Them was an Irish R&B–beat group from Belfast fronted by Van Morrison. Between 1964 and 1966, they released eight singles and the Decca albums The Angry Young Them and Them Again. Their popular songs include “Baby Please Don’t Go,” “Here Comes the Night,” “Mystic Eyes,” and the much-covered “Gloria.” When Morrison launched his solo career, the others continued as The Belfast Gypsies. Keyboardists Peter Bardens (Camel) and Jackie McAuley (Trader Horne) briefly served as members.

Members: Alan Henderson (bass), Van Morrison (vocals, harmonica, saxophone, 1964-66), Billy Harrison (guitar, vocals, 1964-65, 1979), Ronnie Millings (drums, 1964), Eric Wrixon (piano, 1964, 1979), Pat McAuley (organ, drums, 1964-65), Jackie McAuley (organ, 1965), Pete Bardens (keyboards, 1965), Joe Baldi (guitar, 1965), Terry Noon (drums, 1965), Jim Armstrong (guitar, 1965-68), Ray Elliott (organ, saxophone, flute, 1965-1968), John Wilson (drums, 1965-66), Dave Harvey (drums, 1966-68), Ken McDowell (vocals, 1967-68), Jerry Cole (vocals, guitar, percussion, 1969-70), Johnny Stark (vocals, drums, 1969-71), Jim Parker (guitar, 1971), Mel Austin (vocals, 1979), Billy Bell (drums, 1979)


Them formed in April 1964 when 18-year-old aspiring singer Van Morrison, recently of the Golden Eagles, summoned members of East Belfast hopefuls The Gamblers for a houseband gig at the Maritime Hotel, a local sailor’s haunt. The Gamblers featured Ronnie Millings, Billy Harrison, Alan Henderson, and pianist Eric Wrixon, who suggested a new name, Them, taken from the 1954 American sci-fi movie Them! (about giant ants that terrorize the US).

“Don’t Start Crying Now”

On September 4, 1964, Them debuted with the Decca single “Don’t Start Crying Now,” a Slim Harpo cover backed with the Morrison original “One Two Brown Eyes.” Conductor Arthur Greenslade arranged this single and their subsequent b-side.

“Baby Please Don’t Go” / “Gloria”

On November 6, 1964, Them released their second single “Baby Please Don’t Go,” a Big Joe Williams cover backed with the Morrison original “Gloria.”

In Italy, France, and Benelux, “Gloria” was the a-side.

“Baby Please Don’t Go” appears with both sides of the prior single and a fourth cut, the Morrison original “Philosophy,” on the February 1965 Decca EP Them. In Germany, Decca issued the EP as part of the label’s Teen Beat series, which also included EPs by Dave Berry and Brian Poole & The Tremeloes.

“Here Comes the Night”

On March 5, 1965, Them released their third single, “Here Comes the Night,” a song by American songwriter Bert Berns (“Twist and Shout”, “Piece of My Heart”). The b-side, “All for Myself,” is a Morrison original produced by Decca soundman Tommy Scott, a soundman on recent singles by Twinkle and The Gonks.

The Angry Young Them

Them released their debut album, The Angry Young Them, on June 11, 1965, on Decca. It has fourteen songs, including their second b-side “Gloria” and five new Morrison originals: “Mystic Eyes,” “If You and I Could Be as Two,” “Little Girl,” “You Just Can’t Win,” and “I Like It Like That.”

Angry Young Them also features covers of R&B chestnuts by Rosco Gordon (“Just a Little Bit”), John Lee Hooker (“Don’t Look Back”), Jimmy Reed (“Bright Lights, Big City”), and Bobby Troup (“(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66”). Two songs (“I Gave My Love a Diamond,” “My Little Baby”) are by co-writes between Berns and fellow American songwriter Wes Farrell, whose partnership also yielded “My Girl Sloopy,” a recent Yardbirds side and subsequent global hit for The McCoys (as “Hang On Sloopy”). Side two contains “I’m Gonna Dress in Black,” a song credited to M. Gillon (the writing pseudonym of Tommy Scott, the album’s producer).

