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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pity this is just about all there is.
This is a fantastic double album of mid sixties R & B tracks from the Belfast based group which included Van Morrison in the line up. It is a pity that the group didn't stay together long enough to have made a bigger impact but they did have a number of Top 10 hits in the shape of Baby please don't go and Here comes the night which are both included here with their "B"...
Published on 9 April 2007 by R. E. Sheehan

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2.0 out of 5 stars I am disappointed that a few have been rerecorded with synthesisers ruining ...
Having had a original album with some of these tracks on in the 60s, I am disappointed that a few have been rerecorded with synthesisers ruining some great songs.I would rather have heard them in the original mono sound.
Published 9 months ago by Jamie Fumagalli


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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pity this is just about all there is., 9 April 2007
By 
R. E. Sheehan - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is a fantastic double album of mid sixties R & B tracks from the Belfast based group which included Van Morrison in the line up. It is a pity that the group didn't stay together long enough to have made a bigger impact but they did have a number of Top 10 hits in the shape of Baby please don't go and Here comes the night which are both included here with their "B" sides.

Some of my favourite tracks are, I'm gonna dress in black; One more time; The story of Them; Richard Cory and Route 66. It has to be said that all the tracks are of a very high standard and I don't believe there is a bad track on the 2 dics, but, I do think disc 1 is marginally better than disc 2.

The music is reminiscent of the Animals and also of early Rolling Stones. If you like their music you will also enjoy this double album, and if you are a Van Morrison fan, you will certainly like it. Highly recommended.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, but..., 14 July 2008
This is the sound of Them with Van Morrison. I was only vaguely aware of Them other than the singles when I was young so when I saw this I considered it as the complete Them.I did have the twom original albums on vinyl (pre CD re-issues)so this gave me all of that plus more, but as I will point out later this is not the end of Them.

Decca really did throw away great talent in the 60s and early 70s, they turned down the Beatles and frittered away the talents of the Zombies and this brilliant band. The pressure to fit them into a marketing pigeon-hole lead to various line-up changes and Van Morrison's departure.

There is however some wonderful stuff on here, a real R'n'B band with a punch of really committed delivery.There are some great songs like Mystic Eyes, Gloria, Here Comes the Night and a version of (Get Your Kicks On ) Route 66 that sounds very much like the Stones version except that Morrision's vocal delivery has a brooding quality where Jagger is more celebratory.

So do buy this great piece of pop history but don't think that is it with Them. There was a post-Morrison life with part of the band forming a new band (who could not use the name) called the Belfast Gypsies and who cheekily called their album Them Belfast Gypsies, with clever cover layout and different typefaces most people saw it as a Them album. There was also the new Them who produced a couple of pyschedelic laced albums in 1968 (Now and Them & Time Out! Time In for Them) before breaking up yet again but reforming as a duo (Alan Henderson with American vocalist and multi-instrumsntalist Jerry Cole and studio support from Ry Cooder & Jack Nitzsche allegedly) for the album Them. Cole jumped ship following poor sales and Henderson reformed the band as a power trio,Alan Henderson - bass, Jim Parker - guitar, John Stark - drums and released Them In Reality. All these albums are available and worth checking out. They are clearly a more psychedelic garage sound than the Van Morrison era stuff presented here but you should check them out.

The final fling of the Them dice wasa 1979 attempt that Henderson brought together with the help of some former members and produced an album, Shut Your Mouth, sadly unavailable.

This is fine stuff buy it!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great - But What Happened to "Mighty Like a Rose"?, 13 Feb. 2010
By 
Morten Vindberg (Denmark) - See all my reviews
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This 2 CD compilation of Van Morrison's Them at first sight seem to contain everything a fan of Morrison's early recordings with the various incarnations of his band "Them" could wish for.

The music is digitally remastered and the large majority of the tracks sound great. All the group's singles, their two albums, their EP-tracks - in short everything seems to have been to be included - with one single exception: My favorite track from the 1976 collection "Rock Roots" - "Mighty Like a Rose" is not here. Is this an oversight? No, the notes can tell that "the demo "Mighty Like a Rose" has been excluded from this album". I wonder if Morrison himself has decided that this should be left out - justifying it by calling it a demo? It can be difficult to see logic in this - the sound "Roots Rock" is definitely good - better than several of the other tracks on that album. I think the song is among the best Morrison wrote to the group, and his vocals are top notch. Could there be something in the lyrics which makes him feel embarrased? I find the lyrics somewhat akin to the classic "Brown Eyed Girl".

Well, no more of the deficiencies. This really is a nice release, and Them recorded along with The Pretty Things, The Animals and the Rolling Stones some the best r&b music which was released in Britain in the mid-Sixties.

Most famous probably are "Gloria," "Mystic Eyes" and "Here Comes the Night" - but most of what is here is of very high quality and no songs could be called outright weak. Morrison's vocals are in themselves a scoop - especially on melodic blues ballads like "One More Time," "I Gave My Love a Diamond", "If You and I Could Be As Two", "I'm Gonna Dress in Black, "" You Just Can not Win "and" My Lonely Sad Eyes ".

