Our top 10 The Darkness songs introduce us to a hard rock and glam metal band from England. Formed in 2000, the band was formed by Dan and Justin Hawkins, who played together in their teenage years. Dan Hawkins revealed that the two played in a band that played covers for notable bands and artists such Genesis, Marillion, and Bruce Springsteen. Initially known as Empire, the band was renamed The Darkness after receiving attention thanks to their vivacious live shows. Shortly after receiving critical acclaim, the Darkness would release their debut album Permission to Land in 2003 that featured some reputable singles. The band’s album sold more than a million and three hundred thousand copies in the UK alone.
As if that was not enough, The Darkness won three awards in the 2004 Brits Awards, including Best British Album, Best British Rock Act, and Best British Group, with only one album on their name. However, even before the band released its sophomore studio album, bassist Poullain left the band, taking his place by Richie Edwards. After battling with drug addiction, Justin Hawkins would sadly depart after the release of One Way Ticket to Hell… and Back (2005).
As a result of Justin’s departure, the remaining band members went on to form Stone Gods. On the other hand, Justin started his project Hot Leg. Musical purpose brought the band to the reunion in 2011, featuring Poullain on the bass. Sadly, original drummer Ed Graham left, citing pressing issues that strained him during tours. Since then, the band has released several other studio albums and toured the world, only putting a stop to the tours due to the global pandemic COVID-19. Let’s have a look at the top 10 songs from The Darkness, an award-winning British band.
#10 – Last of Our Kind
Ushering us to the top 10 The Darkness songs is the album-titled ballad “Last of Our Kind.” Released in 2015, the song has its lyrics inspired by the 1980 movie Hawk the Slayer. The song lyrics allude to going to warfare with the baddie, and the elf laments the fact there’s a chance he’s going to get killed, bringing a halt to his entire civilization. After all, what would he expect, having these baddies wipe out his entire kinfolks?
#9 – Get Your Hands Off My Woman
Get Your Hands Off My Woman! That’s a perfect exclamation you might need when a grabby man gets his hand (read filthy hands) off your queen. No one saw this song from the band’s debut album Permission To Land become quite the banger it is to date. However, thanks to its energetic rock rhythm and an unrelenting falsetto, the song stamped its place among the band’s releases, becoming The Darkness’s breakout ballad. The song peaked at number forty-three on the UK Singles Chart.
#8 – Solid Gold
“Solid Gold” is one of the songs that brings life to The Darkness’s album Pinewood Smile. The song finds the band taking a direct aim at the music industry, specifically addressing the record companies. “Solid Gold” came when The Darkness was releasing hits after hits solidifying the band’s place in the rock music platform. Seeing the band perform the song in a huge aircraft hangar amongst glam rock lighting is more than satiating!
#7 – Rock and Roll Deserves to Die
Is it time to let rock and roll die and appreciate other music genres? True rockers will never say yes to that, but The Darkness felt like the genre has been saved way too many times. The Darkness was once hailed as rock and roll saviors, but Justin Hawkins revealed in an interview that saving the genre is not enough. He continued to say that there is no point in saving the music genre if nothing challenging or exciting is born from rock and roll. While some might be obsessed with arguing about how rock and roll music is precariously ramming into creative inertia, I prefer to enjoy the rock and roll vibes while they last! In some way, this song featured on the band’s album Easter Is Cancelled sounds like “disruptive marketing” of the rock and roll art to the new generation of music lovers.
#6 – Is It Just Me?
Number six on our top 10 songs from The Darkness is the ballad “Is It Just Me?” Featured on the band’s sophomore album, One Way Ticket to Hell… And Back, “Is It Just Me?” was The Darkness’s fifth consecutive top ten hits in the United Kingdom. The song popularly known for its use in a chocolate bar ad featured rock star Arthur Brown, marrying Justin to himself. “Is It Just Me?” peaked at number eight on the UK Single Chart.
#5 – Barbarian
“Barbarian” is one of the best songs from The Darkness featured on the band’s album Last Of Our Kind. The song featured the story of the Viking invasion in Eastern England back in the 9th century. “Barbarian” has its lyrics describe the invasion, which concluded with the beheading of Edmund the Martyr. Unique about the song is its two dramatic monologues and a sublime guitar solo, thanks to Dan’s skills and experience on the guitar.
#4 – Open Fire
“Open Fire” is the second lead single from the band’s album Last of Our Kind. The song finds Justin singing in a more aggressive style which is so unlike him. Fans thought that the vocals for this song were from the bassist Ed Graham until it was confirmed that it was actually Justin singing. The song’s howling gale and crashing waves make it similar to Rammstein’s songs!
#3 – One Way Ticket
While most songs about cocaine, such as “Snowblind” by Black Sabbath, cover it in euphemisms, The Darkness chose to mention the drug by its name. “One Way Ticket” has its lyrics allude to addiction, and there was no better time to address the issue than in 2005 when Justin was struggling with cocaine addiction. With Justin spending about £1000 a week on cocaine, he would barely keep up having him quit the band and going into rehabilitation. The song peaked at number eight on the UK Singles Chart.
#2 – Love Is Only a Feeling
We all have our perceptions about love! For The Darkness, love is nothing but just a feeling. This claim was channeled through the song “Love Is Only a Feeling” from the band’s debut album Permission to Land. The song finds Justin singing about how love is not real and big as the people make it to be but a feeling that everyone possesses. Justin, however, revealed that the song was more of a hybrid recollection and a conclusion internal dialogue and not really about a person. The song peaked at number five on the UK Singles Chart.
#1 – I Believe in a Thing Called Love
While The Darkness might have mentioned that “Love Is Just a Feeling,” this doesn’t mean that the band doesn’t believe in it! The Darkness released the song “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” to remind the world that he still believed in the “feeling.” “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” finds Justin expressing his belief in a rampaging falsetto. The song is a striking throwback to glam rock that had The Darkness regarded as saviors and send-up of rock and roll. Thanks to the song’s pure rock and roll vibe, which fans missed in many other rock songs, this hit became the best The Darkness song, peaking at number two on the UK Singles Chart.
Feature Photo: Drew de F Fawkes, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Top 10 Songs From The Darkness article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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