Dennis O'Brien Profile

Redmer Yska
23 Mar 2015

Dennis O’Brien elbowed his way to pop’s heights, then gave it all away. On 20 February 1975, piano-playing vocalist O’Brien and his band strode onto the stage at rock’s most hallowed turf: the Marquee Club in London’s Wardour Street, where the Rolling Stones first performed live in 1962.

“From the first chord I was in heaven,” he recalls. “Here we were, a bunch of kids from Wellington gigging at the Marquee, finally getting a proper PA to play on. It didn’t get much better than this.”

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A Dennis Neil (sic) Transatlantic Records publicity shot from the mid-1970s
Dennis O'Brien, 1978
Photo credit: Photo by Jocelyn Carlin
A mid-70s UK Dennis O'Brien publicity shot
Dennis O'Brien publicity shot, 1970s
Dennis O'Brien live in Wellington the mid-1970s
Dennis O'Brien - You Don't Know How Lucky You Are
Dennis O'Brien, 1978
Photo credit: Photo by Jocelyn Carlin
Dennis O'Brien recording in the mid-1970s
Photo credit: Dennis O'Brien collection
Nick Theobald, Dennis O’Brien, with Roger Watkins behind, London July 1974
The New Zealand release of the 1976 Dennis Neal single Bluebird. The song was a cover of US songwriter Ronee Blakely's 1972 single.
Dennis O'Brien's third album, Strangers, recorded at Wellington's Marmalade Studios by Dave Ginnane, produced by James Hall, and released in 1982 on that studio's new Toast label
Dennis O'Brien's grandmother wrote to Val Doonican in 1971 asking for advice on advancing Dennis' career. This was the reply.
The Rising Sons, Dennis O'Brien's 1967 beat band.
Dennis O'Brien in London, 1978
Photo credit: Photo by Eric Swayne
The business card for the quartet of Dennis O'Brien, David Porter, Nick Theobald and Dave "Nedd" Knowles. Calling themselves Triangle, both Porter and Theobald would be key songwriting collaborators in Dennis O'Brien's solo career.
The 1980 album Still In The Same Dream, released by RCA under license from Wellington's Marmalade Studios. It was produced by James Hall with Dennis O'Brien.
Dennis O'Brien, Harrington Mews, UK
The Dutch cover of the 1975 Dennis Neal single Cara Mia
Dennis O'Brien at The Marquee, London, February 1978
Dennis O'Brien - She's In Love Again
The Evening Post tags Dennis O'Brien as an "unknown" in 1978
Dennis O'Brien, 1978
Dennis O'Brien - Julia
The Evening Post notes that Dennis is artist of the month on 2ZM, 1978.
Dennis O'Brien - Any Other Face In The Rain
Dennis O'Brien wins Most Promising Male Vocalist at the 1978 NZ Music Awards at the White Heron Lodge in Parnell, Auckland. The award is being presented by Shona McFarlane and WEA's Tim Murcdoch looks on.
Mother Goose storm Wellington with guests Dennis O'Brien and The Heartbreakers, ANZAC Day, 1976
Dennis O'Brien - You Can Run
The New Zealand sleeve for the 1979 Any Other Face album, with a superior sleeve to the European one, designed by Dave Kent and photographed by Jonathan Rowlands. It was issued in New Zealand by Ode Records.
Dennis O'Brien and The Heartbreakers at Quinn's Post, Upper Hutt, 1978
The Wellington Mayor in 1970, Sir Francis Kitts, likes Triangle
Dennis O'Brien in the studio, 1970s
Dennis O’Brien in Wellington, mid-70s, with David Porter on percussion and Roger Watkins on drums
The European sleeve for Dennis O'Brien's 1979 album Any Other Face
Triangle - Nedd Knowles, Nick Theobald, David Porter and Dennis O'Brien
Dennis O'Brien in Wellington, mid-1970s
The poster for the CD compilation Still In the Same Dream – Songs 1972-1982, released by Dennis O'Brien's Slow Boat label in 2013
No Punk! Dennis O'Brien tells the Dominion in 1978
The Dennis O’Brien Band live at London’s Marquee Club in 1975, with Nick Theobald on bass and David Porter on drums
Dennis O'Brien at The Marquee, London, 1975
Triangle in the early 1970s: Nedd Knowles, David Porter, Nick Theobald and Dennis O'Brien
Dennis O'Brien in London, 1978
Photo credit: Photo By Nic Swayze
Labels:

Ode


EMI


Decca


Strand


Pink Elephant


Charisma