Sandra: Nights In White Satin

By Joar Grimstvedt, April 11, 1995
Virgin, 8 92899 2; 7243 8 92899 2 3 - DINSD 145 - PM 515

1. Nights In White Satin  (Radio Edit)   (108 BPM)  3:35
2. Nights In White Satin  (Club Mix)     (140 BPM)  6:05
3. Nights In White Satin  (Techno Mix)   (140 BPM)  5:29
4. Nights In White Satin  (Jungle Mix)   (150 BPM)  6:09
5. Nights In White Satin  (Dub Version)  (140 BPM)  4:02

Written by Justin Hayward
Produced & Engineered by Michael Cretu & Jens Gad

Published by Tyler Music
Taken from the forthcoming album "Fading Shades"

Photography: Jim Rakete
Sleeve Design: Virgin Munich

(P) 1995 Virgin Schallplatten GmbH
(C) 1995 Virgin Schallplatten GmbH

The cover shows Sandra in silhouette against a dark and deserted place. The CD itself is purple, with silver lettering.

This is the first single from Sandra's fortcoming album. It is a cover version, a cover of the 1967 Moody Blues song. This isn't the first time Sandra has covered songs; she did Everlasting Love in 1987, and Hiroshima (originally by Wishful Thinking) on her Paintings In Yellow album in 1990.

The original Nights In White Satin is an at times mellow song. On this new version there's a beat and a deep bass running through the whole song, and the strings lines from the original are replaced by a gentle guitar. Sandra is joined by male background vocals on the "I love you" parts, but it doesn't sound like Angel, who was actively involved in the vocals on the previous Sandra album Close To Seven. The version is a nice cover, although the track doesn't grab your attention too much. The remixes, on the other hand, do. These see Cretu and Gad going into ambient and trance territories, something which they do well.

The first of the remixes is the Club Mix. It starts off with a doom-like soundscape, complete with drum rolls on the tam-tams. Into this comes a simple, echoed note pattern, and a sound which bears a striking resemblance to the opening whale cry of Jean-Michel Jarre's Ethnicolor. A busy, low bass and sounds running up and down the scales pave way for the bass drum. Soon the rest of the drums join in. The "I love you" part comes in, and the vocals from the verse are sung. The track continues with the bass line, drums and various sounds until it fades out with the opening sonic atmosphere.

The Techno Mix starts with some chords and the high cries. A nice note sequence gives motion to the music, until a dark string part opens up for Sandra. The drums slowly build up, and a refreshing chord melody comes in. The "I love you" part is joined by the guitar and the bass, which plays on until the end.

The Jungle Mix opens in a similar way to the previous mixes, with chords and cries, and with a guitar. This mix is faster in tempo, something which is reflected in the drums. After Sandra's first verse comes some very aggressive drums, and a distorted guitar. The echoed note pattern from the Club Mix is repeated together with the bass and the sounds running up and down the scales, with no drums. They return, to a middle part where the drums run for themselves, and where there's some chords which bring some new air into the music. The track then continues with the usual bass and drums, and the "I love you" vocals, and fades out with the high cry.

The final mix is the Dub Version, which starts off with a surprising snare drum roll. As on most dub versions, there is very little melody or vocals here. We have the drums, bass, chords, the cry, the distorted guitar and the echoed note pattern. The track ends with a struck note on the guitar.

The highlights on this single must be the remixes. They are well done, and Cretu and Gad have made the three main mixes (excluding the Dub Version) varied, so even though they use the same material and many of the same elements they sound unique. Especially the openings are successful. The mixes carry on what was heard on the Trance Mix of Enigma's Out From The Deep single (which was done by Jens Gad). As always there is attention paid to the details in the music. I think we can look forward to an exciting album in Fading Shades.

Thanks to Virgin Records Norway

Updated December 31, 1996 by Joar Grimstvedt