“Mystic Eyes” (2:41)
“If You and I Could Be as Two” (2:53)
“Little Girl” (2:21)
“Just a Little Bit” (2:21)
“I Gave My Love a Diamond” (2:48)
“Gloria” (2:38)
“You Just Can’t Win” (2:21)
“Go on Home Baby” (2:39)
“Don’t Look Back” (3:23)
“I Like It Like That” (3:35)
“I’m Gonna Dress in Black” (3:34)
“Bright Lights, Big City” (2:30)
“My Little Baby” (2:00)
“(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66” (2:22)

Angry Young Them appeared on the same day as the standalone single “One More Time,” a Morrison original backed with “How Long Baby,” an M. Gillon composition.

The US equivalent to The Angry Young Them, titled simply Them, appeared in July 1965 on Parrot, a division of London Records. It contains twelve songs, including eight Angry Young tracks: “Mystic Eyes,” “Don’t Look Back,” “Little Girl,” “Gloria,” “I Like It Like That,” “I’m Gonna Dress in Black,” “(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66,” and “Go on Home Baby.” Them also includes “One More Time” and two early singles sides: “Here Comes the Night” and “One Two Brown Eyes.”

One song, “If You and I Could Be as Two,” is a Morrison original that didn’t appear in the UK until November 1965 when it became the b-side of Them’s six Decca single: the now familiar “Mystic Eyes.”

“(It Won’t Hurt) Half as Much”

On August 27, 1965, Them released their fifth single, “(It Won’t Hurt) Half as Much,” a Berns composition backed with the Angry Young Them track “I’m Gonna Dress In Black.”

Them Again

Them released their second UK album, Them Again, on January 21, 1966, on Decca. It features sixteen songs, including five Morrison originals: “Could You, Would You,” “My Lonely Sad Eyes,” “Bad or Good,” “Hey Girl,” and “Bring ’em On In.” Tommy Scott produced the album and contributed four songs: “Call My Name,” “How Long Baby,” “Don’t You Know,” and “I Can Only Give You Everything,” the last a co-write with Irish session pianist Phil Coulter.

Them Again also contains covers of R&B chestnuts by James Brown (“Out of Sight”), Ray Charles (“I Got a Woman”), Fats Domino (“Hello Josephine”), Chris Kenner (“Something You Got”), Bobby Bland (“Turn On Your Love Light”), and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins (“I Put a Spell on You”). Side two contains a cover of the recent Bob Dylan song “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue.”

“Could You, Would You” (3:15)
“Something You Got” (2:36)
“Call My Name” (2:23)
“Turn On Your Love Light” (2:18)
“I Put a Spell on You” (2:40)
“I Can Only Give You Everything” (2:43)
“My Lonely Sad Eyes” (2:27)
“I Got a Woman” (3:16)
“Out of Sight” (2:26)
“It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” (3:52)
“Bad or Good” (2:09)
“How Long Baby” (3:41)
“Hello Josephine” (2:06)
“Don’t You Know” (2:26)
“Hey Girl” (2:59)
“Bring ’em On In” (3:46)

March 11, Decca lifted “Call My Name” as Them’s seventh UK single, backed with “Bring ‘Em On In.”

In April, Parrot issued a twelve track US version of Them Again with similar cover art. It contains three-fourths of the UK album: the four Scott contributions and four Morrison originals (all but “Hey Girl”), plus the Bland, Brown, Dylan, and Kenner covers.

“Richard Cory”

On May 13, 1966, Them released their eighth UK single, “Richard Cory,” a Paul Simon composition backed with the Scott’s Them Again album track “Don’t You Know.” This was their final single on Decca and their last with Morrison.

Them Belfast Gypsies (Sonet, August 1967)

Now and Them (Tower, January 1968)

Time Out! Time In for Them (Tower, November 1968)

Them (Happy Tiger Records, 1969)

Them In Reality (Happy Tiger Records, 1970)

Shut Your Mouth (Strand, 1979)


  • The Angry Young Them (Decca, June 1965)
  • Them Again (Decca, January 1966)
  • Them Belfast Gypsies (Sonet, August 1967)
  • Now and Them (Tower, January 1968)
  • Time Out! Time In for Them (Tower, November 1968)
  • Them (Happy Tiger Records, 1969)
  • Them In Reality (Happy Tiger Records, 1970)
  • Shut Your Mouth (Strand, 1979)


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