From Moody Blues to Wings: Denny Laine’s Top 10 Signature Songs

From Moody Blues to Wings: Denny Laine’s Top 10 Signature Songs | Society Of Rock Videos

via Denny Laine Fan / YouTube

Denny Laine, often recognized as the guy in Wings who wasn’t Paul McCartney, was a musical force beyond his association with the legendary band. His journey began with significant contributions to the Moody Blues, including their first hit “Go Now,” a track that would echo through Wings concerts. Throughout his career, Laine left an enduring imprint with often-overlooked songs in Wings and sporadic solo releases. Here’s a curated list of the Top 10 Denny Laine Songs that span his remarkable career.

10. “Picasso’s Last Words (Drink to Me)” ‘Band on the Run’ (1973)

Laine’s playful and stoic delivery in this popular Wings song adds a unique touch. Starting with a grand lyric about a painter’s demise, it transforms into a lively funeral party. A notable collaboration with Ginger Baker gives it an extra edge.

9. “Spirits of Ancient Egypt” ‘Venus and Mars’ (1975)

Initially appearing as a middle-of-the-road Wings track, “Spirits of Ancient Egypt” later emerged as a muscled prog rocker in live performances. McCartney’s counterpoint vocal and the band’s musical prowess make it a standout from the ‘Venus and Mars’ album.

8. “I Lie Around” ‘Live and Let Die’ Single (1973)

Hidden on the B-side of the “Live and Let Die” single, “I Lie Around” offers a delightful surprise. A fun cut about doing nothing, it showcases Laine as the lead vocalist, a departure from the usual McCartney-led songs.

7. “I Would Only Smile”‘Japanese Tears’ (1980)

Infused with a Rubber Soul-era Beatles influence, this country-pop tune reflects Laine’s post-Wings solo work. Featuring members from Wings’ Red Rose Speedway period, it stands out as a melancholic yet melodic gem.

6. “No Words” ‘Band on the Run’ (1973)

The first official collaboration between Laine and McCartney, “No Words” is an uplifting meditation on wordless love. Born out of an unfinished Laine tune, it beautifully evolved during the ‘Band on the Run’ sessions.

5. “The Note You Never Wrote” — From: ‘Wings at the Speed of Sound’ (1976)

A mid-tempo McCartney number with a thoughtful guitar solo by Jimmy McCulloch, “The Note You Never Wrote” shines on the ‘Wings at the Speed of Sound’ album. Sequenced after the hit single “Let ‘Em In,” it stands as one of the album’s highlights.

4. “Mull of Kintyre” — 1977 Single

Wings’ Celtic-tinged masterpiece, “Mull of Kintyre,” is a collaboration between McCartney’s love for Scotland and Laine’s underrated songwriting. Breaking records in the U.K., it became a timeless classic despite not achieving the same success in the U.S.

3. “Again and Again and Again” ‘Back to the Egg’ (1979)

A desperate exploration of a relationship unraveling, “Again and Again and Again” from Wings’ final album showcases Laine’s prowess. Recorded with the unheralded Wings lineup, it brings a punk-style edge to the group’s repertoire.

2. “Go Now” — ‘The Magnificent Moodies’ (1965)

Originally recorded with the Moody Blues, “Go Now” marked Laine’s gritty R&B style. A staple in Wings concerts, the original version stands as the definitive take, highlighting Laine’s vocal prowess.

1. “Time to Hide”‘Wings at the Speed of Sound’ (1976)

Laine’s most propulsive contribution to Wings, “Time to Hide,” showcases a dynamic blues interplay of guitar and a walking bass line from McCartney. Laine’s searing and insistent vocals make it a standout track, possibly his all-time best.

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