"Nights in White Satin" is a 1967 single by The Moody Blues, written by Justin Hayward and first featured on the album Days of Future Passed.

It is in the key of E minor,[2] and features the Neapolitan chord (F).

Single releases[edit source | editbeta]Edit

When first released in 1967, the song reached #19 on the UK Singles Chart, a position that might have been higher were it not for its seven-plus minute length. The song was re-released in 1972 after the success of such longer-running dramatic songs as "Hey Jude" and "Layla", and it charted at #2 in November on the BillboardHot 100 and #1 on Cash Box in the United States, earning a Gold certification for sales of a million copies. It also reached #1 in Canada. The song also holds the dubious distinction of the highest complete Hot 100 disappearance from the pre-digital download era, vanishing entirely from the chart after falling to #17. It was also released in Spanish as "Noches de Seda" at the same time. In the wake of its US success, the song re-charted in the UK in late 1972 and climbed to #9. The song was re-released yet again in 1979, and charted for a third time in the UK at #14.

There are two single versions of the song, both stripped of the orchestral and "Late Lament" poetry sections of the LP version. The first edited version, with the songwriter's credit shown as "Redwave", was a hasty sounding 3:06 version of the LP recording with very noticeable chopped parts. However, there are many versions of the single that are listed on the labels at 3:06, but in fact are closer to the later version of 4:26. Some versions, instead of ending cold as most do, segue briefly into the symphonic second half ("Late Lament"), and, in fact, run for 4:33 (but are also listed on the label as 3:06). For the second edited version (with the song's writing credited to Hayward), the early parts of the song were kept intact, ending early at 4:26. Just about all single versions were backed with a non-LP B-side, "Cities".

Band member Justin Hayward wrote the song at age 19 in Swindon, and titled the song after a friend gave him a gift of satin bedsheets. The song itself was a tale of a yearning love from afar, which leads many aficionados to term it as a tale of unrequited love endured by Hayward. The London Festival Orchestra provided the orchestral accompaniment for the introduction, the final rendition of the chorus, and the "final lament" section, all of this in the original album version. The "orchestral" sounds in the main body of the song were actually produced by Mike Pinder's Mellotron keyboard device, which would come to define the "Moody Blues sound".[citation needed]

Although it only had limited commercial success on its first release, the song has since garnered much critical acclaim, ranking #36 in BBC Radio 2's "Sold on Song Top 100" list.

Late Lament[edit source | editbeta]Edit

The spoken-word poem heard near the six-minute mark of the album version of the song is called "Late Lament". Drummer Graeme Edge wrote the verses, which were read by keyboardist Mike Pinder. On Days of Future Passed, the poem's last five lines bracket the album and also appear at the end of track 1 ("The Day Begins").

While it has been commonly known as part of "Nights in White Satin" with no separate credit on the original LP, "Late Lament" was given its own listing on the two-LP compilation This is the Moody Blues in 1974 and again in 1987 (without its parent song) on another compilation, Prelude. Both compilations feature the track in a slightly different form than on Days of Future Passed, giving both spoken and instrumental tracks an echo effect. The orchestral ending is kept intact, but recording engineers have completely edited out the gong (struck by Mike Pinder) that closes the track on the original LP.

From 1992 through the early 2000s, the Moody Blues toured with shows backed by live orchestras. When with orchestral accompaniment, they often took the opportunity to include "Late Lament" in the performance of "Nights in White Satin". On these occasions, Edge recited it himself since Pinder was not in the band at that point.

False claim of authorship – Les Jelly Roll[edit source | editbeta]Edit

In the late 1990s, the UK magazine Record Collector printed a claim that "Nights in White Satin" had not been written by Justin Hayward at all, but that in fact the Moody Blues' management had simply bought the song outright in 1966 from an Italian group called The Jelly Roll and taken credit for it. This spurious claim seems to have arisen from the discovery of a 7" single by The Jelly Roll which allegedly carries the words "This is the original version of Nights in White Satin" on the label. Actually, "Les Jelly Roll" was a French band who did this cover of the Moody Blues song, and had the opportunity to release it in Italy, on Ricordi(an Italian record label), a few months before the original was released there. So, as a joke (they appear not to have been a very serious band), they put the famous sentence on the cover.[4]

Personnel[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Additional personnel

