DENNY LAINE - The Moody Blues

An Amazing Career

 

An Awesome Songwriter Musician Who Is Vastly Under Rated Today

 

  
 

Bands/Discography:

 

  • Denny & The Diplomats  

  • They used to open for the Beatles in the 60's (before The Moody Blues)

  • The Moody Blues

      • The Magnificent Moodies   "Go Now"  (July 1965, Decca)

  • Balls

  • Ginger Baker's Airforce

      • Airforce (February 1970, Polydor) (2LP)

  • Wings

    • Paul McCartney/Laine/L.McCartney/Seiwell

      • Wings Wild Life (December 1971, EMI)

    • Paul McCartney/Laine/McCullough/L.McCartney/Seiwell

      • Red Rose Speedway (April 1973, EMI)

    • Paul McCartney/Laine/L.McCartney

       

      Denny Laine With His First Roman Quicksilver

      • Band On The Run (December 1973, EMI)

    • Paul McCartney/Laine/McCulloch/L.McCartney/

      • Venus & Mars (May 1975, Columbia/Parlophone)

      • Wings At The Speed Of Sound (March 1976, EMI)

      • Wings Over America (December 1976, EMI/Capitol)

      • London Town (March 78, Capitol/Parlophone)

      • Wings Greatest Hits (December 1978, Capitol/Parlophone)

    • P.McCartney/Laine/Juber/L.McCartney/Holly

      • Back To The Egg (June 1979, EMI)

  • Denny Laine Band

  • Unnamed Band 

  • Phoenix

  • World Classic Rockers

 

 

 

Solo albums:

      • Ahh Laine (Nov 1973, Wizard)

      • Holly Days (May 1977, EMI/Capitol)

      • Japanese Tears (1981, Polydor)

      • Anyone can fly (1982, Polydor)

      • In flight (CD reissue of "Japanese tears") (1984)

      • Hometown Girls (1985, President)

      • Wings On My Feet (1986, President)

      • Lonely Road (1988, President)

      • Master Suite (1988, Magnum Force)

      • All I Want is Freedom (1990, JAWS)

      • Blue Nights (1994, President) (compilation)

      • Rock Survivor (1995, WCP)

      • Go Now (1995, Prime Cuts)

      • Reborn (1996, Griffin)

      • Wings at The Sound of Denny Laine (1996, Scratch)

      • Danger Zone (Laserlight)

      • The Moody Blues - in words & Music (Outlaw)

      • In Time (Semaphore) (compilation)

      • The Masters (1998, Eagle) (2CD) (compilation)

      • Arctic Song (1998)

      • The Moody Blues (Greatest Hits)

         


DENNY & THE DIPLOMATS


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

          Denny Laine (guitar, vocals)
          Phil Ackrill (guitar, vocals)
          Steve Horton (bass)
          Bev Bevan (drums)

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.
Their primary claim to fame was being known as the band that opened for the Beatles.
Years Later Paul would ask Denny to join Wings because of his experience with him when they opened for the Beatles.

 

 


THE MOODY BLUES


The band was formed by Denny & Mike Pinder.

          Ray Thomas (vocals, harmonica)
          Denny Laine (guitar, vocals)
          Clint Warwick (bass)
          Mike Pinder (keyboards)
          Graeme Edge (drums)

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!!


"Very Famous Photo"

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

 


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).

  • "Say you don't mind / Ask the people" (Apr 67, Deram)

  • "Too much in love / Catherine's wheel" (Jan 68, Deram)

The song "Say you don't mind" was covered by vocalist Colin Blunstone (The Zombies) in 1972.
And the original Denny version can be found in the CD sampler,
The sixties explosion vol.1 1961-1967
The terrific B-side "Catherine's Wheel" can be found in another sampler, Psychedalia
 

 


DENNY LAINE ELECTRIC STRING BAND


 
          Denny Laine (guitar, vocals)
          Trevor Burton (guitar)
          Viv Prince (drums)

They played in June 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.

          Steve Gibbons (vocals)
          Trevor Burton (guitar)
          Denny Laine (bass, vocals)
          Richard Tandy (keyboards)
          Keith Smart (drums)

They bear drastic changes in lineup in December 1969.

          Steve Gibbons (vocals)
          Denny Laine (guitar, vocals)
          Trevor Burton (bass, vocals)
          Alan White (drums)

In summer 1970, they break up, but after a while, they reunite with a different singer.