Lesser known tracks like "Friday's Child" and "Call My Name" are other of my favourites.

There are disco-graphical notes on all tracks and many rare photographs and covers. A real biography is missing, however.

This, of course, is minor thing, and the CD is highly recommendable.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply amazing, 20 Mar. 2003
This review is from: The Story of Them (Audio CD)
The beginning of Van Morrison's career as one of the best artists of our time is simply amazing. This collection of jewels makes us understand how much we music lovers have lost since groups like this existed. Songs like "Don't look back" or "Could you, would you" show how the ballads should be sung, while "Baby, please don't go" or "Gloria" are pure energy. Many tracks were written by Mr. Morrison himself, proving that he has always been a great songwriter, besides of being a wonderful singer. Here, in these almost 50 marvels, you will discover it.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent if you're a fan of the stones, 10 Feb. 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Story of Them (Audio CD)
Van could do it all from slow soulful numbers(One more time) to fast, raw songs such as (route 66, Gloria and baby please don't go) if you like the Rolling Stones or anything bluesey you'll love this. In his earlier days Vans voice was brilliant sounding spitting image of Jagger.
This album has only 5 songs out of about 50 i don't like thats how good it is.
Listening to the album you feel as though it was recorded all while they were doing a live gig!!
All in all this is an excellent collection of a great blues band that are sadly overlooked by the larger more commercial bands around that time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Them as ever, 14 Jun. 2012
By 
Pascal (Paris, France) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Story of Them (Audio CD)
Everybody knows The Rolling Stones, less The Animals and even less... Them. Yet, among the elders who raved on british r'n'b during the sixties no one did forget Them. The roots of garage rock are there. Everything about Them is in this double cd, even the fantastic blues "Story of Them" (parts one and two re-united), a Major Minor single rather unnoticed then. In Van Morrison's first life, he was singer of Them. Among the most terrific singles ever produced in the days of yore is "Baby Please Don't Go" / "Gloria" by Them. Now I think that everybody realizes what it's all about. The remastering is superb. The liner notes are informative with a very good choice of pictures. The energy is there, as strong as ever.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Story Of Them - An interesting document of the start of Van Morrison's career, and some really great music to boot!, 5 Sept. 2010
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Story of Them (Audio CD)
All legends have to start somewhere, and the recordings here are the birth of the legend that is Van Morrison. They include all the recordings made by `60s Belfast soul and blues group, Them. Fronted by vocalist Van, they work their way through a wide range of material, with well chosen covers of well know tracks and some good originals. The group provide an excellent musical backing for Van's powerful vocals, managing to compete with him most of the time. The moods move from rocking, to introspective and moody. Van's vocals just sweep the listener along, and it is easy to see why he became such a success.

This 2 CD, 49 track compilation includes all their recordings and several interesting alternative takes. The sound quality is excellent, and there is a short fold out liner with lots of pictures. All in all a decent release fo some really great `60s soul.
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5.0 out of 5 stars CLASSIC MUSIC AT AN AFFORDABLE PRICE, 18 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: The Story of Them (Audio CD)
I have wanted this music for a very long time but was never able to afford the astronomical prices I saw it advertised for, until I spotted it by chance a short time ago. I have no idea why this particular copy was advertised so relatively cheaply but I jumped at the chance of obtaining it at what I knew from experience to be a bargain price. I was not disappointed. The collection is a satisfyingly comprehensive compilation of tracks issued by a seminal British Beat Boom band of the sixties featuring a young Van Morrison as lead singer. It is fascinating to detect in his youthful delivery the immense talent which was to burst forth later in his solo work, and although I am no fan of Irish music I found its influences for once more than acceptable when wrapped in an astonishingly authentic blues roots style. The item itself was shrink-wrapped and appeared to be in mint condition. Well worth the money.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A message to music radio stations.........., 10 Jun. 2013
This review is from: The Story of Them (Audio CD)
.......yep, it's true!
Them did more than the only three songs of theirs that get played on repeat by every music radio station in Britain.

Put away 'Baby Please Don't Go', 'Gloria' and 'Here Comes The Night', and start playing some of the other 46 songs on this compilation instead. You never know, you might find that your radio station is interesting to listen to as a result.

While I'm at it, Van Morrison's solo career hasn't consisted of the one song, 'Brown Eyed Girl'.

No wonder the guy's always grumpy!
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5.0 out of 5 stars One more brilliant choice! Don't hesitate to buy it!, 21 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: The Story of Them (Audio CD)
This is absolutely one of the best or probably the best choice of Van Morrison and Them. Very good recording, technically without mistake!
The choice of tracks is marvelous, too. They who know Van and Them will say it's one more piece of their brilliant work.
They deserved 5 and more stars for their opus.
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