Entry count: 3354
From one Morrison to another

Them

Gloria

Released: April 22nd, 1965

Tracks Them

The events we write about at Gaslight Records happened in some form or another 50 years ago to the day. Roll along with us and imagine you are back in 1970.

Support Gaslight Records

In April 1965, the song "Gloria" was released by Van Morrison's band, Them, through Decca Records. It was the first single taken from the group's debut album The Angry Young Them.

The track had already been issued as the B-Side to "Baby, Please Don't Go" a year earlier but obviously the record company thought there was more mileage to be had, so they re-packaged "Gloria" and shipped it again, only this time as an A-Side single. The studio version finds "Gloria" in its most condensed form, no doubt for radio-play purposes. Live renditions were another story altogether. Often Morrison would ad-lib entire sections on stage, stretching the song out to over 20 minutes. Both Patti Smith and The Doors' Jim Morrison later adopted similar approaches to the song, creating their own odyssey-length live versions.

Throughout June 1966, The Doors opened shows for Them at the Whiskey a-Go Go in Los Angeles. On the final night, Jim Morrison joined Them on stage to perform "Gloria", and during the 20 minute version the two Morrison men reportedly exchanged verses back and forth. There is no known recording of the show but there is a photo.

From one Morrison to another
Van Morrison & Jim Morrison share the stage at the Whiskey a Go Go in 1966

Live improvisation was a Jim Morrison staple throughout his short career. He regularly turned (already long) songs like "The End" and "When The Music's Over (Turn Out The Lights)" into sprawling, unpredictable jams that lasted for nearly half the band's set time. It seems likely that at least some of his inspiration for doing so stemmed from watching Van Morrison improvise verses during "Gloria" in '66.

Since its release, "Gloria" has been covered far and wide. In 1965 alone The Gants, The Bobby Fuller Four, and The Shadows of Knight all released "Gloria" as a single.

Other versions of this track

More recent news

Watch The Jackson 5 perform single from their debut album on Ed Sullivan

News

December 23rd, 1969: Watch The Jackson 5 perform single from their debut album on Ed Sullivan

Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5 is the latest release from Motown

 
The Clancy Brothers have released a new album of Christmas songs: Listen

News

December 20th, 1969: The Clancy Brothers have released a new album of Christmas songs: Listen

Irish folk group, The Clancy Brothers have recorded 11 songs to bring a little joy to your Christmas

 
See photos from The Doors album cover shoot in Los Angeles today

News

December 18th, 1969: See photos from The Doors album cover shoot in Los Angeles today

The new Doors album is due for release early next year.

 
Four people died over the weekend at The Altamont Speedway Free Festival

Article

December 10th, 1969: Four people died over the weekend at The Altamont Speedway Free Festival

Here's the story of Altamont in quotes from many of the people involved.

 
The Rolling Stones have released a new studio album ahead of their free concert tomorrow at Altamont

News

December 5th, 1969: The Rolling Stones have released a new studio album ahead of their free concert tomorrow at Altamont

As The Stones finish their run of U.S. concert dates they have released their eighth album, Let It Bleed.

 
This summer Bob Dylan sat down for an interview with Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone magazine

Interviews

December 4th, 1969: This summer Bob Dylan sat down for an interview with Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone magazine

Read the transcript below of Dylan and Wenner's interview from June this year

 
Emmylou Harris covers Bob Dylan on debut album

News

December 3rd, 1969: Emmylou Harris covers Bob Dylan on debut album

Listen to Harris's cover of Dylan's "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight" from her album Gliding Bird

 
Peter Stone Brown covers Bob Dylan's 'She Belongs To Me'

Live At The Gaslight

Peter Stone Brown covers Bob Dylan's "She Belongs To Me"

Recorded in Atlantic City at Dylan Fest in 2015

 
Watch Roy Orbison perform 'Oh, Pretty Woman' with Johnny Cash last week

News

October 4th, 1969: Watch Roy Orbison perform "Oh, Pretty Woman" with Johnny Cash last week

Orbison appeared on The Johnny Cash Show in Nashville

 
Mixtape October 1969

Mixtapes

October 1st, 1969: Mixtape October 1969

It's the end of Summer 1969, here's what I'm listening to.

 
Tyrannosaurus Rex released a new single 'Pewter Suitor' this week - Listen

News

October 1st, 1969: Tyrannosaurus Rex released a new single "Pewter Suitor" this week - Listen

The new single was left off the band's album Unicorn, from earlier this year.

 
'I was just about all through as a man' Johnny Cash talks to Richard Green of NME

Interviews

October 1st, 1969: "I was just about all through as a man" Johnny Cash talks to Richard Green of NME

Cash gave a brief interview recently while visiting London

 
Loading more