-instrumentalist (77)

king1

B.B. King, blues legend (89)

percy-sledge

Percy Sledge, soul singer (74)

818b7c1252da400aa4a6d45de4677d0e

Paul Buff, surf music engineer/producer (78)

john-lennon-cynthia_2458696-001

Cynthia Lennon, John Lennon’s first wife (75)

31bienstock-obit-master180-v4

Miriam Bienstock, Atlantic Records co-founder (92)

SharonTandy2-ALu

Sharon Tandy, blue-eyed soul singer (71)

Left Banke Brown

Michael Brown, Left Banke keyboardist/songwriter (66)

19charters-1-obit-blog427

Samuel Charters, blues scholar (85)

Andy-Fraser-Michael-Putland-Getty-Images-630x420

Andy Fraser, Free bassist (62)

maysles

Albert Maysles, filmmaker (88)

5810142156_c19801dc70_z

Brian Carman, Chantays co-founder, guitarist (69)

Lesley Gore

Lesley Gore, singer-songwriter (68)

Sam-Andrew

Sam Andrew, Big Brother and the Holding Company co-founder, guitarist (73)

danny 01

Danny McCullough, Eric Burdon & the Animals bassist (69)

joe-mauldin-buddy-holly-the-cricketts-1958-billboard-650

Joe Maudlin, Buddy Holly & the Crickets bassist (74)

ob-main-Covay

Don Covay, soul singer (78)

mccoycjpg-a54ab34c03b0baa9

Rose Marie McCoy, songwriter (92)

John 'Hoppy' Hopkins in 2000.

John “Hoppy” Hopkins, British counterculture renaissance man (77)

dallas-taylor-768

Dallas Taylor, session drummer (66)

Kim-Fowley-306

Kim Fowley, Los Angeles producer, songwriter,  performer and svengali (75)

47a79356b28e610a047e57f1d0e8c5bf

Trevor Ward-Davies, Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mitch and Tich co-founder (70)

bill

Bill Thompson, Jefferson Airplane manager (70)

552995391

Willie “Popsy” Dixon, Holmes Brothers co-founder and drummer (72)

Album of the Day: The MC5, Babes In Arms (2000, RIOR)

115402395

ROCK ‘N’ ROLL FREAKS ALBUM OF THE DAY: THE MC5, BABES IN ARMS (2000, RIOR)

Track Listing:

1 Shaking Street 2:32
2 American Ruse 2:27
3 Skunk (Sonically Speaking) 4:10
4 Tuttie Fruttie 1:34
5 Poison 3:25
6 Gotta Keep Moving 3:28
7 Tonite 2:49
8 Kick Out The Jams 3:02
9 Sister Ann 6:46
10 Future Now 3:04
11 Gold  3:02
12 I Can Only Give You Everything 2:39
13 One Of The Guys 2:15
14 I Just Don’t Know 2:37
15 Looking At You 2:46

AllMusic Review by Mark Deming [3/5]

Wayne Kramer assembled this collection of 15 rare MC5 tracks, and while trying to cover the career of a band who helped give birth to punk rock AND made it onto Spiro Agnew’s enemies list might seem like a near-impossible task in less than an hour, Babes in Arms does a pretty respectable job of capturing what the MC5 were all about in one convenient package. Most of the cuts on Babes in Arms are alternate versions of songs from the band’s three studio albums, but while the most of the tracks appear in variant mixes or longer edits, the differences are minimal enough that they can pass for the originals in a pinch (one crucial exception: a great acoustic version of Fred “Sonic” Smith’s “Shakin’ Street”), making Babes in Arms a solid “Best of the MC5″ collection. Even more importantly, the set also includes several excellent and hard to find early single sides, including the amusing garage-protest nugget “One of the Guys” and a primal, in-the-red rave-up on “Looking at You” that leaves the version on Back in the U.S.A. in the dust. The one previously unreleased song, “Gold,” is an unfocused jam that doesn’t really go anywhere, and the sound quality of the source materials isn’t all that hot (especially on the CD version), but otherwise Babes in Arms is a howling, furious blast of what made the MC5 one of the finest (and most dangerous) American rock bands of the 1960s. Crank it up loud — the guys would want it that way.

