Gloria (Them song)

Gloria (Them song)

Infobox Single
Name = Gloria

Artist = Them
Album = The Angry Young Them
A-side = "Baby, Please Don't Go"
B-side = "Gloria"
Released = Start date|1964|6|11 (as B-side)
Start date|1965 (as A-side)
Format = Vinyl 7"
Recorded =
Genre = Rock
Length = 2:38
Label = Decca
Writer = Van Morrison
Producer = Dick Rowe
Last single = "Baby, Please Don't Go"
This single = "Gloria"
Next single = "Here Comes
the Night
Misc = Extra tracklisting
Album = The Angry Young Them
Type = studio
prev_track = "I Gave My Love a Diamond"
prev_no = 5
this_track = "Gloria"
track_no = 6
next_track = "You Just Can't Win"
next_no = 7
Upper caption = Audio sample
Audio file = Gloria - Them.ogg
Infobox Single
Name = Gloria

Caption =
Artist = Van Morrison & John Lee Hooker
from Album = Too Long in Exile
A-side = "Gloria"
B-side = "It Must Be You"
Released = 1993
Format =
Recorded = 1992
Genre =
Length = 5:19
Label = Mercury, Polydor
Writer = Van Morrison
Producer = Van Morrison
Certification =
Chart position =
Last single = "Why Must I Always Explain?"
This single = "Gloria"
Next single = "Have I Told You Lately" (With The Chieftains)
Misc = Extra tracklisting
Album = Too Long in Exile
Type = studio
prev_track = "Till We Get the Healing Done"
prev_no = 6
this_track = "Gloria"
track_no = 7
next_track = "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl"
next_no = 8

"Gloria" is a rock song classic written by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison and originally recorded by Morrison's band Them in 1964 as the B-side of "Baby, Please Don't Go". The song quickly became a garage rock staple and a part of many rock bands' repertoires. It is particularly memorable for its "G–L–O–R–I–A" chorus. It is very easy to play (three-chord) and thus is popular with those learning to play guitar. The song continues to be played by thousands of bands from famous recording artists to unknown garage bands. Humourist Dave Barry joked that "If you drop a guitar down a flight of stairs, it'll play 'Gloria' on its way to the bottom." [cite web |url= |title=Bob Dylan: the best DJ on the planet |accessdate=2008-04-15 |last=Lezard |first=Nicholas |date=2007-08-05 |publisher=The Independent]

The timeless popularity of the song may be best explained in the Allmusic's review written by Bill Janovitz: [cite web |last=Janovitz |first=Bill |authorlink=Bill Janovitz |url= |title=Gloria |accessdate=2008-04-15 |publisher=Allmusic]

"Gloria" was rated number 69 on Dave Marsh's list in the 1989 book, "The Heart of Rock & Soul: The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made". He described the song as "one of the few rock songs that's actually as raunchy as its reputation." [cite web |url= |title=The Heart of Rock and Soul |accessdate=2008-04-15 |last=Marsh |first=Dave |authorlink=Dave Marsh |year=1989] In his book, "Rock and Roll: The 100 Best Singles" Paul Williams said about the two sides of the "Baby Please Don't Go/Gloria" recording: "Into the heart of the beast... here is something so good, so pure, that if no other hint of it but this record existed, there would still be such a thing as rock and roll.... Van Morrison's voice a fierce beacon in the darkness, the lighthouse at the end of the world. Resulting in one of the most perfect rock anthems known to humankind." [cite book |last=Williams |first=Paul |authorlink=Paul Williams (Crawdaddy! creator) |coauthors=Berryhill, Cindy Lee |title=Rock and Roll: The 100 Best Singles |edition=Hardcover |year=1993 |month=December |publisher=Entwhistle Books |location=United States |isbn=9780934558419 |pages=pp. 71–72 |chapter=Baby Please Don't Go / Gloria – Them (1964)]


Van Morrison has remarked that he wrote the song, "Gloria" while he performed with the Monarchs in Germany in the summer of 1963, at just about the time he turned eighteen years old. [Heylin, p. 76] He started to perform it for audiences at the Maritime Hotel when he had returned to Belfast and joined up with the Gamblers to form the band Them. He would ad-lib lyrics as he performed, sometimes stretching the song to fifteen or twenty minutes in duration. After signing a contract with Dick Rowe and Decca, Them went to London where they had a recording session at Decca Three Studios in West Hampstead on July 05, 1964, including "Gloria" as one of the seven songs recorded that day. The members of Them were Van Morrison, vocals, Billy Harrison on guitar, Alan Henderson, bass, Ronnie Millings on drums and Patrick John McCauley on keyboards. Rowe brought in session musicians Arthur Greenslade on organ, Jimmy Page on Guitar, and Bobby Graham on drums as Rowe considered the Them members as too inexperienced. There remains some dispute about whether Millings and McCauley were miked up but Alan Henderson contends that Them constituted the first rock group to use two drummers on a recording. [Turner, p. 46-49] Gloria was the B-side, when "Baby Please Don't Go" was released in the U.K. on November 06, 1964.


