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Laine, Denny - 1980 Japanese Tears

ARTIST: Laine, Denny
ALBUM: Japanese Tears
LABEL: Takoma
YEAR: 1980
CD REISSUE: 1992, Teichiku, TECX 25216


LINEUP: Denny Laine - guitars, keyboards, vocals * Jo Jo Laine - vocals * Paul McCartney - bass, guitars, keyboards, vocals * Henry McCullough, Laurence Juber - guitars * Denny Seiwell, Steve Holly - drums * Howie Casey - sax * Thadeus Richard - flute * Buddy Emmons - steel guitar

TRACK LISTING: 01 Japanese Tears * 02 Danger Zone * 03 Clock On The Wall * 04 Send Me The Heart * 05 Go Now * 06 Same Mistakes * 07 Silver * 08 Say You Don't Mind * 09 Somebody Ought to Know the Way * 10 Lovers Light * 11 Guess I'm Only Foolin' * 12 Nothing To Go By * 13 I Would Only Smile * 14 Weep For Love


Founding member of The Moody Blues and the only musician in Wings to survive their entire catalog and Paul McCartney, Denny Laine is often forgotten for his contribution to rock music which is really too bad considering his background. His first group to draw attention Denny & the Diplomats featured future The Move and ELO members Bev Bevan and Roy Wood. Later forming The Moody Blues and providing vocals for the group's massive hit 'Go Now', Laine unhappy with the band's direction formed The Denny Laine String Band which was reportedly the prototype for the Electric Light Orchestra. Unfortunately it didn't last long and to pay the bills Denny joined Ginger Baker's Air Force briefly before hooking up with far more lucrative Wings and the rest is history. Making a good living under the long shadow of Macca for the better part of the 70's didn't exactly allow Laine to bloom as a song writer the way he should have, but what he did record as a solo artist has consistently been outstanding. Following the break up of Wings in early 1980, Laine cobbled together tracks recorded with his former band mates dating back to 1973 and recorded new material for his third solo offering.

The Songs
'Japanese Tears' is of course a reference to McCartney's sensationalized Japanese drug bust that would eventually bring the demise of Wings. The song lyrically tells the tale from a fans perspective and while Laine's feelings on the issue have been well documented the mood here is of sadness, not anger with string quartet and a traditional Japanese flavour. 'Go Now' makes a re-recorded appearance and although the Moodies version is superior, this take is just fine thank you very much. 'Say You Don't Mind' which was a major hit for The Zombies also gets an update and it's one of Laine's finest compositions sounding especially bright here, but the real jewels on 'Japanese Tears' are the lesser known tracks like the child like 'Clock On The Wall', the country-ish 'Send Me The Heart' recorded in Nashville and featuring McCartney on bass and the Beatles influenced 'I Would Only Smile' dating from 1973 featuring the original Wings line-up. Last but not least, Denny Laine's wife Jo Jo's contribution to the record cannot be understated. Her background vocals are scattered throughout the record and her lead work on 'Same Mistakes' is nothing short of charming.

In Summary
Reissued numerous times with different titles including 'In Flight', 'Go Now', 'Danger Zone', 'The Collection' and 'Send Me The Heart', these are easy to find from Amazon to eBay. The Japanese have done a CD reissue with the original art work and track listing as it was released in 1980. This is the one to find although I really wish a label with foresight would take on Denny Laine's catalog and create a proper reissue campaign deserving of his stature.

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#1 | jefflynnefan on November 30 2008 16:47:04
I agree that Denny is one of the forgotten ones. He helped to create the Wings sound with Paul. Denny Laine and the Diplomats had one promo-only single out on EMI called 'Forever and a Day/Put You Down in 1964.

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