Denny Laine

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Denny Laine
Denny Laine - Wings - 1976.jpg
Denny Laine on stage with Wings in 1976
Background information
Birth name Brian Frederick Hines
Also known as Denny Laine
Born (1944-10-29) 29 October 1944 (age 72)
Origin Birmingham, England
  • Singer-songwriter
  • musician
Years active 1957–present
Associated acts
Notable instruments
Gibson EDS-1275
Fender Stratocaster
Gibson Les Paul
Ovation Guitars
Fender Telecaster Bass

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.


Early years[edit]

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.

Experience in notable bands[edit]

The Moody Blues[edit]

In 1964, Laine left the Diplomats to join Mike Pinder in the Moody Blues[1] 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,[citation needed] 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.

Electric String Band and Balls[edit]

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 (ex-Pretty Things) 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.)[citation needed] 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.[2]

Only one single was issued by Balls: "Fight for My Country"/"Janie, Slow Down" on UK Wizard Records.[2] 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.[2] Laine's 1967 song "Say You Don't Mind" was a hit when recorded in 1972 by ex-Zombie Colin Blunstone.


In 1971, Laine joined Paul McCartney to form Wings,[3] 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 27 April 1981, Laine announced he was leaving Wings due to McCartney's reluctance to tour in the wake of John Lennon's murder.[4]

Denny Laine performing at the Cavern Club in 2008

Life after Wings[edit]

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 My 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.

Personal life[edit]

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.[5] 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)[6] and Ainsley Laine-Adams.


Solo albums[edit]

Year Album Label
1973 Ahh...Laine Wizard/Reprise (US)
1977 Holly Days EMI/Capitol (US)
1980 Japanese Tears Polydor/Scratch
1982 Anyone Can Fly Polydor/Scratch
1985 Hometown Girls President
1987 Wings on My Feet President
1988 Lonely Road President
Master Suite Magnum Force
1990 All I Want Is Freedom JAWS
1996 Reborn Griffin/Scratch
Wings at the Sound of Denny Laine Scratch/Purple Pyramid (US)
2015 The Blue Musician Peacock Records

Compilation albums[edit]

Year Album
1978 Wings Greatest
1984 In Flight (tracks from "Japanese Tears")
1985 Weep For Love (tracks from "Japanese Tears")
1994 Blue Nights (tracks from 1980 to 1990)
1995 Rock Survivor (tracks from 1980 to 1990)
Danger Zone (tracks from "Japanese Tears")
Go Now (tracks from "Japanese Tears")
1998 The Masters (tracks from 1980 to 1996)
2002 Spreading My Wings: The Ultimate Denny Laine Collection (tracks from 1980 to 1990)
2003 The Collection (2 compilations, 1 album)
Blue Nights (tracks from 1980 to 1990)
The Masters (tracks from 1980 to 1996)
2004 An Introduction to The Moody Blues (including previously unreleased "People Gotta Go")
Send Me The Heart (tracks from "Japanese Tears")


Year A-side B-side Label
1967 "Say You Don't Mind" "Ask The People" Deram DM 122
1968 "Too Much in Love" "Catherine's Wheel" Deram DM 171
"Why Did You Come?"

Guest appearances[edit]

Year Album Artist
1974 McGear Mike McGear
1980 The Reluctant Dog Steve Holley
1981 Somewhere in England George Harrison
1982 Tug of War Paul McCartney
1983 Pipes of Peace
1985 Wind in the Willows
  • "The Life We Left Behind"
Eddie Hardin and Zak Starkey
1996 Metal Christmas
  • "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday"
Various Artists
1998 Wide Prairie Linda McCartney
1999 Old Friends in New Places
  • "And The Thunder Rolls..."
2001 Wingspan: Hits and History Paul McCartney


Year Album
1972 Memory Laine
1979 Rock & Roll Jam Sessions
(aka: Lympne Castle Sessions, aka: Wings: In A Jam)
2 Buddies on Holly Days
(excerpts from Holly Days and live performances during Buddy Holly Week)
1982 Birmingham Boy
1988 Cold Cuts (Another Early Version)

With The Moody Blues[edit]

Year Album
1965 The Magnificent Moodies
Moody Blues singles
A-side B-side
"Steal Your Heart Away" "Lose Your Money"
"Go Now" "It's Easy, Child"
"I Don't Want To Go on Without You" "Time on My Side"
"From The Bottom of My Heart" "And My Baby's Gone"
"Everyday" "You Don't (All The Time)"
"Boulevard De La Madeleine" "This Is My House (But Nobody Calls)"
"People Gotta Go" (issued on a French EP only)
"Life's Not Life" "He Can Win"

With Balls reissued as by Trevor Burton[edit]

Year A-side B-side
1970 (Balls) "Fight for My Country" "Janie, Slow Down"
1971 (Trevor Burton) "Fight for My Country" (edited) "Janie, Slow Down"
1972 (B.L.G.) "Live in the Mountains" (same as "Fight for My Country") (edited) "Janie, Slow Down"

With Ginger Baker's Airforce[edit]

Year Album
1970 Ginger Baker's Air Force
Ginger Baker's Air Force 2

With Wings[edit]

Year Album
1971 Wild Life
1973 Red Rose Speedway
Band on the Run
1975 Venus and Mars
1976 Wings at the Speed of Sound
Wings over America (triple live album)
1978 London Town
1979 Back to the Egg
1981 Concerts for the People of Kampuchea


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c Joynson, Vernon (1995). The Tapestry of Delights. London: Borderline Books.
  3. ^
  4. ^ (AP) "Wings clipped". The Leader-Post 30 April 1981: D2
  5. ^ Johnson, Angella, "'Mum was beautiful, wild... she was the ultimate rock groupie'", Mail on Sunday, 4 November 2006
  6. ^ James, Catherine (2007). Dandelion: Memoir of a Free Spirit. St. Martin's Press. p. 80. ISBN 0312367813. 

"Wingspan: Hits and History" by Paul McCartney

External links[edit]