Chart positions[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Year Chart Position
1967 UK Singles Chart 19
1972 US Billboard Hot 100 2
1972 UK Singles Chart 9
1972 Canada RPM number-one single 1
1972 US Cash Box Top 100 singles 1
1979 UK Singles Chart 14
2010 UK Singles Chart 51

Theme park attraction and other uses[edit source | editbeta]Edit

The work was reinterpreted as the focus of Nights in White Satin: The Trip, a dark ride at the Hard Rock Park (now Freestyle Music Park) theme park in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, USA. The attraction, which included 3D-black light and fiber optic lighting effects and purpose-made films, was developed by Sally Corporation and Jon Binkowski of Hard Rock Park. Riders entered through a bead curtain, were provided 3-D glasses, and upon return were greeted, "how was your Trip?" Visual Effects, Digital CGI and Special Effects were designed, produced, and installed by Attraction Design Services; ride vehicles were from ETF.[citation needed]

The attraction operated as "The Trip" for the single 2008 season the park operated as Hard Rock Park, but was rethemed with the sale and retitling of the park; "park officials said the experience will be similar but the presentation will be changed."[5]

Other uses of the song[edit source | editbeta]Edit

  • This song is featured in Wolfgang Petersen's 1991 film, Shattered.
  • This song is featured in the 1992 film, Split Second
  • This song is featured in Robert De Niro's 1993 film, A Bronx Tale
  • This song is featured in Martin Scorsese's 1995 film, Casino.
  • This song is featured in Rob Zombie's 2009 remake, Halloween II
  • This song is featured in Bertrand Bonello's 2011 film, House of Tolerance
  • This song is played over the opening credits of Tim Burton's 2012 film Dark Shadows
  • This song is featured in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, a novel by Stephen Chbosky as it appears on a music playlist by the novel's protagonist, Charlie.
  • This song is featured in The Boat That Rocked
  • This song is featured in the Heath Kirchart segment in the 2001 Transworld Skateboarding video Sight Unseen.
  • It is also featured in the Wiseguy episode "No One Gets Out of Here Alive", in the climactic scene between Vinnie Terranova and Sonny Steelgrave. This was removed in the DVD release.
  • The song is featured in the TV movie The 70s.
  • This song is featured in Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo when Deuce gets high on space cake.
  • This song featured in, "Dark Shadows" 2012
  • This song is featured in Fringe episode "In Absentia", appearing in the background as Walter Bishop addresses his future self on a video tape.

Sandra version[edit source | editbeta]Edit

"Nights in White Satin"
Single by Sandra
from the album Fading Shades
Released March 1995
Format CD single

12" single

Recorded 1995
Genre Synthpop
Length 3:35
Label Virgin
Writer(s) Justin Hayward
Producer Michael Cretu
Sandra singles chronology
"Maria Magdalena '93"


"Nights in White Satin"


"Won't Run Away"


"Nights in White Satin" is a dance-pop cover version performed by German singer Sandra. The song appeared on Sandra's sixth studio album Fading Shades(1995).

It was produced by Michael Cretu and received mixed reception from music critics. The song was released as the lead single in the spring of 1995 (see 1995 in music), although it failed to match the success of Sandra's previous singles. The song entered the Top twenty in Finland and Australia, but in Germany, it reached a peak of eighty-six, becoming her least successful lead single in that country to date. In the United Kingdom, it failed to enter the chart.

The music video, directed by Angel Hart, showed only close ups of Sandra's face as she was pregnant at the time. She even had to sit during the recording sessions of the album. (Note that the Fading Shades album cover was taken from the music video.)[6]

Formats and track listings[edit source | editbeta]Edit

CD single[7]
  1. "Nights in White Satin" – 3:35
  2. "Nights in White Satin" (techno mix) – 5:29
CD Maxi-single[8]
  1. "Nights in White Satin" – 3:35
  2. "Nights in White Satin" (club mix) – 6:05
  3. "Nights in White Satin" (techno mix) – 5:29
  4. "Nights in White Satin" (jungle mix) – 6:09
  5. "Nights in White Satin" (dub version) – 4:02
12" single[9]
  1. "Nights in White Satin" (club mix) – 6:05
  2. "Nights in White Satin" (techno mix) – 5:29
  3. "Nights in White Satin" (jungle mix) – 6:09
  4. "Nights in White Satin" (dub version) – 4:02

Charts[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Chart (1995) Peak


German Singles Chart 86
New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart[10] 34
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