Denny Laine was an English singer, songwriter, and guitarist who cofounded Wings and the Moody Blues.
Denny Laine’s legacy
Laine was fronting his first band, Denny Laine and the Diplomats, when Ray Thomas (1941–2018) and Mike Pinder asked him to join the new band they were forming, the M&B 5. That group quickly evolved into the Moody Blues, and Laine sang lead vocals on their first hit, “Go Now,” which topped the charts in the U.K. and made the Top Ten in the U.S. He also sang such songs as “I Don’t Want to Go on Without You” and “Everyday,” and he cowrote many of the Moody Blues’ early songs, including “And My Baby’s Gone” and “This Is My House.”
Laine was only with the Moody Blues for two years, leaving in 1966 to form the Electric String Band. He also recorded solo albums in the late 1960s, and he played in the bands Balls and Ginger Baker’s Air Force.
In 1971, Laine joined forces with Paul and Linda McCartney (1941–1998) to form Wings, and he remained one of the band’s three core members until they disbanded in 1981. When Wings recorded their most famous and acclaimed album, “Band on the Run,” the band consisted solely of the McCartneys and Laine. In Wings, he played guitar and other instruments and provided backing vocals, occasionally singing lead on such songs as “Time to Hide” and “The Note You Never Wrote.” Laine also cowrote songs alongside McCartney, such as “Mull of Kintyre,” “London Town,” and “Deliver Your Children.”
After Wings came to an end, Laine released additional solo albums, and he continued working with McCartney as he embarked on his own solo career. In 2018, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the Moody Blues.
Laine on working with McCartney
“Me and him had this kind of feel together musically. We slotted in well together. We could read each other, and that came from growing up on the same musical influences. Paul’s got a good sense of rhythm, and he doesn’t overplay, which I like.” —from a 2023 interview for Guitar World
Tributes to Denny Laine
Full obituary: BBC