Denny Laine

The Wings circlePart of the following line-ups • Wings 1971-1972Wings 1972-1973Wings 1973-1974Wings 1974-1975Wings 1975-1977Wings 1977-1978Wings 1978-1981Wings 1979 UK Tour line-up


From Wikipedia:

Denny Laine (born Brian Frederick Hines,[citation needed] 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 in 1970 played lead guitar on Ginger Baker’s debut album, and with Paul McCartney and Wings from 1971 to 1981. In 2018 as a founding member of the Moody Blues, Laine was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Early years

Laine was born in Tyseley, Birmingham, where he attended Yardley Grammar School, and took up the guitar as a boy, inspired by gypsy jazz musician 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.


The Moody Blues

In 1964, Laine left the Diplomats, shortly afterwards, he received a call from Ray Thomas and Mike Pinder to form a new band, The M&B 5, which eventually was changed to 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, and the two minor UK chart hits “From the Bottom of My Heart (I Love You)” and “Everyday”, both written by Laine and Pinder. He also sang on “Can’t Nobody Love You” and “Bye Bye Bird” which was a hit in France. A self-titled EP and The Magnificent Moodies LP on Decca followed. Laine and Pinder wrote most of the band’s 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 band was relatively short-lived and, after a number of comparative chart failures, Laine quit the band in October 1966. He was replaced by Justin Hayward. The last record issued by the Moody Blues that featured Laine was “Life’s Not Life” b/w “He Can Win” in January 1967.

Electric String Band and early solo career

After leaving the Moody Blues, Laine 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, Binky McKenzie on bass guitar, and electrified strings in a format not dissimilar to what Electric Light Orchestra would later attempt. 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 Electric String Band broke up.

At the same time, Laine recorded two singles as a solo artist: “Say You Don’t Mind”/”Ask The People” (April 1967, Deram) and “Too Much in Love”/”Catherine’s Wheel” (January 1968, Deram). Both failed to chart, although “Say You Don’t Mind” became a #15 hit in 1972 when recorded by former Zombies frontman Colin Blunstone.

Balls and Ginger Baker’s Air Force

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.


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 to which it was also reduced twice. The albums Band on the Run and London Town were written and recorded by Wings as a trio. Denny Laine’s second solo album Holly Days released in that period was also recorded by Wings core trio.

With Wings, Laine enjoyed the biggest commercial and critical successes of his career, including co-writing the hit “Mull of Kintyre“, which reached #1 in the UK in 1977, and became the UK’s highest-selling single until that time. Laine 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 Wings U.S. tour were dropped. Meanwhile, as the band’s future was uncertain Laine released a solo album, Japanese Tears, that December, with the title track as the single. He also formed the short-lived Denny Laine Band with Wings member Steve Holley. 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. However, Laine did work on McCartney’s Tug of War and Pipes of Peace albums and has co-written one more song with McCartney, “Rainclouds“.

Solo career

Laine 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.

From 1997 to 2002, he toured with the rock supergroup World Classic Rockers. He left the World Classic Rockers and now tours as a solo artist with his band,The Denny Laine Band, and teams up with other bands on occasion.

From Club Sandwich 24, 1981:

SO LONG DENNY.In April, Denny Laine left the band after having been a member of Wings for 10 years. We are all sorry to see him go and wish him all the best for the future. At the moment Paul has no immediate plans to tour and Denny likes live performance so he is hoping to tour on his own with a new band he is forming.

[Denny Laine] came round to see me and brought a guitar and we played some things together. We showed him the chords and we went straight into the studios, worked on the backing tracks and, within two days, it was finished…

I was thinking of getting another guitarist and I knew Denny and thought he was a good singer. I thought Go Now was fabulous. He was an old school friend of mine. When we evacuated during the war, we went to Birmingham and then he was Brian Hines, which is his original name, and we went around a bit. I met him later when he was in The Moody Blues. We [The Beatles] toured with them and this cemented our friendship.

Paul McCartney
Denny Laine on stage with Wings in 1976
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – DECEMBER 3: Denny Laine of Wings performs on stage at The Lewisham Odeon on December 3rd, 1979 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Peter Still/Redferns)

I knew Paul. We used to go out and see people. We’d go out and see Dylan or Jimi Hendrix or The Lovin’ Spoonful or whatever. We’d go see American bands that came over to England just because we were curious. So, I had pretty much a friendship with him because I was in London at the time. And that’s how I got to know him. George Harrison was also our neighbor when I was in The Moody Blues. … They (The Beatles) used to come by and play us their demos and their acetates. We were pretty close with them. We were both fans of each other. … We all started out together as kids, really

Denny Laine, Interview with Tallahassee Democrat, 2017

How do you feel about the legacy of Wings?

