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Album: Go Now!Released: 1965Charted:
Before The Moody Blues recorded it, this was an obscure Soul single for Bessie Banks, who released it in 1964. Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller produced her recording, and it was written by her husband Larry Banks. It is a heart-rending song where the singer has just broken up with his lover, and can't bear to see her anymore.
This was The Moody Blues' second single, the first being the unsuccessful "Lose Your Money." Their next few releases did not fare as well and the lead singer on this track, Denny Laine, whose pained vocals added so much to the single, left the band to set up his own Electric String Band in 1966. He later joined forces with Paul McCartney in Wings.
The Moody Blues re-formed a short time later with new members Justin Hayward
and John Lodge, who became the primary songwriters in the group.
Denny Laine recalled to Gibson.com how the band came to cover this song: "It came in one of these suitcases full of records from America. This guy, James Hamilton, he was a friend of B. Mitchel Reed, who was a DJ, and he would send this stuff across. So I picked that one out especially because Mike Pinder was a piano player. (chuckles) We'd always get the gig where the piano would be out of tune and we'd get the slow handclap because they were waiting to tune the piano… (laughs) Anyway, we did 'Go Now' because it was a song with a piano in it."
Bessie Banks' version of this song is featured in the 1995 film of the same name. (thanks, Jerro - New Alexandria, PA)
As reported in The Independent
, a 21-year-old Denny Cordell, who was working for an artist management company, placed this song with The Moody Blues, who were a new group looking for their first hit. Cordell convinced the band to sign an unusual business agreement that earned him £36,000 when the song became a hit. Cordell would later work with Joe Cocker, producing his version of "With A Little Help From My Friends
" and organizing his first US tour. In the '70s, Cordell set up Shelter Records in Tulsa, Oklahoma with Leon Russell.