 Buy From Amazon

Album of the Day: ? & the Mysterians, 96 Tears (1966, Cameo)

1241602

ROCK ‘N’ ROLL FREAKS ALBUM OF THE DAY FOR SATURDAY, DECEMBER 26:

? & THE MYSTERIANS, 96 TEARS (1966, CAMEO)

Track Listing:

A1 I Need Somebody 2:13
A2 Stormy Monday 2:20
A3 You’re Telling Me Lies 2:31
A4 Ten O’Clock 2:03
A5 Set Aside 3:03
A6 Up Side 2:50
B1 8 Teen 2:45
B2 Don’t Tease Me 1:37
B3 Don’t Break This Heart Of Mine 1:57
B4 Why Me 1:26
B5 Midnight Hour 2:36
B6 96 Tears 2:56

Buy From Amazon

 

Stones Song of the Day: “Cry To Me”

maxresdefault (4)
Mick and Solomon Burke in 2003

By Greg Pevost, from his book Rolling Stones Gear

1965

On their arrival in Los Angeles, the group almost immediately began a session at RCA Studios on May 12 and 13, entering the studio accompanied by Ian Stewart and Jack Nitzsche, with Oldham producing and Dave Hassinger engineering. The two-day session produced six cuts: Solomon Burke’s “Cry To Me,” Sam Cooke’s “Good Times,” Otis Redding’s “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long,” and three new Jagger-Richards compositions: “The Spider And The Fly,” “One More Try,” and the blockbuster “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.”

 

Album of the Day: The Chocolate Watchband, The Inner Mystique (1968, Tower)

maxresdefault (3)

ROCK ‘N’ ROLL FREAKS ALBUM OF THE DAY FOR THURSDAY, DECEMBER 24:

THE CHOCOLATE WATCHBAND, THE INNER MYSTIQUE (1968, TOWER)

Track Listing:

Voyage Of The Trieste 3:39
In The Past 3:08
Inner Mystique 5:34
I’m Not Like Everybody Else 3:43
Medication 2:04
Let’s Go, Let’s Go, Let’s Go 2:16
Baby Blue 3:14
I Ain’t No Miracle Worker 2:51

AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder [4/5]

Inner Mystique seems to be the Chocolate Watchband album that fans and casual listeners know best, even though it was the one of their three records that was most disconnected from any active incarnation of the group. Slapped together in late 1967, in the wake of the virtual collapse of their lineup and rushed out in February of 1968, its original first side contained not a single note played or sung by the Watchband itself. Instead, engineer Richie Podolor assembled a group of studio musicians, playing a pair of languid psychedelic instrumentals — “Voyage of the Trieste” and “Inner Mystique” — in which the sitar flourishes and flute arabesques hung like jeweled ornaments, sandwiched around a new recording by singer Don Bennett (who’d already supplied some vocals without the group’s knowledge or approval on their first album) of “In the Past,” the latter a song originally written and recorded by the Florida-based psychedelic-punk band We the People. The second side was comprised of a hodgepodge of superb finished Watchband sides — most notably “I’m Not Like Everybody Else” and “I Ain’t No Miracle Worker,” mixing punk bravado and angst, which have long been the album’s selling points — and outtakes such as “Let’s Go, Let’s Go, Let’s Go” and “Medication,” with Bennett’s vocals replacing David Aguilar’s, and one remixed and partly redubbed version of “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue.” As with the group’s first album, however, Inner Mystique is sort of “guilty with an explanation” — yes, it’s a mess in terms of continuity, with two different singers and three different vocal/instrumental combinations present, but the three full Watchband tracks are killer recordings that can hold their heads up with the best rock records of 1967; what’s more, even the Bennett-sung/studio band played “In the Past” is worthwhile, Watchband or not, as a piece of shimmering psychedelia with a great beat and arrangement; and even “Voyage of the Trieste” and “Inner Mystique,” as pieces of psychedelic background music, were good enough that one of them ended up on Rhino’s Best of the Chocolate Watchband collection. And that’s not bad for a 28-minute album with only eight cuts on it, pieced together with only the barest (if any) participation by the band.

Buy from Amazon

Stones Song of the Day: “Angie”

102

By Greg Prevost, from his book Rolling Stones Gear

1973

The Stones shot several new promotional films directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg. “Dancing With Mr. D,” “Silver Train,” and two versions of “Angie” were taped, and the clips were broadcast worldwide from July through November on shows such as Top of the Pops and Old Grey Whistle Test in the UK, Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert in the US, Music Machine on CBC-TV in Canada, and Beat Club and Musikland in Germany. On “Angie,” Mick performed a live vocal over pre-recorded backing tracks, while the other two were mimed to the recorded master tapes. In the first version of “Angie,” Keith and Mick Taylor both used Gibson Hummingbirds, Bill played his Gibson EB-3 bass, and Charlie used his black Gretsch kit. Version two (with Mick wearing a hat) is the same, but with Mick Taylor playing piano instead of guitar. On “Silver Train” and “Dancing With Mr. D,” Keith played the white Gibson SG Custom, and Mick Taylor played a Gibson ES-345. This was the last sighting of Keith’s white SG Custom. The stage was filled with Ampeg SVTs in the backline.

