The Moodies nick Bessie Banks’ big break and cash in on the Merseybeat movement with a #1 UK hit.
Kronomyth 0.2: Banks of the moody blue mersey.
The Moody Blues were an English R&B group who became part of the post-Beatles British Invasion when their cover of Bessie Banks’ “Go Now!” topped the UK charts and reached #10 on the US charts two months later. As the story goes, Denny Laine heard Banks’ version on the radio and immediately knew the band had to record it. The Moodies’ version is faithful to the original but sweetened with multi-part male harmonies that compare favorably to The Beatles. (In fact, as legend goes, when Paul McCartney first heard the song, he told his bandmates he’d discovered a band that was making music as good as them.)
Over the years, the song has dropped out of the Moodies’ repertoire (Ray Thomas and Justin Hayward have both tried singing it), but has remained an important part of Denny Laine/Wings’ repertoire. There’s a great version of this featured on Wings Over America, with Denny playing the piano and Paul and Linda providing the harmonies. The UK and US singles had different B sides: “It’s Easy Child” (originally recorded in 1962 by Lulu Reed and Freddy King) and the Moodies original, “Lose Your Money,” respectively. The latter sounds more like The Rolling Stones than The Beatles, and features Ray Thomas on harmonica.
Original 7-inch single version
A1. Go Now! (Banks*)
B1. It’s Easy Child (Sue Sandler/Kay Bennett/Gene Redd)
* The UK single listed the songwriter as Banks, which may have been a reference to Bessie Banks, the original performer, or Larry Banks, her husband and the song’s co-writer along with Milton Bennett.
Original 7-inch single version (US/CAN)
A1. Go Now! (Larry Banks/Milton Bennett) (3:00)
B1. Lose Your Money (Denny Laine/Mike Pinder) (2:00)
Old Gold 7-inch single reissue
A1. Go Now (Larry Banks/Milton Bennett) (3:10)
B1. I Don’t Want To Go On Without You (Bert Berns/Jerry Wexler) (2:45)
Graeme Edge (drums, backing vocals), Denny Laine (lead vocals, guitar), Mike Pinder (piano, backing vocals), Ray Thomas (backing vocals), Clint Warwick (bass, backing vocals). Produced by Alex Murray.
Released on 7-inch single on November 13, 1964 in the UK and Ireland (Decca, F.12202), in January 1965 in the US (London, 45 LON 9726), Canada (London, L. 9726), Germany (Decca, DL 25 166) and Italy and the Netherlands (Decca, F 12022) and in 1965 in Australia (London, Y 7202) and New Zealand (Decca, DEC.314) with regional picture sleeve; reached #1 on the UK charts and #10 on the US charts (charted on February 20, 1965 for 14 weeks).
- Re-issued on 7-inch single c. 1966 in Canada (London, L. 9726) [orange shutter label].
- Re-issued on 7-inch single in 1974 in the US (London, 5N-9726) [blue shutter label or rustic scene label] and Canada (London, L. 9726) [blue shutter label].
- Re-released on 7-inch single in 1978 in the US (London, 5N-9726) [rustic scene label] feat. “It’s Easy Child” as the B side.
- Re-released on 7-inch single in September 1985 in the UK (Old Gold, OG 9509) with different B side (see above).