Nights in White Satin

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Nights in White Satin

Postby jon » Sat Sep 12, 2015 4:10 pm

Since today seems to be my day for "Nights in White Satin", I thought I would share a few observations about the song.

Early this morning I was reading Brian Tarling's great new compilation of RPM (the Canadian music magazine) charts, and was surprised to find that "Nights in White Satin" actually charted as a "Top 40" single on RPM several months before "Tuesday Afternoon". Then I heard a non-Moody Blues version of the song twice where I was eating lunch, as background music being played at a restaurant.

My surprise came from the fact that the Moody Blues original single never charted on Billboard's Hot 100, though it did Bubble Under for several weeks. The original single never charted in Vancouver, according to Brian's other book (on Vancouver radio charts), yet I remember hearing the single version before CKLG-FM played the album version, which includes the final gong and the "Breath deep the gathering gloom..." monologue.

Of course, the second release of the single, in 1972, did extremely well on charts and stations on both sides of the border.

In 1968, it was not the first Top 40 song to use some or all of a well known "symphony orchestra", in this case the London Festival Orchestra. But it certainly was a big part of starting a trend of both (1) integrating classical music into Top 40 (singles and what would eventually become AOR) and (2) "The Concept Album".

I'm not sure how many of you were caught by the record company decision in 1972 to purposely mislabel the single as being a minute shorter than it really was. But I certainly was, as my first play of the re-released single ("hot" out of the mail) was timed to end with the network News on the hour.

I know it is a matter of taste, but I find that the song holds up well over time and still sounds great, and not "dated".
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Re: Nights in White Satin

Postby PMC » Sat Sep 12, 2015 5:31 pm

When PBS goes into beg mode, they run a Moody Blues live concert that has Nights In White Satin with a full orchestra... including the gong on the end. They offer up the video disc for a donation. Definately worth the view...

One more bit, where does `Go Now' sit in any Canadian chart... it got air play in the east for sure and I believe it was their first release here.
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Re: Nights in White Satin

Postby jon » Sat Sep 12, 2015 7:07 pm

"Go Now" peaked at #2 on the RPM charts, #5 on CFUN, #7 on CKLG, and #5 on CHUM. Those are the only Canadian charts that I have in book form.
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