How did 'Nights In White Satin' happen to become a hit in 1972??

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by voicebug, Feb 4, 2004.

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  1. voicebug

    voicebug Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    now in Houston, TX
    I've noticed that a number of CD compilations that focus on the year 1972 have the Moody Blues 'Nights In White Satin' as a top hit of that year.

    How did this song happen to become a hit that year since it was originally released in 1967? Was it just belatedly released as a single? Did it start getting heavy regional play and then it was pushed nationwide? Anybody know??

    Thanks a lot!
  2. Sckott

    Sckott Hand Tighten Only.

    Hyannis Ma
    Didn't a movie in the UK bump it up?
  3. Joe Koz

    Joe Koz Prodigal Bone Brotherâ„¢ In Memoriam

    They also add stings to the song, which probably helped. I'm sure Ed will chime in on this one! You can find the original single version without strings on the Moody Blues "Singles +" from BR Music.
  4. Rachael Bee

    Rachael Bee Miembra muy loca

    I have no idea to the why's but NIGHTS IN was re-released in '72. Soon thereafter jazz type artists were all over it too, my favourite take on it was Ramsey Lewis'. I wish I had a dollar for every cover version.

    That movie angle seems so plausible. It does seem like a purr-fect vehicle for films. Right off hand I cant recall it in a film. Then again, I don't have total recall.
  5. tim_neely

    tim_neely Forum Hall Of Fame

    Central VA
    The song had been released as a single in the U.S. in 1968; it actually "Bubbled Under" on the Billboard singles charts in February and early March of that year, peaking at #103 and spending five weeks in the chart's on-deck circle without ever making the main 100.

    By 1972, what happened was that a popular DJ in, I believe, Washington, DC, used the song as his sign-off when he went off the air. Listeners started to ask what song it was and where they could find it, and once they knew, they asked other DJs to play it, too. Things took off from there; it finally entered the Billboard Hot 100 at the modest position of #100 on August 5, 1972. It eventually spread around the country, peaking at #2 and resulting in the album Days of Future Passed making a return to the charts as well. DOFP, which had charted in 1968 and peaked at #27, got to #3 for three weeks in November 1972. Its return to front-line status may have led to a slight delay in the release of Seventh Sojourn, which zoomed to #1 after only four weeks on the chart in December 1972.

    Both the 1968 and 1972 singles have the same Deram catalog number (85023), but there are many variations, which I can't date for certain, as the single never really went out of print. There are two different edits, one just under three minutes, the other (hit version) lasting 4:20; I've seen three different listings for the songwriting credit -- "Redwave"; "Justin Hayward"; and "Redwave-Hayward"; I've also heard that both mono and stereo singles exist. They are all from the same recording; on the album, the strings are more prominent, whereas on the single, they are all but mixed out completely.
  6. guy incognito

    guy incognito Forum Resident

    Thanks for the history lesson, Tim. Neat stuff!
  7. joelee

    joelee Forum Resident

    Layla was also a hit a few years after the LP was released.
  8. kwadguy

    kwadguy Forum Resident

    Cambridge, MA
    Yeah, there are a number of these "hits years after first released" singles. Others include Benny Mardones' "Into the Night", Sheriff's "When I'm With You", Charlene's "I've Never Been to Me".
  9. ZIPGUN99

    ZIPGUN99 Active Member

    "Tommy" by the Who, took a while to really get aipplay, also.
  10. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    C'mon guyz, don't you remember 1971? That was when Tom Donahue and other "hip" free form FM dj's started playing that album, a LOT. By 1972 it was ripe for rediscovery on the AM side...
  11. The man is right. It was all over KSAN before it became a hit on AM radio.
  12. Charger

    Charger Active Member

    Didn't Bowie's Space Oddity take a couple of years to catch on as well.

  13. RetroSmith

    RetroSmith Forum Hall Of Fame<br>(Formerly Mikey5967)

    East Coast
    I remember how ODD "KIWS" was in '72. It was this dark, eerie song, that was scary but you had to go buy it. I remember being a school field trip, with everyone singing along to "Youre So Vain", then to "Last Song" ...but when KIWS came on the radio, eveyone went silent.
  14. Grant

    Grant A Musical Free-Spirit

    The song "Superstar" by Murray Head & The Trinidad Singers, from the Jesus Christ Superstar was released in 1970 and went nowhere. It was re-released a year later and took off, no doubt because of the trend of "Jesus rock" during 1970, 71. I guess 1970 was a bit too early for the song.
  15. guy incognito

    guy incognito Forum Resident

    How can I remember that, Steve? I wasn't born until '73!

