If you drop a guitar down a flight of stairs, it'll play 'Gloria' on its way to the bottom- Dave Barry.
This is for all you people who are starting groups- Woody (The 101ers)
Curmudgeonly Belfast bluesman Van Morrison penned this song in 1964 and it appeared as the B side to his band Them's single Baby Please Don't Go.
It's eminently playable simple 3 chord structure made it a staple of the booming garage scene on both sides of the Atlantic. There are versions here by US garage bands The Gants (the first recorded cover), The Squires, and Robb London and Soul Unlimited. In 1965 Chicago's The Shadows of Knight released a slightly bowdlerized version that made the Billboard top ten.
Garage rock had a global appeal and we have here two Latin American interpretations of the song, from Columbia's Los Ampex and Mexico's Miguel Angel and Los Sharps.
Meanwhile down in Adelaide notorious hedonists The Masters Apprentices were giving Gloria their own treatment.
As the beat music of the era gained a more acid tinged, psychedelic feel, bands such as The 13th Floor Elevators emerged from the garage scene . The song's simple structure and sexual overtones made it an ideal backdrop for the meandering poetic improvisations of Jim Morrison of The Doors and a backbone for the inspired guitar noodlings of Jimi Hendrix.
Patti Smith opened her 1975 LP Horses (one of the most influential records in the history of popular music) with her take on Gloria, featuring a trademark poetic ramble.This outing propelled Gloria into the proto punk garage scene that spawned pub rock , two versions here- The 101ers and Eddie and the Hot Rods. In that other great populist music boom of the 70's, Disco, Santa Esmeralda funked up the track for a spin under the glitterballs (to be honest it isn't as funky as you'd expect).
The first time that Melbourne's The Boys Next Door were recorded was a live set featuring Gloria in 1977 .
Van Morrison teamed up with John Lee Hooker to take the song back into the charts in 1993.
The appeal of the three chord bash that typified garage music is enduring as well as far reaching- contemporary Magnitude 3 from Japan come up with by far the most primitive take of the song here, and The Crushers from Moscow give us a massive 21 st century version .
Bear in mind:
Some of original recordings rudimentary.
Van Morrison is known to employ 10,000 monitors in five continents working 24 hours a day to ensure that his work is not circulated via the internet.