Entry count: 3044
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 1969.

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 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

 
The Beatles have released their new album Abbey Road - Listen

News

September 26th, 1969: The Beatles have released their new album Abbey Road - Listen

In the same week as John Lennon quit the band, The Beatles have released a new album

 
Listen to alternate takes of Bob Dylan's 'Lay Lady Lay' and 'I Pity The Poor Immigrant'

News

September 26th, 1969: Listen to alternate takes of Bob Dylan's "Lay Lady Lay" and "I Pity The Poor Immigrant"

Alternate cuts of tracks from Dylan's last two albums

 
Billy Preston releases new album produced by George Harrison: Listen

News

September 26th, 1969: Billy Preston releases new album produced by George Harrison: Listen

His new album features contributions from George Harrison, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton and Doris Troy

 
The Doors headlined the Toronto Rock 'n' Roll Revival last Saturday night

News

September 24th, 1969: The Doors headlined the Toronto Rock 'n' Roll Revival last Saturday night

With John Lennon watching from the front row, The Doors included part of "Eleanor Rigby" in their solo - Listen

 
The Band release follow-up album to Music From Big Pink - Listen

News

September 23rd, 1969: The Band release follow-up album to Music From Big Pink - Listen

The new self-titled album was recorded in Los Angeles and New York this year. Read a review by Mike Jahn and find the group's upcoming tour dates.

 
Watch Creedence Clearwater Revival perform on American Bandstand last Friday

News

September 23rd, 1969: Watch Creedence Clearwater Revival perform on American Bandstand last Friday

CCR interviewed with Dick Clark and performed "Green River"

 
'The group's over, I'm leaving.' John Lennon quits The Beatles

News

September 23rd, 1969: "The group's over, I'm leaving." John Lennon quits The Beatles

John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr were signing their new recording contract when Lennon dropped the news

 
Watch Ramblin' Jack Elliott perform on 'The Johnny Cash Show' last night

News

September 19th, 1969: Watch Ramblin' Jack Elliott perform on "The Johnny Cash Show" last night

Ramblin' Jack and Cash performed a duet of "Take Me Home"

 
Loading more