Album of the Day: Them, The Complete Them 1964-1967 (2015, Legacy)

a-13

ROCK ‘N’ ROLL FREAKS ALBUM OF THE DAY FOR WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 22:

THEM, THE COMPLETE THEM 1964-1967 (2015, LEGACY)

Track Listing:

1964-1965
1-1 Don’t Start Crying Now
1-2 One Two Brown Eyes
1-3 Baby Please Don’t Go
1-4 Gloria
1-5 Philosophy
1-6 Here Comes The Night
1-7 All For Myself
1-8 One More Time
1-9 How Long Baby
1-10 Mystic Eyes
1-11 If You And I Could Be As Two
1-12 Little Girl (Album Version)
1-13 Just A Little Bit
1-14 I Gave My Love A Diamond
1-15 You Just Can’t Win
1-16 Go On Home Baby
1-17 Don’t Look Back
1-18 I Like It Like That
1-19 I’m Gonna Dress In Black
1-20 Bright Lights, Big City
1-21 My Little Baby
1-22 (Get Your Kicks On) Route 66
1-23 (It Won t Hurt) Half As Much
1966-1967
2-1 Could You Would You
2-2 Something You Got
2-3 Call My Name (Album Version)
2-4 Turn On Your Love Light
2-5 I Put A Spell On You
2-6 I Can Only Give You Everything
2-7 My Lonely Sad Eyes
2-8 I Got A Woman
2-9 Out Of Sight
2-10 It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue
Written-By – Bob Dylan
2-11 Bad Or Good
2-12 Hello Josephine
2-13 Don’t You Know
2-14 Hey Girl
2-15 Bring ‘Em On In (Album Version)
2-16 Richard Cory
Written-By – Paul Simon
2-17 Friday’s Child
2-18 The Story Of Them Part 1
2-19 The Story Of Them Part 2
2-20 Baby What You Want Me To Do
2-21 Stormy Monday Blues
2-22 Times Getting Tougher Than Tough
Demos, Sessions & Rarities 1964-1967
3-1 Don’t Start Crying Now (Demo)
3-2 Gloria (Demo)
3-3 One Two Brown Eyes (Demo)
3-4 Stormy Monday Blues (Demo)
3-5 Turn On Your Love Light (Alternate Version)
3-6 Baby Please Don’t Go (Take 4)
3-7 Here Comes The Night (Take 2)
3-8 Gloria (Live On BBC’s “Saturday Club”)
3-9 All For Myself (Live On BBC’s “Saturday Club”)
3-10 Here Comes The Night (Live On BBC’s “Saturday Club”)
3-11 Little Girl (Version One)
3-12 Go On Home Baby (Take 4)
3-13 I Gave My Love A Diamond (Take 8)
3-14 (It Won’t Hurt) Half As Much (Take 2)
3-15 My Little Baby (Take 1)
3-16 How Long Baby (Take 1)
3-17 One More Time (Take 14)
3-18 Gloria (Live On BBC’s “Saturday Club”)
3-19 Here Comes The Night (Live On BBC’s “Saturday Club”)
3-20 One More Time (Live On BBC’s “Saturday Club”)
3-21 Call My Name (Single Version)
3-22 Bring ‘Em On In (Single Version)
3-23 Mighty Like A Rose
3-24 Richard Cory (Alternate Version)
Written-By – Paul Simon

AllMusic Review by Mark Deming [5/5]

Them were one of the very best R&B acts to come out of the U.K. during the British Invasion era, as tight, wiry, and potent as their contemporaries the Rolling Stones, the Animals, and the Pretty Things. But as good as they were, their greatest strength was always their lead singer and main songwriter, Van Morrison, who even in his earliest days boasted a style that was raw and unapologetic but full of street smarts and imagination. Morrison’s run with Them lasted a bit more than two and a half years, but it laid the groundwork for his wildly idiosyncratic solo career as well as setting a standard that the band would never equal after he left to strike out on his own. There have been plenty of collections devoted to Morrison’s tenure with Them, but The Complete Them: 1964-1967 is not only comprehensive but has Van’s seal of approval, as it was assembled by Morrison’s own team and features liner notes from the man himself. Sequenced chronologically, The Complete Them devotes its first two discs to the group’s two albums of the period, Them (aka The Angry Young Them) and Them Again, as well as non-LP single and EP tracks. Disc two is devoted to demos, alternate takes, and some live tracks cut for BBC Radio, nearly all of them previously unreleased. According to Morrison’s notes, Them’s lineup was never consistent, especially in the studio, as the group’s producers often brought in studio musicians (including Jimmy Page) to beef up the performances, but the product was both consistent and strong, with razor-sharp guitars and swirling organs dominating the arrangements and Morrison’s vocals sounding nearly possessed. Having essentially all of Them’s studio recordings in one place is great, but the bonus material offers a glimpse of their power as a live act, and the outtakes and alternate versions reveal the growing sophistication of Morrison’s approach over the course of 24 tracks. Morrison’s essay offers as much opinion as it does fact, but given his well-documented reticence, the fact he wrote the notes at all is impressive, and when he sums up his notes with “I think of Them as good records…there’s a lot of good stuff here,” he’s absolutely right. As a history of an underappreciated band’s greatest era or the first steps of one of rock’s most individual artists, The Complete Them: 1964-1967 is essential listening.