Legacy Recordings Set to Release THE COMPLETE THEM 1964-1967,
the Definitive 3CD Anthology of Van Morrison’s Groundbreaking First Recordings,
on Friday, December 4, 2015
Newly Remastered for State-of-the-Art Sound,
Most Comprehensive Collection of Van’s Early Work Ever Assembled Includes All Tracks
Recorded for THE ANGRY YOUNG THEM (1965) and THEM AGAIN (1966) Albums
PLUS Singles, Demos, Live Sessions, Rarities and Alternate Takes from 1964-1967, Many
November 5, 2015 – New York, NY – Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, will release THE COMPLETE THEM 1964-1967, a comprehensive 3CD anthology bringing together the historic first recordings of Van Morrison, on December 4, 2015.
The most thorough collection of Morrison’s early studio and live performances ever assembled, THE COMPLETE THEM 1964-1967 includes all material recorded for the first two THEM albums–THE ANGRY YOUNG THEM (1965) and THEM AGAIN (1966)–in addition to singles, demos, live sessions, alternate takes and rarities (from 1964-1967), many of them long unavailable or previously unreleased.
All tracks on THE COMPLETE THEM 1964-1967 have been newly remastered for this collection, ensuring the best possible listening experience for both new and seasoned fans of Van Morrison.
An essential showcase chronicling the historic beginnings of Van Morrison’s 50+ year career as one of modern rock music’s most significant and influential singers, songwriters and performers, THE COMPLETE THEM 1964-1967 is being released as part of the exclusive licensing agreement struck between SME/Legacy and Morrison’s own Exile Productions Ltd earlier this year.
THE COMPLETE THEM 1964-1967 package includes an insightful new commentary on THEM provided by Van Morrison.
Formed in Belfast, Ireland in the early 1960s, THEM’s original five man lineup consisted of Van Morrison (lead vocals, saxophone, harmonica), Alan Henderson (bass guitar), Ronnie Millings (drums), Billy Harrison (guitar, vocals) and Eric Wrixon (keyboards). Taking their name from a 1954 science-fiction horror film, THEM played for the first time in April 1964 at Belfast’s Maritime Hotel, their set consisting of raw dynamic interpretations of R&B, blues and soul music fueled by 18-year-old Van Morrison’s undeniable power, presence and charisma. Within a few weeks, THEM became the hottest band in Belfast, packing the Maritime with overflow crowds and spontaneous, dynamic shows.
Van Morrison and THEM’s reputation led to a contract with Decca Records, who brought the group to the label’s studio in West Hampstead, England for Van’s first recording session on July 5, 1964. Van Morrison’s classic “Gloria” and THEM’s version of “Turn on Your Love Light” were recorded as well as THEM’s first single–“Don’t Start Crying Now” c/w “One Two Brown Eyes”–and “Groovin’,” “Philosophy” and a smoking version of Bo Diddley’s “You Can’t Judge a Book by Its Cover.” Session musicians were brought in to augment the THEM lineup, which would become increasingly fluid over the course of the band’s brief career. It was apparent early on that Van Morrison was essentially THEM and that his trajectory as a solo artist, working with a variety of backup musicians, was inevitable.
The second THEM single–a version of Big Joe Williams’ “Baby Please Don’t Go” c/w Van’s original composition “Gloria”–featured Jimmy Page on rhythm guitar. In December 1964, THEM appeared for the first time on television, along with the Rolling Stones on “Ready Steady Go!”
THEM’s next single, “Here Comes the Night,” written and produced by Bert Berns, shot up to #2 on the UK charts in March 1965 and would later become their first single in the US, where the group was marketed as part of pop music’s “British Invasion.” THEM charted in America in 1965 with both “Here Comes the Night” and “Mystic Eyes.”
Decca released THE ANGRY YOUNG THEM in June 1965, with a US release (on Parrott Records) in July; THEM AGAIN came out in the UK in January 1966 with a subsequent US release in April 1966. THEM crossed the Atlantic for a US tour in May 1966, holding down an historic residency at the Whisky a Go Go in Los Angeles, with the Doors as their opening act. THEM headlined at the Fillmore in San Francisco with Van Morrison leaving the group later in 1966.
Van Morrison and THEM’s immortal “Gloria,” recorded in 1964, was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999 and was ranked at #208 on Rolling Stone’s “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.”
Van Morrison has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1993) and the Songwriters Hall of Fame (2003) and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2010.
