Feb 05


Popular19 comments • 3,503 views

#185, 30th January 1965

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.



  1. 1
    Arnold J. Robbins on 16 Apr 2007 #

    Hello Friends:

    Let’s get The Moody Blues inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!!! They deserve it! Believe it or not The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation which is located in New York does not have an e-mail address! Amazing that this is the case in these modern times. Please print out the letter below and send it to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation via snail mail. It will cost you the price of an envelope, a stamp, the paper you print the letter on and the time and energy it takes to get the letter to the mail box. I realize that this may be asking for a lot but The Moody Blues are worth the effort!

    Long Live The Moody Blues!

    Peace, Love and Harmony!!!

    Arnold J. Robbins


    The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation
    1290 Avenue of the Americas
    New York, NY 10104

    Dear Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation:

    I was listening to one of my favorite artists the other day – The Moody Blues – when I thought about this group in relation to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Just out of curiosity I decided to take a look at the list of Rock and Roll inductees since 1986 when the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame opened. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that “The Moody Blues” are not listed among the Hall of Fame inductees that have been honored over the years.

    While I realize that The Moody Blues are not as famous for their music today as they were back in the 1960s and 1970s when they released such albums as:

    Days Of Future Passed – 1967;
    In Search of The Lost Chord -1968;
    On The Threshold Of A Dream – 1969;
    To Our Children’s Children’s Children – 1969;
    A Question Of Balance – 1970;
    Every Good Boy Deserves Favour – 1971; and
    Seventh Sojourn – 1972.

    I am still surprised that this music group has not been recognized for their contributions to the Rock and Roll music industry.

    While I realize that the membership of The Moody Blues has changed over the years, I do not think this fact prevents the group from being recognized for their contributions to Rock And Roll. As The Moody Blues are getting up in years I think it would be a real honor to see them inducted into the Hall of Fame sooner than later.

    With this in mind, I am urging you to include The Moody Blues on the next ballot list for potential inductees into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I also hope that The Moody Blues will get a favorable review by your voters and they will be voted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March 2008!

    God Bless And Long Live Rock and Roll!


    [Your First and Last Name]
    [Mailing Address]
    [Pone Number]
    [e-mail address]

  2. 2
    Kim Crone on 28 Feb 2008 #

    The first orchestral rock group not being in the Hall of Fame makes it more like a Hall of “Shame”

  3. 3
    Ralph Crone on 28 Feb 2008 #

    The Moody blues are a rock & roll institution, there is no one like them. Even Grand Funk Railroad admitted in an interview that they were Moodies fans and Closer To Home was influenced by the other rock masterpiece Nights In White Satin. Get the Moody Blues inducted in the class of 2009.

  4. 4
    peter jenner on 2 Jun 2008 #

    can anybody conferm that the involvment with the “billy graham organization” that John lodge talked about on the moodys recent dvd is the same billy graham christian evangelist?…reference,fillmore west?

  5. 5
    vinylscot on 2 Jun 2008 #

    That would be a strong “No”. Bill Graham was a legendary promoter/manager, and owner of the Fillmore clubs.

    Graham was a Russian Jew born Wolfgang Grajonca in Berlin.

    The other Bill(y) Graham was not, as far as I know.

    See Bill Graham’s wiki, and also http://www.billgrahamfoundation.org/

  6. 6
    steve on 15 Jul 2009 #

    I’d have thought that by now someone would have mentioned that THIS Moody Blues lineup bares little relation to the later (Nights in White Satin) Moody Blues. Denny Lane at least deserves some recognition – even if he did end up flying off with Wings…..(groan)

    Much in the same way that Fleetwood Mac No.1 had anything in common with F.M. 2,3,4,5 ….etc

  7. 7
    Tom on 15 Jul 2009 #

    Probably someone did mention it Steve – a load of comments from the 60-65 era entries were lost at one point when we switched systems :)

