Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1965 Them – Here Comes the Night

Van Morrison was a singer/songwriter who also played the harmonica and the saxophone and had just left the Golden Eagles. He responded to an ad seeking musicians for a new R&B club in Portland, England, and needed to put together a new group. He recruited some members of the Gamblers, and they began playing at the hotel. The group began calling the band Them, a name taken from the fifties horror film about giant ants. Many members came and went over time, with only Van and guitar-player/backup vocalist Billy Harrison remaining to the end.

Blues singer Joe Williams popularized the song Baby, Please Don’t Go when he recorded the song in 1935. Many other blues artists recorded the song, and it became a blues standard. In 1952 the Orioles recorded a doo-wop version of the song and took it to #8 on the R&B chart.

Them recorded the song using a rock-oriented format with some help from Jimmy Page on rhythm guitar (Billy played lead guitar). Their single reached the top ten in the UK but stopped just short of the Hot 100 in the US. Van wrote the B-side of the record that most oldies fans are more familiar with: Gloria

Just a few months after her top ten hit with Shout, Lulu’s record company released her recording of Here Comes the Night on her sixteenth birthday. The record peaked at #50 in the UK but did not chart at all in the US.

Four months later, Them released their version of Here Comes the Night on the same record label as Lulu. The single reached #24 on the US Hot 100 in 1965 as part of the British Invasion. It also reached #2 on the UK chart but was the last time the group charted in the UK.

In an effort to produce another hit single, the record company issued a single with Gloria
on the A-side and Here Comes the Night on the B-side. The UK market ignored the release, and even in the US, it peaked at only #71. The poor showing resulted from radio stations banning the record because of the line, “She comes to my room, then she made me feel all right.” The Shadows of the Night changed that line to, “She called out my name, that made me feel all right,” and their version of the song made it into the top ten on the Hot 100.

Two more singles followed from Them’s first album, but only one of them charted. Mystic Eyes got into the top forty in the US, but the single only reached #35.

The group’s second album came out in 1966 and the group began touring in the US. Disagreements over money with the label and each other led to the break-up of the group, ending the tour abruptly.

Before the end, the group played a concert with the Doors, and the two groups played a twenty-minute version of Gloria together on stage. The Doors liked the song and continued to perform it in their own live shows for years. Long after Jim Morrison’s death, their record company dug released an album filled with old recorded live performances. A single version of Gloria from the album peaked at #71 on the Hot 100 in 1983 because of or despite Jim’s new NSFW lyrics.

Van Morrison went on to a long and successful solo career.

Some of the other members of the group tried reforming and recording as Them. Lawsuits forced them to cease using that name, so they tried several other names without gaining much traction for their music.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Them_(band) 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shadows_of_Knight 

My books are on sale on Amazon (or free with Kindle Unlimited) and contain a lot more Lost or Forgotten Oldies. You can visit my author page to see them and you can read them for free with Kindle Unlimited!

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