          Jackie Lomax (vocals)
          Denny Laine (guitar, vocals)
          Trevor Burton (bass, vocals)
          Alan White (drums)

But, very soon, Lomax leaves, and Steve Gibbons comes back again.

          Steve Gibbons (vocals)
          Denny Laine (guitar, vocals)
          Trevor Burton (bass, vocals)
          Alan White (drums)

In January 1971, Alan White leaves (he later gained fame in Yes),
and famous drummer Mike Kellie (from Spooky Tooth) takes the drumsticks.

          Steve Gibbons (vocals)
          Denny Laine (guitar, vocals)
          Trevor Burton (bass, vocals)
          Mike Kellie (drums)

Unfortunately, the band split in February 1971.

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

 


 

 

Denny In Ed Roman's Private Guitar Collection Room

Holding his Newest Quicksilver Guitar


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:

          Eric Clapton (guitar)
          George Harrison (guitar)
          Denny Laine (guitar)
          Trevor Burton (guitar)
          Ric Grech (bass)

Laine and Burton were at this time in the band Balls.

 Clapton finally joined permanently to Delaney & Bonnie.

 


GINGER BAKER'S AIRFORCE


Former Gun and Three Man Army members, Paul Gurvitz and Adrian Gurvitz joined forces with ex-Cream drummer Ginger Baker in 1974. Things had not been going too well for Ginger Baker since the demise of his own band Ginger Baker's Air Force. The Gurvitz Brothers, too, were looking for a new way ahead after the early success of their band The Gun.

When Cream split up in 1968, Ginger Baker was invited to join Blind Faith, which formed the following year. This was not such a successful venture and following its demise, Ginger decided to put together his own outfit, Ginger Baker's Airforce, in 1970. This huge band included many of his friends and favourite musicians like Graham Bond, Phil Seamen, Denny Laine and Steve Winwood. The band recorded two 'live' albums, but eventually the whole project became too costly. In 1974, though, it seemed he could use his greatest talent in the Baker Gurvitz Army. Their first album was released the same year and featured a dynamic mixture of heavy rock, guitar themes propelled by Baker's irrepressible drumming.

The band recorded two more albums, Elysian Encounter and Hearts on Fire. But personality clashes eventually led to the band breaking up the same year of their last release. In the aftermath Ginger briefly led a band called Energy, and was associated with Atomic Rooster and Hawkwind. In 2003 a music union named Flying In and Out of Stardom was released, with no new songs but the live track "Whatever It Is" recorded in 1975.

 

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

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

          Steve Winwood (vocals, keyboards)
          Denny Laine (guitar)
          Ric Grech (bass, violin)
          Jeannette Jacobs (bass, keyboards)
          Chris Wood (sax, flute)
          Graham Bond (keyboards, sax)
          Harold McNair (flute, sax)
          Remi Kabaka (percussion)
          Phil Seamen (drums)
          Ginger Baker (drums)

         

        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' 

        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.

        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. 


WINGS


This was to be Denny's most successful move.
Even though he regretted it later because it typecast him as a side man instead of a band leader !!
He joined in August 1971 to Paul McCartney's band, currently
a trio with wife Linda McCartney and drummer Denny Seiwell.

          Paul McCartney (vocals, bass, guitar)
          Denny Laine (guitar, vocals)
          Linda McCartney (keyboards, vocals)
          Denny Seiwell (drums, vocals)

They released the superb Wings wild life. But they augmented the lineup with another guitarist,

 Henry McCullough, in January 1972.

          Paul McCartney (vocals, bass, guitar)
          Denny Laine (guitar, vocals)
          Henry McCullough (guitar, vocals)
          Linda McCartney (keyboards, vocals)
          Denny Seiwell (drums, vocals)

They performed their first tour as a band in February 1972. They released Red Rose speedway,
Some superb singles, such as "Live and let die" ( James Bond ), the lovely "My love"

In July 1973, Henry McCullough leaves the band due to 'musical differences'.
They decided to record a new album in Nigeria,
Drummer Denny Seiwell leaves the band.

          Paul McCartney (vocals, bass, guitar)
          Denny Laine (guitar, vocals)
          Linda McCartney (keyboards, vocals)

That album was Band of the Run,   

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.