“I’m not trying to downplay it, but I’m actually surprised we’re that well-remembered. I’m just a normal musician who doesn’t really think about the fame side of it. That always surprises me, the fame side of it. For example, a lot of my solo stuff, I never really had a big hit, but then people will come up to me and say, ‘I’ve got all of your solo stuff. I know every song you’ve ever written.’ 

“It’s a compliment and it does give you a good feeling. You’ve gotten across to a lot more people than you thought you did. And it’s the same with Wings. We don’t think of it in terms of how famous we were or how many people we influenced until we meet the fans. But it’s all about music for me. It’s all about moving forward. We’re never really satisfied. 

“Even when a lot of people say, ‘Oh, that’s the greatest album, or I love this or that,’ we don’t. We say, ‘We loved doing it, but in retrospect, I think I could’ve done that better.’ Or ‘I wish I hadn’t done that.’ You never stop creating, and therefore you’re never 100 percent satisfied. You can’t be. But when the finished product goes out and a lot of people are happy with it, that’s good enough encouragement for me.”

Denny Laine – From Guitar World, January 30, 2023
From Record Mirror – May 24, 1980

Last updated on July 25, 2023

Songs written or co-written by Denny Laine

Children Children

Officially appears on London Town

Deliver Your Children

Officially appears on London Town

Denny's Song

Unreleased song

Find A Way

Unreleased song

I Would Only Smile

Officially appears on Japanese Tears

London Town

Officially appears on London Town


"Holly Days" sessions

Summer 1976 • Songs recorded during this session appear on Holly Days

Recording "Give Ireland Back To The Irish"

Feb 01, 1972 • Songs recorded during this session appear on Give Ireland Back To The Irish

Recording "Somebody Who Cares"

Feb 09, 1981 • Songs recorded during this session appear on Tug Of War

Overdubs for "All Those Years Ago"

March / April 1981 ? • Songs recorded during this session appear on All Those Years Ago / Writings On The Wall

Recording "Seaside Woman"

Mar 20, 1972 • Songs recorded during this session appear on Red Rose Speedway

Recording "Mary Had A Little Lamb"

Mar 27, 1972 • Songs recorded during this session appear on Mary Had A Little Lamb / Little Woman Love (UK)

Recording the "Wild Life" album

Jul 24 - Oct 17, 1971 • Songs recorded during this session appear on Wild Life

First rehearsals for Wings

July 20-22, 1971

Albums, EPs & singles by Denny Laine

Holly Days

By Denny Laine • Official album

Japanese Tears

By Denny Laine • Official album

Albums, EPs & singles which Denny Laine contributed to

Wild Life

By Wings • LP

Contribution: Acoustic guitar, Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Performed by • 8 songs

Give Ireland Back To The Irish

By Wings • 7" Single

Contribution: Backing vocals, Electric guitar, Performed by • 1 songs

Mary Had A Little Lamb / Little Woman Love (UK)

By Wings • 7" Single

Contribution: Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar • 1 songs

Hi, Hi, Hi / C Moon

By Wings • 7" Single

Contribution: Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar • 2 songs

Mary Had A Little Lamb / Little Woman Love (Germany)

By Wings • 7" Single

Contribution: Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar • 1 songs

Mary Had A Little Lamb / Little Woman Love (France)

By Wings • 7" Single

Contribution: Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar • 1 songs

Love Is Strange / I Am Your Singer

By Wings • 7" Single

Contribution: Bass, Electric guitar, Performed by • 2 songs

Band On The Run (UK version)

By Paul McCartney & Wings • Official album

Contribution: Acoustic guitar, Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Percussion, Piano, Shaker, Vocals • 9 songs

Band On The Run (US version)

By Paul McCartney & Wings • Official album

Contribution: Acoustic guitar, Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Percussion, Piano, Shaker, Vocals • 10 songs

Concerts, TV & radio shows

Concert For The People of Kampuchea

Dec 29, 1979 • United Kingdom • London • Hammersmith Odeon


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Costa Levi 4 years ago

It was great to meet Denny Laine in person last Saturday night at Iridium. Great show, however, I expected the bass player to be more prominent with bass lines and appearance (he wasn't...) I said to Denny afterwards: Denny, the chorus from AAA is my favorite piece of Wings music - EmFBbC - he smiled... A great guy, a living history of RNR. Long Live Denny! Hope to meet you again.

The PaulMcCartney Project 4 years ago

Thanks @Costa for sharing your encounter with Denny !

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