Original studio recording by Them

* "The Angry Young Them" (1965)
* "The Best of Van Morrison" (1990)
* "The Story of Them Featuring Van Morrison" (1997)
* "Van Morrison at the Movies - Soundtrack Hits" (2007)
* "Still on Top - The Greatest Hits" (2007)

Studio version with John Lee Hooker

* "Too Long in Exile" (1993)
* "The Best of Van Morrison Volume 3" (2007)

Live versions by Van Morrison

* "It's Too Late to Stop Now" (1974)
* "Van Morrison in Ireland" (1981)
* "Van Morrison The Concert" (1990)
* "A Night in San Francisco" (featuring John Lee Hooker) (1994)
* "Live at Austin City Limits Festival" (2006)

Cover versions

Infobox Single
Name = Gloria

Artist = Patti Smith Group
Album = Horses
B-side = "My Generation"
Released = Start date|1976
Format = Vinyl 7"
Recorded = Electric Lady Studios, 1975
Genre = Punk rock
Length = 5:57
Label = Arista
Writer = Van Morrison, Patti Smith
Producer = John Cale
Misc = Extra chronology 2
Artist = Patti Smith singles
Type = single
Last single = "Hey Joe"
This single = "Gloria"
Next single = "Pissing
in a River
Upper caption = Audio sample
Audio file = Gloria.ogg

* The Gants (from the album "Roadrunner") – earliest known cover version released in November 1965.
* Shadows of Knight (from the album "Gloria"), number 10 in 1966, topping the original in the U.S. only in areas where Them's version could not be played, because it contained the words, "She comes to my room". Some radio stations objected to this, most notably Chicago's station WLS. The Chicago based band The Shadows of Knight's version replaced this line with "She comes around here." [ [ The History of Banned R&R] ]
* Buffalo Group, on Fine Recordings label in the mid to late 1960s recorded a version.
* Status Quo (under name The Spectres) at Saturday Club, BBC on 10/09/66; and as Status Quo at David Symonds Show on 8/4/68 and 12/4/68.
* AC/DC covered the song regularly in their early formation and used it as the basis for their song "Jailbreak". Lead singer Bon Scott had previously performed "Gloria" with his first group, The Spektors.
* Patti Smith, from her 1975 album "Horses". This is based on the Morrison tune, but its lyrics are reinvented for the nascent punk rock movement, retaining only the chorus, and adding possibly ironic allusions to the sacred versions. It memorably begins, "Jesus died for somebody's sins / But not mine".
* Eddie and the Hot Rods, on their 7" titled "96 Tears/Get Out of Denver/Gloria/(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" that was released in the United Kingdom in 1976.
* Joe Strummer's band The 101ers recorded the song on their album "Elgin Avenue Breakdown" in 1981.
* The Doors (from "Alive, She Cried"), a concert performance. Number 18 on Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks and number 71 on Billboard Hot 100 in 1983.
* The New Zealand Band The Pleazers performed a version of the song, which is on the Mutiple Artist album "Kiwi Classics, Vol 2".
* U2 snippeted this song at the ending of "Exit" on their album/movie "Rattle and Hum" released in 1988. (They also recorded an unrelated song called "Gloria").
* Energy Orchard, a live version on their 1993 album, "Shinola".
* Shane MacGowan performed the song with Van Morrison at the 1994 BRIT Awards ceremony and changed the R–I–A to I–R–A when he was singing the chorus.
* Tom Petty played the song several times on his Highway Companion Tour in 2006, and he closed most of the shows during his twenty-night run at The Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco in 1997.
* Jimi Hendrix's version of "Gloria" is included on the 2000 released box set, "The Jimi Hendrix Experience".
* The Tragically Hip performed a memorable live version of the song, which included a monologue by Gordon Downie about tying his friend, Roch, to the railroad tracks.
* Bill Murray played the song to open 2007 Crossroads Guitar Festival, stating that it is the only song he knows how to play.
* Other covers of the Morrison song include those by notable artists like The Rolling Stones, Grateful Dead, Rick Springfield, R.E.M., Rickie Lee Jones, 13th Floor Elevators and even a disco version by Santa Esmeralda. It was also covered by Polish band Pidzama Porno, with Polish language lyrics.


