Denny Laine (born Brian Frederick Hines, 29 October 1944) is an English musician, singer, songwriter and guitarist. He was an original member of the Moody Blues, singing the band’s first hit “Go Now” in 1964, and was a member of Wings with Paul McCartney from 1971 to 1981.
Laine was born in Birmingham, where he attended Yardley Grammar School, and took up the guitar as a boy under the influence of gypsy jazz (jazz manouche) legend Django Reinhardt; he gave his first solo performance as a musician at the age of 12 and began his career as a professional musician fronting Denny Laine & the Diplomats, which also included future Move and Electric Light Orchestra drummer Bev Bevan.
In 1964, Laine left the Diplomats to join Mike Pinder in the Moody Blues and sang the group’s first big hit, “Go Now”; other early highlights included I Don’t Want To Go on Without You, another UK hit, plus two minor UK chart hits “From The Bottom of My Heart ( I Love You)”, Everyday (both written by Laine and Pinder), “Can’t Nobody Love You” and the harmonica-ripping “Bye Bye Bird” (a big hit in France).
A self-titled EP and ‘The Magnificent Moodies’ LP on Decca followed. Laine and Pinder wrote most of The Moody Blues ‘B’ sides during the 1965-66 period, such as You Don’t (All the Time), And My Baby’s Gone and This Is My House. However, Laine’s tenure with the MB’s was relatively short-lived and, after a number of comparative chart failures, Laine quit the band in October 1966. The last record issued by the Moody Blues that featured Laine was “Life’s Not Life”/”He Can Win” in January 1967, just after Justin Hayward had replaced him in the band.
Denny Laine with The Moody Blues
After leaving the Moody Blues, he formed the Electric String Band in December 1966, which featured himself on guitar and vocals, Trevor Burton (of the Move) on guitar, Viv Prince on drums and electrified strings in a format not dissimilar to what Electric Light Orchestra would later attempt. Laine made two singles, “Say You Don’t Mind”/”Ask The People” (April 1967, Deram) and “Too Much in Love”/”Catherine’s Wheel” (January 1968, Deram); and, in June 1967, the band shared a bill with the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Procol Harum at the Saville Theatre in London. However, it did not achieve national attention, and the pioneering Electric String Band broke up. (There was apparently a third single recorded called “Why Did You Come?”. Why it was never released is unknown, but there have been rumors that the finished track – and probably the B side as well – was mailed to Decca and was lost.) Laine and Burton then went on to the band Balls from February 1969 until the band’s breakup in 1971, with both also taking time to play in Ginger Baker’s Air Force in 1970.
Only one single was issued by Balls: “Fight for My Country”/”Janie, Slow Down” on UK Wizard Records. The top side was re-edited and reissued on UK Wizard and issued in the UK on Wizard and in the United States on Epic under the name of Trevor Burton; Laine and Burton shared lead vocals on the B side. The single was reissued again as B.L.W. as “Live in the Mountains” for a small Pye-distributed label, “Paladin”. Twelve tracks were recorded for a Balls album, but it has never been released. Laine’s 1967 song “Say You Don’t Mind” was a hit when recorded in 1972 by ex-Zombie Colin Blunstone.
Denny Laine with The Wings
In 1971, Laine joined Paul McCartney to form Wings, and stayed with the group for 10 years until it disbanded in 1981. Laine provided lead and rhythm guitars, lead and backing vocals, keyboards, bass guitar and woodwinds, as well as writing or co-writing some of the group’s material. Laine, McCartney, and McCartney’s wife, Linda McCartney formed the nucleus of the band. With Wings, Laine enjoyed the biggest commercial and critical successes of his career, including co-writing the hit Mull of Kintyre. He also co-wrote and sang lead vocal on Deliver Your Children, which was released as a Wings B-side but charted in the Netherlands.
In January 1980, McCartney was arrested for possession of marijuana on arrival at an airport for a tour in Japan. The tour was cancelled and the band members, except Linda, returned to England. After returning to England, McCartney decided to release his solo album, McCartney II, and plans for an autumn U.S. tour were dropped. Meanwhile, Laine released the single “Japanese Tears” and formed the short-lived Denny Laine Band with Steve Holley and released a solo album Japanese Tears that December. On April 27, 1981, Laine announced he was leaving Wings due to McCartney’s reluctance to tour in the wake of John Lennon’s murder.
He signed with Scratch records and began working on a new album, Anyone Can Fly. He then went on to record other solo albums such as Hometown Girls, Wings on Your Feet and Lonely Road before returning to Scratch to do his Wings at the Sound of Denny Laine. He has also had three fanzine publications, Ahh Laine, wrote the musical Arctic Song and released two more albums, Master Suite and Reborn.
Laine moved to the United States in the 1990s, where he continues to tour, originally with the World Classic Rockers and later with the Cryers.
He was briefly married to Jo Jo Laine, with whom he had a son, Laine Hines, and a daughter, Heidi Hines. He has three other children from other relationships: Lucianne Grant (with Helen, daughter of Led Zeppelin manager Peter Grant), Damian James (with model Catherine James) and Ainsley Laine-Adams. (by wikipedia)
Denny Laine’s solo CD’s never have sold big, but I’ve found them very enjoyable. “Blue Nights” compiles songs from various albums he recorded in the 80’s and 90’s – most of which were only available as imports, and impossible to find, so this CD makes a nice sampling of some of his lesser known works. Standouts include the upbeat “Wings on my Feet” (not about his former band), “Hometown Girls” (a sad bit of longing for simpler times), “Caribbean Sun” (great summer sound), and “Blue Nights” (recorded with very simple instrumental backing). A few of the songs were familiar to me from his “Japanese Tears” and “Lonely Road” albums. “Japanese Tears” has been re-released more times than I can count, but “Lonely Road” has long been out of print, so those songs were welcome additions here. It’s also nice that they included a list of the musicians performing on every track, including Rick Wakeman and Denny’s ex-Wings mates. (by Ron)
Denny Laine as a bass player in 1976
01. Wings On My Feet (Laine) (1987) 3.29
02. Japanese Tears (Laine) (1980) 4.42
03. Go Now (Banks/Bennett) (1980) 3.22
04. Say You Don’t Mind (Laine) (1980) 3.10
05. Hometown Girls (Laine) (1985) 4.08
06. Weep For Love (Laine) (1979) 4.34
07. Send Me The Heart (Laine/McCartney) (1973) 3.39
08. Caribbean Sun (Laine) (1987) 3.25
09. If I Tried (Laine) (1986) 2.22
10. Money Talks (Laine) (1988) 3.38
11. Stay Away (Laine) (1985) 4.00
12. Roll The Dice (Laine) (1987) 3.57
13. Land Of Peace (Laine) (1986) 3.37
14. Blue Nights (Laine) (1985) 3.19
15. Blushing Bride (Laine) (1987) 4.02
If you are interested in the German edition of Denny Laine´s “guitar Book” from 1979 click on th pic: