Most of “Go Now”‘s lead vocal sounds half-improvised, soulful elaborations on a few simple lines, go go darlin darlin darlin. Could be purest self-expression, could be a band in some kind of shock at having to turn a perfect intro into a viable song. Well, I say “having to”, but I’d have bought this record just for its first ten monumental seconds, and I reckon a lot of people did. And actually the song hardly does anything else, it just marks time until it can bash out The Riff again.
I had to download this twice to check it was the right band: my only previous with the Moody Blues was an evening a decade or so ago when some friends and I, at the righteous height of a post-punk jag, caught some late-eighties, late-night concert video. The Moodies were playing in some canyon, they had a lightshow, they had a whole extra band fiddling away in the shadows behind the real band. There was probably still some R’n’B in what they did, but there were twenty-four other letters getting in the way. We looked on in disgusted awe. Except now I think maybe their whole subsequent career is just an extended breakdown before the riff can come back.