* In 1999, "Gloria" by Them received the Grammy Hall of Fame Award. [cite web |url= |title=GRAMMY Hall Of Fame Award |accessdate=2008-04-15 |year=1999 |publisher=National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences]
* In 2000, "Gloria" by Them was listed as number 81 on VH1's list of The 100 Greatest Rock Songs of All Time. [cite web |url= |title=VH1 100 Greatest Rock Songs 51-100|accessdate=2008-06-01|]
*In 2004, "Gloria" by Them was ranked #208 on the Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. [cite web |url= |title=The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time |accessdate=2008-04-14 |publisher=Rolling Stone |date=2004-12-09]
* "Gloria" was also included in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll twice: by Patti Smith and by Shadows of Knight. [cite web |url= |title=500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll |accessdate=2008-04-15 |year=1995 |publisher=Rock and Roll Hall of Fame]

In the media

Them's recording of the song appeared in an episode of TV series "The Sopranos", "Pine Barrens", accompanying the appearance of Annabella Sciorra's character Gloria Trillo. "Gloria" by Them was played a number of times in the 1983 film "The Outsiders" and also sung whilst fending off the monster in the jukebox musical, "Return to the Forbidden Planet".



* 1 As a B-side on 1964 single "Baby, Please Don't Go", the original recording charted at number 10 in the UK mostly due to the popularity of "Gloria".


*Heylin, Clinton (2003). Can You Feel the Silence? Van Morrison: A New Biography, Chicago Review Press ISBN 1-55652-542-7
*Turner, Steve (1993). Too Late to Stop Now, Viking Penguin, ISBN 0-670-85147-7


External links

* [ Lyrics] at the official website
* [ Videos: Gloria, 1979 and 2008]
* [ Video: Gloria, 1973]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Here Comes the Night (Them song) — Infobox Single Name = Here Comes the Night Caption = Artist = Them from Album = A side = Here Comes the Night (Bert Berns) B side = All for Myself Released = 3 May 1965 Format = Recorded = Genre = Length = 2:47 Label = Decca Records (UK), Parrot… …   Wikipedia

  • Gloria — may refer to:In Catholic liturgy and music* Gloria in Excelsis Deo , the main doxology of the Catholic Mass **Gloria (Vivaldi), a musical setting of the doxology by Antonio Vivaldi **Gloria (Poulenc), a composition written in 1959 by Francis… …   Wikipedia

  • Them (band) — Infobox musical artist Name = Them Img capt = Background = group or band Alias = Origin = Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK Genre = Rock, blue eyed soul, garage rock, blues rock Years active = 1964 1971 1979 Label = Decca, Parrott Records Happy Tiger …   Wikipedia

  • Gloria in Excelsis Deo — • The great doxology (hymnus angelicus) in the Mass is a version of a very old Greek form . It begins with the words sung by the angels at Christ s birth (Luke, ii, 14). To this verse others were added very early, forming a doxology Catholic… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • GLORIA (chanson Van Morrison) — Gloria (chanson de Van Morrison) Pour les articles homonymes, voir Gloria. Gloria est une chanson de rock écrite par Van Morrison et enregistrée pour la première fois en 1964 par son groupe Them en tant que face B du single Baby, Please Don t Go …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Gloria (chanson de van morrison) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Gloria. Gloria est une chanson de rock écrite par Van Morrison et enregistrée pour la première fois en 1964 par son groupe Them en tant que face B du single Baby, Please Don t Go. Les arrangements musicaux sont d …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Gloria Stavers — (1926 1983) was the editor in chief of 16 magazine. Her personality gave this teen celebrity magazine its stamp for many years. Stavers is credited with being one of the first women rock and roll journalists, but male editors, detractors and… …   Wikipedia

  • Gloria Foy — (October 25, 1901 ndash; February 27, 1977) was a dancer, singer, vaudeville performer, and star of musical revues. She was a slim and energetic blonde from Lima, Ohio. Her family were theatrical people.Her father was Harry Foy.Theater DancerHer… …   Wikipedia

  • Gloria D. Miklowitz — (b. 18 May 1927 in New York City) is an author for young adults. Her books often confront serious issues, such as nuclear war, child abuse, and prejudice, and have won American and international awards. Three of her novels are being made into… …   Wikipedia

  • Gloria Trevi — Infobox musical artist Name = Gloria Trevi Background = solo singer Birth name = Gloria de los Angeles Trevino Ruiz Alias = Gloria Trevi Born = birth date and age|1968|2|15 Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico Genre = Rock Occupation = Singer songwriter …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”