Album: The Complete Them (1964-1967)
Label: Legacy Recordings
Release Date: 12/4/2015
C’mon, admit it. Plenty of you out there celebrating birthdays in the sixty plus range sometimes had a tough time telling who was who: Them or the Stones. Then you got to listening to Van’s big-lunged growl and Belfast drawl playing like a golden horn against the 4/4 and you knew. There was Them. For our far younger birthday celebrants, here’s “Gloria” with Jimmy Page on rhythm guitar. Here’s “Mystic Eyes,” “Here Comes The Night,” “You Can’t Judge a Book by it’s Cover,” and a whole lot more the way it was meant to be.
According to the press release, these three discs comprise the complete Them catalog, but we all know how these things can change. Someone finds an unmarked tape, a bootleg live performance. It happens all the time either by design (which this curmudgeon rightly suspects) or divine circumstance. So lets take these sixty-nine tracks as they are – reverberant and rocking, moody and melodic, ballady, bluesy and outright ballsy – harken back to these Irish Blues, and be glad we were there at the beginning when Van began his ascent and rock ‘n’ roll was pure.
– Mike Jurkovic