Them & Van Morrison: Here Comes the Night

TDR Big Hit: HERE COMES THE NIGHT, as performed by THEM. I first became a fan of VAN MORRISON before I knew who he was, I was playing Them Records on the radio and loved his voice and presentation. The story behind "Here Comes the Night" is quite interesting. There was a Brill Building character not well known to the public who wrote and produced many hit records named, BERT BERNS.

He was among the first, or maybe the first, American Record exec to go to the U.K. himself to look for new groups to follow in the shoes of The Beatles and Stones, but a girl named Lulu had already cut his song "Here Comes the Night" in very Pop fashion and the Dick Roe produced song topped out at #50 in the U.K. Bert knew he had a hit song if properly produced and when Bert met the group Them out of Belfast and fronted by an 18 year old guy named Van Morrison, GLORIA, had already been a hit there but wouldn't go Top 10 in the U.S. until 1967.

Bert took them into a Studio in West London in 1964 with just an idea on how it should sound, he kept the musicians in the Studio for four days working on it, the session players included Jimmy Page on Lead Guitar with Phil Coulter on Keyboards and Drummer Ronnie Millings. (Coulter commented: "I knew I'd heard a smash. It was the first time I'd ever heard a hit record in its emerging state.")

The record was released simultaneously in 1964, following the success of "Gloria" in the U.S. "Here Comes The Night," went to #2 in the U.K. and stalled at #24 in the U.S., although it would become a standard and eventually be covered by artists like David Bowie, The Fabulous Thunderbirds and Rod Stewart.

Having the writing/producing/publishing credits, the residuals from "Here Comes The Night" alone made it possible for Bert Berns to finally get that home on Long Island that he'd longed for while stuck in an apartment in New York. Sadly due to a congenital defect he was destined to die before he lived there very long. But Them went on to tour the world and scored another chart hit with "Mystic Eyes" #23 in the U.S. and a future signature tune for Van Morrison.

In 1966 THEM came to the U.S., headlined at the Whiskey in L.A., and went on to kill (believe me) at the Fillmore in San Francisco. But then playing a gig in Hawaii vicious disputes broke out over the distribution of the money and THEM came apart at the seams. Of course in the long run it was great for Van the Man who went on to have an incredibly successful career although his relations with the Record Companies would be difficult.

For the TDR Video of "Here Comes The Night" Scott has found a Live performance from 1965 with good audio and video. Note how young they are, and still a little ragged live. @therealdonrocks

A version of this post originally appeared on The Don Rocks Facebook page. For more stories like these every day, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

#BestofFacebook #DonSundeen #Them #VanMorrison #RockandRollHeaven