Wednesday 27 August 2014

Nights in White Satin (The Moody Blues, 1967)

Do The Moody Blues really belong to the prog rock movement? For sure, they anticipated many of the fundamental features of the genre, as their "Night in White Satin" hit easily proves: a well arranged fusion of classical music and pop rock, instrumental interludes (in the album version, at least), mood changes and, of course, the inclusion in a concept album, the band's second one, titled "Days of Future Passed". The concept was about the different times of a day, so that "Nights in White Satin" represents - of course - the night and closes the album.

This song was released as a single in 1967, 1972 and 1979,
always charting, and had of course many different cover arts.

The orchestra plays a central role in the long version of the song and it does so without any sharp contrast with the band: each moment has its own space and role, even the spoken comment during the final part of the song, a section that also had an originally unlisted title of its own, "Late Lament". The famous and beautiful sung melody fills the first part of the track and goes through different arrangements, so that each verse of this airy ballad seems to add something new and different. Prog or not, this band (and this track) strongy contributed to the building of a new musical era.

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