British singer/songwriter DENNY LAINE died on Tuesday 5th December in Florida. He was aged 79 and its known that he had been battling lung issues for some time. From our perspective, Denny will be best remembered for his time in the Moody Blues. He was lead vocalist on their wonderful cover of Bessie Banks’ ‘Go Now’ and their version is regarded as a 60s UK classic.
Born Brian Frederick Hines in Birmingham, he first fronted a band called the Diplomats before joining another Brummie band, the Moody Blues whose name reveals their love of classic blues and embryotic soul. Laine’s distinctive voice fronted the group and their early recordings were often covers of US blues and soul songs like Arthur Alexander’s ‘You Better Move On’, the Drifters’ ‘I Don’t Want To Go On Without You’ and, of course. ‘Go Now’. Laine quit the band in 1966 to pursue a solo career and with new singer, Justin Hayward, the Moody Blues changed their sound to deliver bombast, whimsy and overwrought drama… a sound that became hugely successful.
Laine’s solo career failed to take off but after the demise of the Beatles, Paul McCartney asked him to join him in his new band, Wings. Laine was with Wings for their iconic ‘Band On The Run’ album and big hits like ‘Mull Of Kintyre’.
When McCartney disbanded Wings, Denny laine worked on all sorts of musical projects and was a popular guest at Beatles conventions. His released his final solo album, ‘The Blue Musician’ in 2008 and he continued to tour. In 2018, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Moody Blues – after initially being left off the list of inductees.
Yesterday Paul McCartney posted: “Denny was a great talent with a fine sense of humour and was always ready to help other people. He was an outstanding vocalist and guitar player. We had drifted apart but in recent years managed to re-establish our friendship and share memories of our times together.”