An Awesome Songwriter Musician Who Is Vastly Under Rated Today
DENNY & 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.
THE MOODY BLUES
The band was formed by Denny & 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
The album had 12 songs, and a introduction written
(from left to right: Mike Pinder, Denny Laine, Clint Warwick, Graeme Edge, Ray Thomas)
After leaving Moody Blues,
Denny released two singles
"Say you don't
mind" was covered by vocalist Colin Blunstone (The
Zombies) in 1972.
DENNY LAINE ELECTRIC STRING BAND
They played in June 1967, in
the Saville Theatre,
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),
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
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.
Clapton finally joined permanently to Delaney & Bonnie.
GINGER BAKER'S AIRFORCE
This free-form outfit was
assembled by Ginger Baker.
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.
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.
This was to be Denny's most
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,
In July 1973, Henry
McCullough leaves the band due to 'musical differences'.
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.
These sessions remained unreleased, except for a single, "Seaside woman" (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.
Next album was Venus and Mars.
Great band! They were augmented live with a horn section:
the CD reissues usually have a lot of bonus tracks.
The album also includes short contributions by Geoff Britton
later in Rough Diamond,
Next album was Wings at the speed of sound.
The live album
Wings over America was
originally a 3LP,
We can see the whole Wings band in the documentary "Rockshow"
In September 1977, Jimmy McCulloch leaves the band.
And two months later, Joe
English also leaves, and they came back to the main trio.
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 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:
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.