Them
(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

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I Them furono uno dei complessi Britannici dei primi anni '60 che inventarono il sound grezzo e viscerale del "garage-rock". A Belfast, fra folk celtico e tensioni politiche, Van Morrison, cantante grintoso e passionale, e i suoi compagni coniarono uno stile fatto di dure ipnotiche risonanze rhythm and blues, di riff coriacei, di urla gutturali, di staccato organistici, di fiondate di armonica e maracas selvagge. Il loro repertorio e` tutto datato 1965, ma di esso fanno parte quattro classici come Baby Please Don't Go di Big Joe Williams (con un assolo bruciante del giovane Jimmy Page), Here Comes The Night, un rhythm and blues strascicato alla Stones (scritto da Bert Berns), Mystic Eyes, un blues viscerale con tanto di jam strumentale, e Gloria, entrambe scritte da Morrison stesso. Quest'ultima (arrivata soltanto al 71esimo posto in classifica nel 1966 ma rifatta innumerevoli volte da innumerevoli complessi) miscela una pulsazione ipnotica di basso e organo, un baccano stridente di chitarre, un battito tribale di batteria e un urlo sguaiato. Dal suo ululato epico, "G-L-O-R-I-A (pron.: g-el-ou-ar-ai-ei) I'm gonna shout all night", 19 ebbe origine la moderna canzone d'amore per teenager, furibonda invece che tenera. Brani violenti come Don't Start Crying Now anticipano persino il punk-rock.

Se Animals e Yardbirds rappresentano la corrente "barocca" del blues-beat inglese, che sul suono dei classici ricama armonie tipicamente bianche, melodiche o sperimentali, i Them sono gli unici, dopo gli Stones, a fregiarsi del vigore e dell'asprezza originali.

Them (Parrott, 1965) e` l'album storico. Them Again (Parrott, 1966) usci` due mesi prima dello scioglimento e copiava semplicemente lo stile (e i riff) del primo. Them Featuring Van Morrison (Decca, 1982) e` un'ottima antologia su CD (ben 45 brani).

Van Morrison dara` poi vita a un'illustre carriera solista.

The Them were one of the British bands that, in the early 1960s, took rhythm and blues and created the raw, visceral sound of "garage-rock". Their masterpiece, Gloria, will remain a lesson in how to write an anthem for the young urban rebels.
(Translated by Ornella C. Grannis)

Them was one of the British groups of the early 60s that invented the crude and visceral sound of "garage-rock". In Belfast, between Celtic folk and political tensions, Van Morrison, a passionate and fearsome singer and his companions coined a style of rhythm and blues made of hard hypnotic resonances, tough riffs, guttural sound, detached organ solos, swoops of harmonica and wild maracas. Their repertory is all dated 1965, and it includes four classics: Baby Please Don' t Go (with a scorching solo by a young Jimmy Page), Here Comes The Night, a rhythm and blues shuffle a la Stones, Mystic Eyes, a visceral blues with an instrumental jam, and Gloria. This last one, which reached only the 71st place on the charts in 1966 but since played countless times by countless bands, is a mixture of hypnotic pulsations by bass and organ, a grating of guitars, and a tribal heartbeat of drums and screams. From its epic howl, "G-L-O-R-I-A I' m gonna shout all night", comes the origin of the modern love song for teenagers, furious instead of tender. Violent cuts such as Don' t Start Crying Now even anticipated punk-rock.

If the Animals and Yardbirds represent "the baroque" current of the typically white English blues-beat, with embroidered harmonies, melodic experiments, and sounds borrowed from the classics, Them were the only ones, besides the Stones, to embody the original vigor and dissonance of the blues.

Them (Parrott, 1965) is the historic album. Them Again (Parrott, 1966) was released two months before the dissolution of the band and simply copied the style, and the riffs, of the first one. Them Featuring Van Morrison (Decca, 1982) is a very good anthology on CD (45 songs).

Van Morrison later began an illustrious solo career.

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