DENNY LAINE


Biography

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Bands/Discography:

Solo albums: Great musician and singer, he was born Brian Hines on October 29, 1944, in Jersey Coast, England.


DENNY LAINE & THE DIPLOMATS  

Denny Laine and friend Bev Bevan formed this band in September 1962.

They have many recordings made, but all of them still remain unreleased (!). They used to play blues.

Denny left the band in May 1964, to form a historical band, The Moody Blues.

I think that singer Nicky James was also part of this band. Can anybody confirm me this thing, please?


THE MOODY BLUES  

The band was formed by Denny and Mike Pinder.

This lineup released 7 singles for Decca between September 1964 and January 1967, being the 2nd the most famous, reaching #1 in UK. The single was "Go now", a rendition of an old Bessie Banks song. Their only album was The magnificent Moodies.

The album had 12 songs, and a introduction written by Donovan. Fortunately, CD reissues have included up to 13 more songs!!

(from left to right: Mike Pinder, Denny Laine, Clint Warwick, Graeme Edge, Ray Thomas)

Finally, in November 1966, Denny Laine and Clint Warwick leave the band.


Solo career  

After leaving Moody Blues, Denny released two singles (although I don't know if the singles really belong to his next band, Electric String Band).

The song "Say you don't mind" was later covered by superb vocalist Colin Blunstone (from The Zombies) in 1972. And the original Denny version can be found in the CD sampler, The sixties explosion vol.1 1961-1967 (1988, See for miles 1988). The terrific B-side "Catherine's Wheel" can be found in another sampler, Psychedalia - Rare blooms from the English summer of love (1996, See for miles).


DENNY LAINE ELECTRIC STRING BAND  

An amazing lineup! They played in Juny 1967, in the Saville Theatre, along with Jimi Hendrix Experience and Procol Harum.


BALLS  

Denny joins this band as a bassist, around summer 1969, after his own band had no success.

They bear drastic changes in lineup in December 1969. In summer 1970, they break up, but after a while, they reunite with a different singer. But, very soon, Lomax leaves, and Steve Gibbons comes back again. In January 1971, Alan White leaves (he later gained fame in Yes), and famous drummer Mike Kellie (from Spooky Tooth) takes the drumsticks. Unfortunately, the band split in February 1971.

They only released a single, 'Fight for my country / Janie slow down' (Jan 71, Wizard).


UNNAMED BAND  

Soon after Blind Faith's separation, Clapton and some friends recorded some sessions at Olympic Studios in London, but none from it ever was released. Some of the musicians were:

Laine and Burton were at this time in the band Balls. And Clapton finally joined permanently to Delaney & Bonnie.


GINGER BAKER'S AIRFORCE  

I don't know if Denny was really a member, around January 1970, or if he only played in the album Ginger Baker's Airforce. Can anybody help?

This free-form outfit was assembled by Ginger Baker. The list of musicians wasn't stable, in the jazz tradition. They started their short career in January 1970.

They soon released their first album, Airforce, with this personnel:

With some other guests, like Bud Beadle (sax) and Steve Gregory (flute, sax) (later both in Gonzalez with Chris Mercer), Colin Gibson (bass).

There are at least two, but probably three versions of the album available. The English release has 7 songs; there is a version with eight songs and probably a Norwegian version with eleven songs. On the English album, Denny plays guitar at least on three songs:  'Let me ride', 'Sweet wine' and 'I don't want to go on without you' (where he also sings). On version II there is a song, 'You wouldn't believe it' credited by Baker/Laine.

For Denny's membership of the band the only information I've received is that they played in October 1970 live in the studio of the WDR for RockPalast. Denny was not there. I've heard that there is an rerelease of GBA-material. Has anybody more details, please?

In February 1970, Winwood and Wood leave the band to reform Traffic again. And finally, after a second album, Airforce 2, Ginger Baker dissolved the band. Sorry, as I don't have it, I'm not sure if Denny plays in it. Help?


WINGS  

This was to be Denny's most succesful move. He joined in August 1971 to Paul McCartney's band, currently a trio with wife Linda McCartney (recently, she has sadly passed away) and drummer Denny Seiwell.

They released the superb Wings wild life. But they augmented the lineup with another guitarist, Henry McCullough, in January 1972.

They performed their first tour as a band in February 1972. They released Red Rose speedway, as well as some superb singles, such as "Live and let die" (for the eponymous James Bond movie), the lovely "My love" or "Give Ireland back to the Irish".

In July 1973, Henry McCullough leaves the band due to 'musical differences'. They decided to record a new album in Nigeria, but then, drummer Denny Seiwell announces that he also leaves the band.

That album was Band of the run, and it's my favourite Wings album. I love it!

