A lost opportunity
Alex Zummers | Houston,Texas; USA | 09/02/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"The last album by Them. Here's a group (a trio really) that doesn't find the songs they want to play. A sorry remake of "Gloria" and "Baby, please don't go" start the album; after these it's all downhill.
I'd recommend only for the completists like myself."
Power trio masterpiece
Burritoman "USA" | Pennsylvania | 09/03/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Them were a unique band. There were many members coming and going during their sadly short existence (under a decade), with bassist Alan Henderson the only constant. He did a great job at keeping Them alive by refusing to stick with one genre. Them began as a white r&b/soul-type outfit, then became psychedelic, then delved into hard acid boogie, and with this 1971 effort, investigating the possibilities of a power trio. And, of course, the group tried other things, too, and all this artistic restlessness mainly fell on deaf ears. Them never managed to rise above cult status during their time; their final three albums ('70's "Them", this one from 1971 and 1979's "Shut Your Mouth") barely were even released, much less successful. It's one of rock's sadder stories that a band with as much talent and balls as this one were mainly remembered for one or two singles early on. Don't think for a minute, though, that serious rock musicians weren't paying attention: the opening riff played by guitarist Jim Parker on 'Let My Song Through' was directly lifted and used by Lynyrd Skynyrd on 'Sweet Home Alabama'. Them play it with an offhanded abandon as opposed to Skynyrd's polished technicality, but this is where they got it, folks. For most listeners the highlight of "Them In Reality" is the opening two tracks, which are extended heavy power-trio versions of their two biggest hits, 'Gloria' and 'Baby Please Don't Go'. The versions here are better than the originals and show that Alan Henderson knew exactly what the band's situation was by including them. But there's a lot of great music on this album, nicely remastered but including no bonus material. A great album, back from the vinyl graveyards.
*The song 'Rayn' isn't listed on the back of the cd, but it is track 7. It is not missing."