"Go Now" was the only big hit the Moody Blues had in their first, pre-art rock incarnation, when Denny Laine was their lead singer and their repertoire combined pop, blues, soul, and R&B. Originally, though, it had been an obscure soul single for Bessie Banks, who put the song (produced by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller) on a Blue Cat single in 1964. It is sometimes said that British Invasion bands were doing little more than copying American rock, blues, and soul music, getting much more success with their cover versions because they were white and the originals were done by blacks, and "Go Now" has sometimes been held up as an example of that. While the Moody Blues' cover of "Go Now" was pretty close to the arrangement of the original, such criticism is not wholly justified, because they did add something of themselves (and the Banks single had already flopped before they were astute enough to dig it up). In particular, there was Laine's uniquely pained voice; the group's odd haunting harmonies, particularly ghostly on this recording; and Mike Pinder's dignified piano, already showing the hint of classicism that would flower in the late-'60s Moody Blues. The record starts with an unaccompanied, dramatic trill of Laine on the opening lyric, before Pinder's descending piano lines come in to form the bedrock of the arrangement. The song, a torn lament for an affair the singer both does and doesn't want to end, is not conveniently divided into verses, choruses, and bridges, but continually winds through varying passages with eloquent, melodic despair. Particularly wrenching are the points at which the instruments drop out to leave Laine singing unaccompanied, and then get joined by backing harmonies as the group whines in tandem that their girl better "Go Now." Although "Go Now" is nominally a soul song, there's a pronounced gospel feel to the chord progression, and a Brill Building-savvy pop touch to the unusual and catchy melodic structure; there certainly isn't much of straight blues or R&B. Pinder particularly excels during the instrumental break, which gives him full opportunity to stretch his choppy classical-blues figures. The coda is also cool, as the band unexpectedly sings the final chorus with a melody slightly different and more declarative than the one they used throughout the rest of the track, ending with a last unaccompanied wail on the title phrase that almost instantly fades into nothingness, as though the fader in the control room has been lowered too fast. Banks's original single, not known to many but available on some reissue compilations, is also a fine record, differing from the famous Moody Blues version in the insertion of horn lines that are not heard on the cover. Banks also takes the vocal with a more soul-conscious delivery that emphasizes the sad regret of the lyric more than the anguished hurt (as Laine does), and the implicit gospel feeling of the composition is stronger in Banks's version.