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36 | Top 100

Nights in White Satin
The Moody Blues
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By 1967 things were looking bleak for the Moody Blues. With one #1 to their name (“Go Now”, 1964) and no other subsequent top 20 chart entries, the Midlanders were desperate to update their image.
Lynyrd Skynyrd
Song facts
Composer Justin Hayward
Genre Rock
Album Days of Future Passed
Year of Release 1967
Their label, Deram, came to the rescue by asking them to record a modern version of Dvorak’s New World Symphony to demonstrate their new ‘Deramic’ stereo system. With a whole slew of new material in the wings, the band convinced both label and producer instead to cut a suite of self-composed songs based on the passing of one day – all set to the lush strings of the London Symphony Orchestra. Days of Future Passed was born and topping it all off was “Nights In White Satin”. A yearning love song, it was drenched in what would be come the Moody’s signature sound - the synthetic strings of the Mellotron. Released as a single it sold modestly (reaching only #19 in December 1967), but the album’s huge success saw the song reach millions of homes. On its re-release in 1972 and 1979 it had become a timeless classic.

Other versions
Nancy Sinatra
 Nancy Sinatra eschews the mellotron with her own inimitable version. These flutes were made for walking, anyone?

This song is a love song, but it's also got the best use of a flute in pop music.



Mick Fisher



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Songwriting tips

'Nights...' benefits from its marvellous production, which can make all the difference when it comes to make a song memorable. Find out more about production.
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