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James

"Nights in White Satin"

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James   

When I first got into Eric Carmen / Raspberries, as mentioned before, my intro to The Raspberries was  via the "Best Of...featuring Eric Carmen" album.  I remember reading the poop out of the extensive liner notes while I listened, ..what a  treat they were as I wanted to learn everything I could about the band,..... and liner notes that extensive were extremely rare back in the day.

Anyway, it´s been 40 years, and my memory could be off, but I remember Reading in those liner notes something about that The Raspberries, in their early days, covered  "Nights in White Satin" live,...and that Eric Carmen did a terrific job belting out the vocals, and that the band´s version was actually better than The Moody Blues´ version.  I also remember thinking that I could hear that,...I could hear the band nailing the song even better than The Moodys, whose version was pretty great itself.

I´m sure this question is a waste of time as if a recording of this song was available it would have been posted here.  But I´ll ask anyway.  Is The Raspberries performing "Nights in White Satin" available anywhere?

Thanks in advance,...

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AnneNR   

Correct me if I am wrong, but didn't Mr. Carmen state somewhere on this site at some time that he... uhmm .... was not a fan of Progressive or "Prog Rock" ?  I believe some of the Moody Blues catalog was considered Prog Rock, including "Nights In White Satin" (??)  So, unless something changed his mind, it doesn't sound like Mr. Carmen to take on a Prog-Rock piece if it was something he didn't care much for.

Do you still have the liner notes somewhere to refer to, James? or Raspbernie?  This would definitely be an interesting bit of trivia.

AnneNR

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Kirk   

Here is an Eric reference from the message board:

"Wally also used to sing a killer version of "Nights In White Satin".
Jeff Beck said we did it better with four pieces than the Moody Blues did it with sixty."

ec

 

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James   

It´s been 40 years since I read the liner notes.  I just did a quick google search, here´s what I found, it references Cyrus Erie.  So given Kirk´s post, and the below link, it appears Wally sang it and thus my recollection that Eric was referenced as the singer was incorrect. Maybe someone has those original liner notes?

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I just saw this topic and thought I’d provide some context …

PART 1 of the, sort of, ‘Nights in White Satin’ saga (rounded out with some minor digressions) …

In early to mid-1968 someone brought the single of ‘Nights in White Satin’ to a Cyrus Erie rehearsal and said, “We should figure out how to do this.”    LOTS of laughter.  Subsequently, the band figured out how to do ‘Tuesday Afternoon’ and then it was a short leap to playing ‘Nights in White Satin’.  On the two (2) Moody Blues songs, Wally sang lead and Eric, Michael McBride, and Bob McBride sang backup.  Eric used a mini-Farfisa organ (on top of the piano) with an Echoplex (a small box with a loop of recording tape that you could set the interval of time between the recording and automatic playback) for the string parts and the flute solo. 

No one outside the band would believe that there was such a simple setup for the strings and flute so Dan Ladanyi (Manager) put together a small box with colored lights and switches (that did absolutely nothing but turn the colored lights on and off).  When it came time to do the strings or flute, Eric would kick a couple switches and the colored lights would flash and interested people in the audience would go, “Ooh, yeah … a Mellotron”.

Cyrus Erie opened a Jeff Back Group show (the Group included Rod Stewart and Ron Wood) and Jeff Beck did make the comment that Cyrus Erie played ‘Nights in White Satin’ better that the Moody Blues.  People would actually come to see Cyrus Erie just to hear them play the Moody Blues songs, the Who and Small Faces medley’s, the Abbey Road medley, and ‘Tin Soldier’. 

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PART 2 of the, sort of, ‘Nights in White Satin’ saga (rounded out with some minor digressions) …

Fast forward … when talking about material at Raspberries’ inception, the discussions went something like this … Can’t transfer any of the Cyrus Erie material or Raspberries becomes “Son of Cyrus Erie”.   How about the Beatles?  Can’t do the Abbey Road medley ... but, if you think of the record industry in terms of a cycle … you get updated, improved covers of earlier material together with new songs approximately every 8 years.  Think of it in terms of Frank Sinatra circa 1948, Elvis circa 1956, and Beatles circa 1964 … a new cycle might surface around 1972 … hmmm.

In the end, the only Cyrus Erie song (that they were playing when they disbanded) to make it into Raspberries was ‘Nights in White Satin’.  The instrumentation was the same, Wally sang lead, and Eric, Jim B., and John Aleksic (original bass player) sang backup.

There’s a Raspberries antidote pertaining to ‘Nights in White Satin’ (referenced by Jim B. when he and Eric were doing an interview at the inception of the reunion … Eric was talking about early Raspberries venues and material and Jim chimes in with “… and Nights in White Satin”).

VERY early (before Raspberries started playing at the Agora) they did a show at the Plato.  Both the Agora and the Plato were large, college venues that served alcohol, which was a change from the Hullabaloo venues.  In addition, while people in the Hullabaloo venues knew of and would recognize members of Raspberries, at the Agora and Plato the band members were virtually unknown (eg:  neither the band or the audience knew what to expect).

So … Raspberries played its set in this uncharted venue and closed with ‘Nights in White Satin’.  At the end of the song there was dead silence (I mean REALLY dead, you could hear a pin drop, silence) and the band started thinking, “uh, oh … ” at which point the entire room erupted into a rather lengthy period of applause, cheers and whistles.  Then, as the band was leaving the stage, Jim (in his typical low key fashion) said, “That seemed to go well.”

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Thanks for the nice backstory Marty.  ?  It's good to see you posting here.

Some of those folks from the CE days have asked about you on the CE/Hullabaloo/Ohio bands FB group page.  

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Brian   

Hey Marty....Eh,I mean martinwilbury.....I was also at that show where CE opened for Jeff Beck Group. Mentor Hullabaloo on a wintery Sunday afternoon. I was sitting....yes,sitting...on the floor with Jeff beck within reach of me. Rod Stewart on vocals...Jeff Beck,guitar....Ron Wood,bass....Mick Waller,drums....I distinctively remember the drummer shaking his head in disgust about Mike McBrides drum set-up. I thought his kit was great! Sweat dripped off of Beck's nose he was so intense. 

  And yes....no one could play Nights in White Satin like Cyrus Erie!

I miss our conversations at Gateway Drug,Marty!

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MAM   

I was fortunate enough to witness a Berries performance of Nights In White Satin, it did indeed sound stellar.

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AnneNR   

I am sooo envious now,  does ANYONE have even an audio copy of Raspberries doing "Nights In White Satin" ???  I wasn't anywhere back then where I could have heard them, I was just a kid.  I would so love to hear what Wally did with the vocals on that piece, and how a four piece group could do a stellar job with it.

AnneNR :)

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DJW   

Prior to the Raspberries, when Eric was in Cyrus Erie, they would perform that song at the Mentor Hullabaloo. Eric was great on all the songs he sang but on that one I also remember Mike McBride's drumming. They also did from the same album Nights in White Satin.

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