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Song Stories

“Nights in White Satin”

The Moody Blues | 1967

While most rock songs were still recorded in mono, Decca Records wanted the Moody Blues to record a rock version of Dvorak so it could demonstrate its stereo systems and prove that rock & roll could sound as good as classical music in stereo. This heavily orchestrated tune transformed the band from a decent R&B act to psychedelic prog rockers. "We'd recorded together before, and what came out was good but not magic," Moodies singer/flautist Ray Thomas told Rolling Stone, noting that they cried when they first heard it. "But this, we felt, was different."

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Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

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