“Nights in White Satin”, The Moody Blues, 1967.
Some consider this to be The Moody Blues’ signature song. However the single actually didn’t sell too well in 1967. (Neither did the album it came from, Days of Future Past.) The single peaked at #19 on the UK singles chart, and it didn’t even chart in the US. However when it was rereleased in 1972 the single peaked at #2 in the US (#1 on Cashbox), and it also charted higher in the UK at #9. The Days of Future Past album also rose to #3 on the US album charts.
So what happened? Why didn’t they take off in 1967? One obvious reason is that the single was over 7 minutes long. In 1967 shorter songs were still the standard, but by the 70’s people were used to listening to longer songs. However another reason is that in 1967 so many huge things were happening in music, that some good bands got overlooked (like The Moody Blues). I mean Sgt. Peppers was ruling the charts, and there were all these new bands arriving on the scene like The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, etc… (actually most of the acts at the Monterey Pop Festival).
Basically so much good music was released in 1967 that it took people years to discover it all. The Moody Blues weren’t the only significant group to be overlooked in 1967 either. (But I’ll have to save those other bands for another day though.)