    (Feel like an old man now? :D)
  16. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    Well, I was 3 but I remember...;)
  17. Drawer L

    Drawer L New Member

    Long Island
    I assume you mean AM airplay,as Tommy was a hit right outta the box."Pinball Wizard" was a hit right off.IIRC,it proceeded the album a bit."I'm Free" was the second single & it made top 40,as did the third single,"See Me,Free Me",which of course was just the last 3m or so of "We're Not Gonna Take It".
  18. sharedon

    sharedon Forum Zonophone

    Well, don't forget the single by the Assembled Multitude, "Overture From Tommy," from 1970. Believe it or not, this is how lots of people in the US first heard anything from, of, our about Tommy!!
  19. BRush

    BRush Well-Known Member

    The same thing happened to Aerosmith's "Dream On" & "Walk this Way" became hits long after their respective LPs came out.

    Radio sure was a lot better in the early 70s. I surely miss freeform radio. Artists were given a longer time to become popular by their record labels. They didn't have to score really big on their first records. Even most public radio seems to have restricted playlists.
  20. RetroSmith

    RetroSmith Forum Hall Of Fame<br>(Formerly Mikey5967)

    East Coast

  21. btomarra

    btomarra Extreme Member

    Little Rock, AR
    If I remember reading an article correctly, I believe the Moodies had planned to temporarily retire after Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, but when Nights in White Satin hit it big in 1972 they agreed to record one more album Seventh Sojourn.

  22. Anthology123

    Anthology123 Forum Resident

    Let us not forget that when the Beatles compilation 'Rock and Roll Music' came out, Got to get you into my life was a hit in 1976. Then Earth Wind and Fire did a cover a year or two later and it became a hit again.
  23. tim_neely

    tim_neely Forum Hall Of Fame

    Central VA
    But unlike the "Nights in White Satin" phenomenon, that was PLANNED. Capitol intentionally released a single of "Got to Get You Into My Life," a song that had never been issued as a single in the United States (or England, for that matter) and wasn't even a key album cut at the time (it was not on 1962-1966), in hopes that radio would pick it up and make it into a hit. And it worked: The 10-year-old song made the top 10 in 1976.

    A year before this (1975), Blood, Sweat & Tears had done a remake of "Got to Get You Into My Life" and charted with it, though it didn't make the top 40. Perhaps that made Capitol aware that the original version, which also had a horn arrangement, might be a potential hit as part of their Beatles push for 1976. I remember hearing "GTGYIML" frequently on Top 40 radio in 1976, and by no means did it seem out of place.
  24. Ed Bishop

    Ed Bishop Incredibly, I'm still here

    The 1968 "Nights" single has NO ORCHESTRA WHATSOEVER; in fact, all the Knight/Redwave orchestral material had to have been recorded after the Moodies laid down their main tracks. Indeed, if you listen to DOFP closely, you'll notice an awful lot of the Moodies' stuff doesn't have any additional orchestra stuff at all; most of it is a lead-in to a song or comes in as it fades our or stops(with some exceptions). What you're hearing that you think is orchestra is Mike Pinder's brilliant, innovative Mellotron work; it fools a lot of listeners, including diehard Moody fans who should know better. For the DOFP Lp, some orchestral embellishments are mixed into some tracks, like "Nights," but sparingly.

    I talked to Billy Inglot in the early '90s about this one while discussing his work on the Bee Gees box set(hey, he called me, what can I say?)....and he mentioned that two singles were put out in '72, the original mix, and the Lp mix, except it starts like the 45 and fades while the orchestra is still playing after the song itself is other words, the Lp version, faded before the "Late Lament" poem but otherwise identical to the Lp mix, except truncated at the intro and faded early...Lp version. He remembered that versionI hadn't), but turned out I did have a copy, interesting they did that, though I only remember the '68 mix being played on radio at the time, while he remembered the Lp version.

    I do believe there is a DJ edit that's shorter, as Tim mentioned. Haven't come across a stereo DJ copy of this single yet, but at least the original 45 mix--no ork--can be found in mono and stereo on CD, the stereo mix best heard on VOICES IN THE SKY. That's all Pinder; no orchestra. He was amazing!

  25. jamesmaya

    jamesmaya Forum Resident

    Mudwest, CA
    Tim....I've got two "Nights In White Satin" b/w "Cities" 45s and always have wondered which one may be the original 1968 Deram release.

    1. The Deram label half-circle is a reddish-brown color. Catalog # is 5N 85023. NIWS time is 3:06, credited to Justin Hayward. Fine print says "Manufacted by Phonogram...."

    2. The Deram label half-circle is a yellowish-brown color. Catalog # is 45-85023. NIWS time is 4:20, credited to Justin Hayward. Fine print says "A product of London Records, Inc. Made in USA" and "Original Recording and License by the Decca Record Company Limited".

    Any guess? Thanks

    Jim W
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