Next task was to record a solo album for Linda McCartney, under the monicker Susie & the Red Stripes. They used many musicians in the sessions, helping them to choose new Wings musicians. The chosen one was the great Jimmy McCulloch.

Finally, these sessions remained unreleased, except for a single, "Seaside woman" (released in June 1977).

In May 1974, they get a drummer, Geoff Britton.

They didn't release any album (only some singles), because Britton was fired in February 1975. But they performed in some Paul productions, as we'll see in the sessions section. New drummer was now Joe English. Next album was Venus and Mars.

Great band! They were augmented live with a horn section:

Fortunately, the CD reissues usually have a lot of bonus tracks. On Venus and Mars we can find 3 bonus tracks: "Zoo gang", "Lunch box/Odd sox" and "My carnival". There is even a song composed by Jimmy McCulloch along with Colin Allen (former bandmate in Stone the Crows), "Medicine Jar". The album also includes short contributions by Geoff Britton (later in Rough Diamond, watch Clem Clempson page), Dave Mason (from Traffic, lately in Fleetwood Mac), Allen Toussaint and sax player Tom Scott (L.A. Express).
(click here for a bigger image, 65 Kbs.)


(scan courtesy of Alex Gitlin)

Next album was Wings at the speed of sound.

The live album Wings over America was originally a 3LP, but the CD reissue has been reduced to a 2CD, without losing any track. Recorded live in the American tour (from 3/May to 23/June), it contains several Beatles renditions, the old Moody Blues song, "Go now", and even a Simon & Garfunkel version, "Richard Cory". A very good live album (just my 'umble opinion).

We can see the whole Wings band in the documentary "Rockshow" (1981), taken from some Wings old live concerts.

In September 1977, Jimmy McCulloch leaves the band.

And two months later, Joe English also leaves, and they came back to the main trio. They finished the album London town this way. London town has two bonus tracks: "Girl's school" and lovely song "Mull of Kyntire", a #1 in UK. When that album was released, as Jimmy McCulloch and Joe English had left the band, that's why we can see only Paul, Linda and Denny on the cover.

In March 1978, they get a new drummer, Steve Holly, and by July 1978, the lineup is complete with the addition of fine guitar player Laurence Juber.

They released a new album, Back to the egg, which I love. It includes two track with the Rockestra, a all-star lineup assembled by Paul. Be ready... this is the lineup: Paul also organized a benefit concert in order to raise funds for the people of Kampuchea. The event happened on December 26, 27, 28 & 29, 1979, at London's Hammersmith Odeon. It was a great festival (then, I saw it on TV, and I'd love to be able to get a videotape of it now!).

But, at least, I have the live 2LP. It's called Concerts for the people of Kampuchea (1981, Atlantic), and it comprises tracks from The Who (they played during 3 hours!!), Pretenders, Elvis Costello & The Attractions (including Bruce Thomas), Rockpile (with Robert Plant), Queen, The Clash, Ian Dury & The Blockheads, The Specials, Paul McCartney & Wings (3 tracks), and the final feast, 3 tracks from Rockestra, with this amazing lineup, a bit different from the studio lineup:

After that, the story of Wings was close to its end. When they traveled to Japan in order to play there some concerts, Paul is arrested in Tokyo's airport in 1980 due to some substances found in his cases. I still remember when it happened, I was shocked and felt really happy when he was free again. Definitely, 1980 wasn't a good year for a Beatles fan such as I was then. Paul didn't reunite the band after this incident, and continued his solo career. So Denny started his own solo career as well.


DENNY LAINE BAND  

After Wings' separation, he formed his new band in 1980, with his wife Jo Jo, and Wings' bandmate Steve Holly.

As I'm going to explain below, this lineup appeared in two tracks of Denny's album Japanese Tears. But they never released a complete album with this lineup. Rumour had it about a live album prepared for release, but that never happened. Why?

The band went separate ways in 1981, after a European tour and several TV shows.


UNNAMED BAND  

Danny Peyronel was living in Spain at that time, and the band where he was, Banzai, was over, so he contacted Denny Laine (who had been previously living in Spain) to form a band. Denny brought his former colleagues Ric Grech and Ginger Baker with him.

And that happened in Spain! Unfortunately, the project went nowhere, when a Spanish producer tried to record them. Oh, so there will be some tapes from that project? That would be great!! :)


Where was he?  

He came back to England in 1994, and recorded 4 albums for President label, the first one being a rerelease of Japanese Tears now called Weep for love.

And I'm sad to say that I never knew more things about Denny in a long, long time. Can anybody help about where was Denny all those years, please? He has been attending some Beatles Convention, where he was so kind to chat with fans.


PHOENIX  

Sorry, I don't know lineups here! Please, help me! They released only one single, and the photo shows Denny plus two more musicians, but don't know who they were.

