THEMÂ “Gloria” b/w “Baby, Please Don’t Go” (Parrot Records #9727,Â 1964-65)
I’m pressed for time, so this installment will have to be brief, but thisÂ record doesn’t need a whole lot of words anyway.Â We are gathered here today, my friends, to celebrate one of the hands-down greatest, purest rock ‘n’ roll singles of all time:Â “Gloria” (also known as “G-L-O-R-I-A!”) by early-’60’s Irish rockers Them.Â Â Written by the band’s singer, a then-unknown young upstart named Van Morrison, this track was actually the B-side of this release, butÂ my Parrot pressing (whether it’s original or not I’m unsure) doesn’t make that distinction.Â No matter, let’s just rock.
The single hit the Top 100 in ’64 and again in ’65, but it was Chicago garage-rock group The Shadows Of Knight who would bring it into the Top 10 in April of ’66.Â Since then it’s becomeÂ the quintessential rock classic, covered by everyone in the universe.Â LearnÂ to play the E, D & AÂ chords on the guitar, and you can cover it too.
The B-side, which is really the A-side, is Them’s blistering take on Joe Williams’ blues classic, “Baby, Please Don’t Go.”Â Also revered as a rock staple and also covered zillions of times, alwaysÂ using Them’s arrangement.Â B’cause, as the old saying goes, if it ain’t broke — don’t fix it.
Them released a handful of great singles and albums, and had a couple brilliant Top 40 hits stateside with “Here Comes The Night” and “Mystic Eyes.”Â Â After Morrison left to pursue a solo career in ’66, the band attempted to soldier on without him, to no avail.Â And, as everyone knows, Van Morrison’s solo career never amounted to much.
NEXT WEEK: Ho ho!Â Ha-haa!Â He-hee!