The Moody Blues – In Session At The Saturday Club 1965 – Nights At The Roundtable: Session Edition

The Moody Blues in their previous incarnation as a Beat Group in 1965.

The Moody Blues in their previous incarnation as a Beat Group in 1965.

. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – The Moody Blues – Go Now – BBC Saturday Club – April 1965 – BBC Radio 1

Sadly, only one track has survived (so far) from The Moody Blues from this session. This one from the BBC program Saturday Club and a live version of their first worldwide hit, Go Now.

Years before they recorded their landmark Days Of Future Passed album, they were part of that first wave of the British Invasion, very much in the mold of many bands from that period. Their material was heavily influenced by Soul and R&B from the States. In fact, Go Now was originally recorded by Bessie Banks in 1964 who had a minor hit with it in January of that year. But The Moody Blues picked it up later that year, and the rest was history.

Here is the live session version of that song, as they performed it on April of 1965. A little over 3 minutes, but worth every second of it.

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7 Responses

  1. annagranfors says:

    Gordon–not to take anything away from the Moodies’ version–it’s great–but anyone who happens to read this comment should take a listen to Bessie Banks’ original version (on Red Bird UK/Blue Cat US/Tiger US) on YouTube. And not to take anything away from Denny Laine’s lead vocals, but GOD! Just listen to the church that Bessie brings to hers.

    Notable facts: produced by Leiber and Stoller, with backing vocals by at least Cissy Houston, and very probably Doris Troy and Dee Dee Warwick, known as the Sweet Inspirations. Not to mention wonderful playing by NYC studio musicians, and Red Bird/Leiber and Stoller always got the best in the business.

    Sad fact: Bessie’s version was chosen “Pick Hit Of The Week” on WINS in NYC, which meant that the record would get a week’s worth of airplay. Unfortunately, by the fifth day, the Moodies’ version got its first play on WINS–Bessie herself heard the first line, but by the second, she realized that it wasn’t her version. She only recorded a handful of singles after that.

    But jesus, what a great single “Go Now” was.

    • gordonskene says:

      Actually Anna, I was thinking about running her version on this as well, but I couldn’t locate it in a hurry last night. I have it around here someplace and it’s a much better version (IMO) than the Moodie’s version (even though it’s almost a note for note copy) – but there was a lot of that going on at the time. I think I should dig it out and run her version tonight.

  2. annagranfors says:

    Wait, what?! You’ve got a live or session version of Bessie’s version? I’d LOVE to hear that! (Barring that, I think the best sounding version is probably the one on “The Red Bird Girls–Very First Time In True Stereo”.)

  3. annagranfors says:

    Or, in mono, the version on Rhino’s “One Kiss Can Lead To Another–Girl Group Sounds Lost And Found”.

  4. duncanw says:

    Have you ever noticed how very QUICKLY the last sung note on the original Moodies’ 45RPM of that number FADES OUT? I have always wondered why ………… duncanw.

    • gordonskene says:

      I suspect there was probably a longer ending which didn’t fit the mood of rest of the song or not as dramatic. I’ve heard that done before – or there was a mistake at the last few seconds which would have ruined an otherwise perfect take – and rather than do it over, fade out. If the original session masters ever appear I’m sure the mystery will be solved.

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