With his band Phoenix, prior to Reborn he released a CD-single "Go now / Within walls". 'Go now' being the 1980-version with additional horn in the middle instead of the usual piano. 'Within walls' is different from the CD-version on Reborn.

The single mentioned a tour through England, but it seems that it never happened.


WORLD CLASSIC ROCKERS  

This super-band comprised great music veterans.

Michael Monarch and Nick St. Nicholas played in Steppenwolf, Randy Meisner was a member of The Eagles, and Bruce Gary played in The Knack. For more details about Spencer Davis, please check my pages about Colin Hodgkinson or Miller Anderson, both current members of the European Spencer Davis Group.

Returning to WCR, can anyone help me with a complete list of members along the years, please? Some musicians who have sung or played live with them are: Joey Molland (from Badfinger), Mark Lindsay, Eddie Tudori, Howard Leese (from Heart), Fergie Frederiksen (from Toto), John Fiddler (from Medicine Head), and Carmine Appice.

From the World Classic Rockers website , I've read that the current lineup is:


What is he doing now?  

He has been working on Arctic Song, the rock musical for the past three years and has already recorded a CD of tracks from the show (Arctic Song) at the Ribble Records studio. You can find lots of info about his new project in the Arctic website (see below).

He's also writing some songs for a movie called "Romantic maritz" with Carmine Appice, Kelly Keeling and Roger Daltrey.


SOLO ALBUMS  

His first solo album was called Ahh Laine, and it was released while he was in Wings. With several members of Stone the Crows: Steve Thompson (bass) and Colin Allen (drums), plus the great guitarist John Moorshead (before in Aynsley Dunbar's Relatiation). Denny plays guitar, keyboards and sings.

In the second one, Holly days, Denny recorded this tribute to Buddy Holly, with the only help of Paul McCartney and Linda McCartney. Yes, only Buddy Holly songs there.

In 1977, he released a single, "Caroline / Blues" (Paladin). As far as I know, these songs aren't contained in any album.

The third one, Japanese tears, comprises tracks he had been recording for 8 years, during time off from Wings. Some of the tracks were even recorded with Wings musicians, and two of them are already recorded with the new Denny Laine Band (see lineup above: Denny Laine, Jo Jo Laine, Gordon Sellar, Andy Richards, Mike Piggott, Steve Holly).

I love this album from start to finish. It includes new renditions of Denny's biggest hits, "Go now" and "Say you don't mind".

The rest of the tracks feature: Jo Jo Laine (vocals), Steve Holly (drums), Buddy Emmons (steel guitar), Paul McCartney (bass), Howie Casey (sax), Thadius Richard (flute). Also included there, two unreleased Wings tracks:

'I would only smile' (with Paul McCartney, Denny Laine, Henry McCullough, Linda McCartney, Denny Seiwell, recorded in 1973)

'Weep for love' (with Paul McCartney, Denny Laine, Laurence Juber, Linda McCartney, Steve Holly, recorded in 1979).

 
(different reissues of "Japanese tears" album)

By the way, this album has been reissued on CD, under a different name. I also have it in two different editions, and now it's called In flight, and it's credited to "Denny Laine with Paul McCartney and friends". It's the same album, the same tracks, nothing's different, except the song sequence. It has also been re-issued with more different names: Weep for love in 1985, Danger zone, or The Collection, etc.

In 1981, he released another single, "Who moved the world / Weep for love" (Rock City).

Blue nights is a CD-compilation album of all 4 President albums.

Anyone can fly album was produced by Norman "Hurricane" Smith, the first producer of Pink Floyd. The album from 1982 has 8 tracks, from which various are later re-released on compilation CDs. Here we can find Gordon Sellar (bass), John Hollywood (drums) and Chris Slade (drums).

Hometown girls includes guest appearances by his wife Jo Jo Laine, plus Maggie Bell (vocals), old mate Mike Piggott (guitar, violin), Eddie Hardin (keyboards), Lindsey Bridgewater (keyboards), Mel Collins (sax), Earl Lewis (bass), Joe Hubbard (bass), Steve Holly (drums).

Another single in 1986, 'Land of Peace / If I tried' (President).

Wings on my feet includes guest appearance by Rick Wakeman, plus Earl Lewis (bass), Steve Holly (drums) and Chris Slade (drums).

A curious thing. There's a CD called The Moody Blues - in words and music. It's mostly an interview with Denny about his times with The Moody Blues, with some music in it.

Regarding compilations, The masters is a double CD, and it includes selections from Japanese Tears, Anyone can fly, Wings at the sound of DL, All I want is freedom, and Reborn. The German compilation In time contains selections from All I want is freedom, Reborn, Japanese Tears, and Anyone can fly.