Winner of a BRIT Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music (1994), Van Morrison holds six Grammy Awards (1996-2007) and an Ivor Novello Award for Lifetime Achievement (1995).
Morrison has been named one of Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Artists of All Time (2004, #42), 100 Greatest Singers of All Time (2008, #24) and 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time (2015, #22). Van the Man has two albums on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and four songs–including “Brown Eyed Girl” (#109) and “Gloria” (with Them) (#208)–on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
An internationally successful artist with chart-topping hits on both sides of the Atlantic, Van Morrison has six gold and three platinum/multiplatinum certifications from the Recording Industry Association of America. In the UK alone, Van has charted with more than 20 Top 20 albums, including an astounding 13 titles placed in the Top 10.
On Friday, June 12, 2015, Van Morrison was awarded an honorary knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II during her annual Birthday Honours celebration. Newly-titled Sir George Ivan Morrison, the artist received the United Kingdom’s highest individual honor for his “services to the music industry and to tourism in Northern Ireland.”
“Throughout my career I have always preferred to let my music speak for me, and it is a huge honor to now have that body of work recognized in this way,” said Van Morrison in a statement given in response to the news, reported the BBC.
On June 18, Morrison received the Johnny Mercer Award at the Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala in New York City.
Van Morrison celebrated his 70th birthday on August 31, 2015 with “Van Morrison: Live on Cyprus Avenue,” two concert performances serving as part of the closing event of the Belfast EastSide Arts Festival 2015.
THE COMPLETE THEM 1964-1967
Disc One (1964-1965):
1. Don’t Start Crying Now
2. One Two Brown Eyes
3. Baby Please Don’t Go
6. Here Comes The Night
7. All For Myself
8. One More Time
9. How Long Baby
10. Mystic Eyes
11. If You And I Could Be As Two
12. Little Girl (album version)
13. Just A Little Bit
14. I Gave My Love A Diamond
15. You Just Can’t Win
16. Go On Home Baby
17. Don’t Look Back
18. I Like It Like That
19. I’m Gonna Dress In Black
20. Bright Lights, Big City
21. My Little Baby
22. (Get Your Kicks On) Route 66
23. (It Won’t Hurt) Half As Much
Disc Two (1966-1967):
1. Could You Would You
2. Something You Got
3. Call My Name (album version)
4. Turn On Your Love Light
5. I Put A Spell On You
6. I Can Only Give You Everything
7. My Lonely Sad Eyes
8. I Got A Woman
9. Out Of Sight
10. It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue
11. Bad Or Good
12. Hello Josephine
13. Don’t You Know
14. Hey Girl
15. Bring ’Em On In (album version)
16. Richard Cory
17. Friday’s Child
18. The Story Of Them Part 1
19. The Story Of Them Part 2
20. Baby What You Want Me To Do
21. Stormy Monday Blues
22. Times Getting Tougher Than Tough
Disc Three (Demos, Sessions & Rarities 1964-1967):
1. Don’t Start Crying Now (demo) – Previously Unissued
2. Gloria (demo) – Previously Unissued
3. One Two Brown Eyes (demo) – Previously Unissued
4. Stormy Monday Blues (demo) – Previously Unissued
5. Turn On Your Love Light (alternate version) – Previously Unissued
6. Baby Please Don’t Go (Take 4) – Previously Unissued
7. Here Comes The Night (Take 2) – Previously Unissued
8. Gloria (Live on BBC’s “Saturday Club”) – Previously Unissued
9. All For Myself (Live on BBC’s “Saturday Club”) – Previously Unissued
10. Here Comes The Night (Live on BBC’s “Saturday Club”) – Previously Unissued
11. Little Girl (version one)
12. Go On Home Baby (Take 4) – Previously Unissued
13. I Gave My Love A Diamond (Take 8) – Previously Unissued
14. (It Won’t Hurt) Half As Much (Take 2) – Previously Unissued
15. My Little Baby (Take 1) – Previously Unissued
16. How Long Baby (Take 1) – Previously Unissued
17. One More Time (Take 14) – Previously Unissued
18. Gloria (Live on BBC’s “Saturday Club”) – Previously Unissued
19. Here Comes The Night (Live on BBC’s “Saturday Club”) – Previously Unissued
20. One More Time (Live on BBC’s “Saturday Club”) – Previously Unissued
21. Call My Name (single version)
22. Bring ’Em On In (single version)
23. Mighty Like A Rose
24. Richard Cory (Alternate Version) – Previously Unissued