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Yes I Love You
by Molly Lambert
“Nights In White Satin”
The Moody Blues, 1967
Band member Justin Hayward wrote the song at age nineteen, and titled the song after a friend gave him a gift of satin bedsheets. The song itself was a tale of a yearning love from afar, which leads many aficionados to term it as a tale of unrequited love endured by Hayward.
The band and orchestra makes use of the Mellotron keyboard device, which would come to define the “Moody Blues sound.” “Nights In White Satin” was not a popular title when first released, mainly due to its length, which at seven minutes and thirty-eight seconds was longer than the norm at that time.
The spoken-word poem, which is heard near the six-minute mark in the song, is called “Late Lament.” It was written by drummer Graeme Edge and was read by keyboardist Mike Pinder. On Days of Future Passed, the poem’s last five lines bracket the album, appearing also at the end of the album’s first track “The Day Begins.”
The work has been reinterpreted as the focus of Nights in White Satin: The Trip, a dark ride at the Hard Rock Park theme park in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, USA. The attraction was developed by the Sally Corporation.
“Nights In White Satin” charted for the first time in 1972, in a rereleased edit. It went to number one on November 4, 1972, was preceded by “My Ding-a-Ling” by Chuck Berry and succeeded by “Burning Love” by Elvis Presley.
When I heard this song as a kid I thought the lyric was “Knights in white satin, riding the air.” Psychedelic, no?
Molly Lambert is the managing editor of This Recording
“Nights In White Satin” – The Moody Blues (mp3)
“The Voice” – The Moody Blues (mp3)
“Shadows on the Wall” – The Moody Blues (mp3)
“Go Now” – The Moody Blues (mp3)
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