Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Songs #292 & 293 - It's TWOsday!

Song #292 of 9999                                                  Song #293 of 9999

Title: Go Now                                                           Title: Oh Well
Artist: The Moody Blues                                           Artist: Fleetwood Mac
Year: 1965                                                               Year: 1969
Album: The Magnificent Moodies                             Album: Then Play On

Tonight's post is about bands whose sounds change radically with the departure of one or more members. The starting point is "Go Now" by the Moody Blues. Those of you expecting the London Symphony Orchestra and bad poetry may be shocked by what you hear from this pre-Justin Hayward lineup. Fronting the band is Denny Laine, who would later co-found Wings with Paul McCartney! The song itself is a cover of a(n arguably better) version performed by Bessie Banks and produced by Leiber and Stoller. A top ten hit in the United States (and a #1 in the UK), the song was the last hit for The Moody Blues with this lineup, who scored big a couple of years later with "Night in White Satin."

Listening to "Go Now" made me think of another band that started with a lesser-known original lineup and a completely different sound. Fleetwood Mac seemed to move in the opposite direction of The Moody Blues. Originators Peter Green, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood were all members of John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers when they decided to form their own band in 1967. Playing to their strengths, the band was essentially a blues band when it started, but evolved into something of a progressive rock band by 1969 with the release of the single "Oh Well." The song, broken into two parts to fit on a 45RPM record, includes an extended instrumental section featuring classical guitar, recorder and cello. Who could have predicted that just six years later this band (albeit with new members Lindsey Buckinghan and Stevie Nicks) emerge as the most successul pop bands of the 1970s?

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I didn't realize how much Fleetwood Mac sounded like Van Morrison "Baby, Please Don't Go" (Big Joe Williams)...especially around :52 seconds into "Oh Well". Interesting! Lindsey with his fingerpicking guitar playing & Stevie with her raspy voice really took the band in totally different direction. And what young girl in the 70's didn't want to be her with the bohemian hippie gypsy style clothes she wore?