Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Moody Blues: Nights In White Satin

For Thursday’s Repeats and Threepeats, we treat you to a song that was released thrice in the United States. The Moody Blues “Nights in White Satin” clocks in at 7:38 on the “Days of Future Passed” with the addendum of “The Late Lament”; however, the single was released in two different lengths. Both edits fade before orchestration that leads to the “Late Lament” recitation.

The first American release of the single was issued with a length of 4:26 and only charted at #103 in the US and did much better in the UK by peaking at #19. While all three issues of the single carried the same catalog number of 85023. The three pressings can be distinguished by the catalog number prefixes. The January 1968 pressing has 45-DEM-85023, the 1972 is referenced as 45-85023, and the 1974 version has BN-85023. 

The 1968 version is also distinguished by the songwriting credits of Redwave as opposed to Justin Hayward. The early pressings of the album also listed Redwave and Redwave/Knight as authors on the tunes. Knight was Peter Knight who provided the orchestral arrangements and conducted the London Festival Orchestra. Redwave was a pseudonym for all or any of the band members. The practice was not continued with subsequent albums and later pressings of “Days of Future Passed” properly listed the authors by their actual names.

In 1972, the single was rereleased by Deram, a subsidiary label of London Records in the US and Decca Records Ltd. in the UK. It appears that the 1972 release was issued in two time formats – a botched edit of 3:06 and the original edit of 4:26. There is no rhyme or reason two issues other than they came from different pressing plants. This second issue was the successful version as it peaked at #2 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and #1 at Cashbox. The British version peaked at #9.

For some reason, Deram released “Nights in White Satin” in 1974 – this time with the same time configurations – some at 3:06 and some at 4:26. We’ll feature the album version which includes “Late Lament” written by Graeme Edge and recited by Mike Pinder. Pinder, by the way, plays the gong at the end of the song.


  1. I just found your blog tonight. I'm having a good time reading each of your posts.

  2. Glad you found it. Glad to hear that you are having a good time reading it.