“A great talent with a fine sense of humor”: Denny Laine was an underrated guitarist who helped launch Paul McCartney’s post-Beatles career – here are 10 essential cuts from his discography

As part of GW‘s tribute to the late, great Denny Laine, we dug into the vinyl collection to pick out the highlights from his stellar songwriting career in the Moody Blues and latterly, and most famously, as Paul McCartney’s creative lieutenant in Wings.

Upon Laine’s death, McCartney saluted him on social media, describing his late bandmate as “an outstanding vocalist and guitar player.”

“Denny was a great talent with a fine sense of humor and was always ready to help other people,” McCartney wrote. “He will be missed by all his fans and remembered with great fondness by his friends.”

These tracks do all the talking for a musician who never courted the limelight – though with his talent, the limelight eventually found him – and whose legacy as one of the greats is undeniable.

1. Go Now – The Moody Blues (1964)

Laine’s version of a Bessie Banks song was the highlight of his time with the Moodies (and made for a great concert staple with Wings).

2. Mull of Kintyre – Wings (1977)

Without Laine’s input, Wings wouldn’t have scored their biggest U.K. hit.

3. Weep for Love – Wings/Denny Laine (1980)

One of Laine’s finest vocal and six-string cuts; one wonders why this soaring track from 1980’s Japanese Tears was left off Wings’ Back to the Egg in ’79.

All the latest guitar news, interviews, lessons, reviews, deals and more, direct to your inbox!

4. Say You Don’t Mind – Denny Laine (1967)

Laine had limited solo success with this song in ’67 (despite John Paul Jones providing strings), but in ’72, the Zombies’ Colin Blunstone turned it into a top 20 hit.

5. Man of Constant Sorrow – Ginger Baker’s Air Force (1970)

Laine showed up on only a few Air Force tracks, but this one spotlights his vocals and a nifty arrangement. 

6. Children Children – Wings (1978)

Laine helped carry London Town, and Children Children shows as much through gentle vocals and subtle acoustic sweeps.

7. No Words – Wings (1973)

The part-time songwriting team of Laine and McCartney got its start with this Band on the Run track, had its biggest hit in ’77 with Mull of Kintyre, and came to an end with 1982’s Rainclouds (which was recorded in 1980).

8. All Those Years Ago – George Harrison (1981)

Laine provides backing vocals here, making him part of a very small stable of folks who’ve appeared alongside three Beatles (in this case, George, Paul, and Ringo) on a studio recording.

9. Deliver Your Children – Wings (1978)

Again, London Town doesn’t happen without Laine, and Deliver Your Children is an example of his importance via solid vocals and an acoustic riff (played by Laine) that really sticks.

10. Again and Again and Again – Wings (1979)

For the final Wings album, Laine delivered a soulful vocal performance with some funky-meets-jangly guitar touches.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Related Articles

Back to top button