  8. 8
    Paulito on 7 Oct 2009 #

    A great (if primitively produced) track crowned by an exceptional lead vocal. If the Walker Brothers’ “Make It Easy On Yourself” (a #1 later that year) embodies the noble selflessness with which every man likes to imagine he’d respond to being dumped, “Go Now” – as sung by Denny Laine – perfectly captures the actual reaction of the typical young man in this situation: bitterly dismissing the lover’s attempts to end the relationship amicably and generally failing to ‘take it like a man’ on account of his foolish, wounded pride. It’s all there in Laine’s painfully wrought delivery, his despondency and anguish rising to a crescendo of double-time babbling as he petulantly rebuffs the girl’s entreaties (“Don’t you even try…telling-me-that-you-really-don’t-want-it-to-end-this-way-ee-yayee!”). Terrific piano solo too.

  9. 9
    Billy Smart on 20 Sep 2010 #

    TOTPWatch. The Moody Blues performed Go Now on the Top Of The Pops of 31 December 1964. also in the studio that week were; The Swinging Blue Jeans, Twinkle and Val Doonican. Pete Murray was the host. No copy survives.

  10. 10
    RDMcNamara on 29 Mar 2011 #


    Chris Barrie’s Heseltine was always bang-on.

  11. 11
    flahr on 17 Jun 2011 #

    What a bizarre song. The production is certainly a bit primitive, but as a confused, befuddled, deflated performance of hurt at a breakup this is pretty spectacular. The space and randomness and sense of closing in is picked up very well by that sketch at #10; unfortunately it’s that sense that also makes it a bit too wispy and ungraspable to love. 6 I think. But I’m very glad such a thing got to no. 1, even such a long time ago.

  12. 12
    Lena on 22 Jul 2011 #

    Good try, Cilla – http://musicsoundsbetterwithtwo.blogspot.com/2011/07/singer-not-her-song-cilla-black-youve.html Thanks for reading, y’all!

  13. 13
    hectorthebat on 3 Apr 2014 #

    Critic watch:

    1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die, and 10,001 You Must Download (2010)
    Greil Marcus (USA) – STRANDED: “Treasure Island” Singles (1979)
    Colin Larkin (UK) – The All-Time Top 100 Singles (2000) 86
    New Musical Express (UK) – The Top 100 Singles of All Time (1976) 82
    Gilles Verlant and Thomas Caussé (France) – 3000 Rock Classics (2009)

  14. 14
    lonepilgrim on 22 Jul 2015 #

    It’s worth mentioning that this is a cover version, very similar to the original rendition by Bessie Banks – although she sounds sounds more stoic (at least until the end) than Denny Laine. Her barely articulated sense of loss put me in mind of Pink Floyd’s ‘Great Gig in the Sky’. It’s interesting to me to try and interpret the differences between the two interpretations. The Moody Blues are both slightly more restrained but also more primitive in places.

  15. 15
    wichitalineman on 23 Jul 2015 #

    The Moody Blues version is certainly more strident (especially on the “I just want you to tell me…” section), they emphasise the piano hook, and feature those beautiful, ghostly harmonies. But Bessie Banks sounds so desolate. I think both takes are equally great.

  16. 16
    DanH on 9 Jan 2018 #

    R.I.P. to Ray Thomas, present in both this incarnation of the Moody Blues, and their ‘classic’ era. Still bummed that “Question” couldn’t quite get #1.

  17. 17
    Jimmy the Swede on 16 Jan 2018 #

    #16 – As am I, Dan. We shared our disgust many moons ago on the “Back Home” thread, as it was that record which blocked the Moodies’ magnum opus from hitting the top.

    R.I.P to Ray Thomas and his flute.

  18. 18
    Bryn on 19 May 2018 #

    Tom’s right, the first 10 seconds of this song are so good. Helpful for learning piano! Concerning nights in white satin, while it has a pretty great instrumental arrangement, it essentially copied the verse of the Byrds’ I Knew I’d Want You.

  19. 19
    Gareth Parker on 2 Jun 2021 #

    I think Flahr’s astute comment (#11) is on the money here. 6/10 for me as well.

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