          Paul McCartney (vocals, bass, guitar)
          Denny Laine (guitar, vocals)
          Jimmy McCulloch (guitar, vocals)
          Linda McCartney (keyboards, vocals)

These sessions remained unreleased, except for a single, "Seaside woman" (June 1977).

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

          Paul McCartney (vocals, bass, guitar)
          Denny Laine (guitar, vocals)
          Jimmy McCulloch (guitar, vocals)
          Linda McCartney (keyboards, vocals)
          Geoff Britton (drums)

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.

          Paul McCartney (vocals, bass, guitar)
          Denny Laine (guitar, vocals)
          Jimmy McCulloch (guitar, vocals)
          Linda McCartney (keyboards, vocals)
          Joe English (drums)

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 (Stone the Crows), "Medicine Jar".

The album also includes short contributions by Geoff Britton later in Rough Diamond,
Clem Clempson , Dave Mason (from Traffic, lately in Fleetwood Mac),
 Allen Toussaint and sax player Tom Scott (L.A. Express).

 


 

Next album was Wings at the speed of sound.

The live album Wings over America was originally a 3LP,
the CD reissue has been reduced to a 2CD, without losing any tracks.
Recorded live in the American tour (from 3/May to 23/June),
It contains several Beatles renditions, the old Moody Blues song, "Go now",

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.

          Paul McCartney (vocals, bass, guitar)
          Denny Laine (guitar, vocals)
          Linda McCartney (keyboards, vocals)
          Joe English (drums)

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,
Jimmy McCulloch and Joe English had left the band,
that's why we can see only Paul, Linda and Denny on the cover.

          Paul McCartney (vocals, bass, guitar)
          Denny Laine (guitar, vocals)
          Linda McCartney (keyboards, vocals)

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.

          Paul McCartney (vocals, bass, guitar)
          Denny Laine (guitar, vocals)
          Laurence Juber (guitar, vocals)
          Linda McCartney (keyboards, vocals)
          Steve Holly (drums)
        •  
           
        • +
          David Gilmour (guitar, from Pink Floyd)
          Hank Marvin (guitar, from The Shadows)
          Pete Townshend (guitar, from The Who)
          John Paul Jones (bass, piano, from Led Zeppelin)
          Ronnie Lane (bass)
          Gary Brooker (piano, from Procol Harum)
          Tony Ashton (keyboards)
          Bruce Thomas (bass, from The Attractions)
          Speedy Acquaye (percussion)
          Tony Carr (percussion)
          Ray Cooper (percussion, from Elton John band)
          Morris Pert (percussion)
          John Bonham (drums, from Led Zeppelin)
          Kenny Jones (drums, from The Who)

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.

 

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:

          Paul McCartney (vocals, bass, guitar)
          Denny Laine (guitar)
          Laurence Juber (guitar)
          Linda McCartney (keyboards, vocals)
          Steve Holly (drums)
          +
          Howie Casey (sax)
          Tony Dorsey (trombone)
          Steve Howard (horns)
          Thadeus Richard (sax, flute, clarinet)
          +
          Robert Plant (vocals, from Led Zeppelin)
          Pete Townshend (guitar, vocals, from The Who)
          Billy Bremner (guitar, from Rockpile)
          Dave Edmunds (guitar, vocals, from Rockpile)
          James Honeyman-Scott (guitar, from Pretenders)
          Gary Brooker (vocals, piano, from Procol Harum)
          John Paul Jones (bass, from Led Zeppelin)
          Ronnie Lane (bass, vocals)
          Bruce Thomas (bass, from The Attractions)
          John Bonham (drums, from Led Zeppelin)
          Kenny Jones (drums, from The Who)

 

 


DENNY LAINE BAND

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

 

 

 


WORLD CLASSIC ROCKERS

This super-band comprised great music veterans.

          Spencer Davis (vocals, guitar)
          Denny Laine (vocals, guitar)
          Michael Monarch (guitar)
          Randy Meisner (bass)
          Nick St. Nicholas (bass)
          Bruce Gary (drums)
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.

 

          Spencer Davis (vocals, guitar)
          Bobby Kimball (vocals)
          Denny Laine (vocals, guitar)
          Michael Monarch (guitar)
          Randy Meisner (bass)
          Nick St. Nicholas (bass)
          Rosilee St. Nicholas (keyboards, vocals)
          Bruce Gary (drums)

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 Retaliation). 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.

 

 

 


Denny Laine & His Ed Roman Quicksilver Guitar

 

 

 

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