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The Darkness

England's the Darkness centered around irrepressible frontman Justin Hawkins (vocals/guitars/keyboards), who, along with his guitar-playing baby brother Dan, bassist Frankie Poullain, and drummer Ed Graham, single-handedly resurrected the rather unfashionable sounds and attitudes of late-'70s hard rock for an unsuspecting generation. Following the demise of an earlier, conspicuously synth pop-based outfit named Empire, the Hawkins brothers sowed the seeds of what would become the Darkness at an impromptu karaoke session on New Year's Eve 1999. Justin's rapturous rendition of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" showed them the way, and the suitably dramatic name of the Darkness was chosen shortly after the arrival of Poullain and Graham. With outrageous stage antics that included gaudy leotards stolen from Steven Tyler's wardrobe, leaps and splits borrowed from David Lee Roth, and an ear-piercing falsetto copped from Freddie Mercury himself, the multi-talented elder Hawkins led the quartet as the group spent the next two years slogging it out in London's pub circuit. Though they were immediately singled out as a joke by the notoriously vicious British press, the Darkness' high-energy sets, remarkably catchy material, and unapologetic worship of old-school rock & roll bombast gradually earned them a fanatical following based on simple word of mouth. The tide finally began to shift in their favor in August 2002, when they released their debut EP, I Believe in a Thing Called Love (through the independent label Must Destroy Music), won a major talent contest, and scored all-important opening slots with Deep Purple and Def Leppard. Their momentum carried through into the new year, starting with a knockout performance at Austin's SXSW music convention in January, continuing with the release of the "Keep Your Hands Off My Woman" single in February (which peaked at number 36 in the U.K. chart), and climaxing with their subsequent signing with a major-label, Atlantic Records, in March. Nothing could stop the Darkness' snowball effect, and a series of acclaimed festival appearances set the stage for their debut album, Permission to Land, to debut atop the British charts -- the first time a new act had achieved such a feat since Coldplay three years earlier. Aside from the 2003 Christmas single Christmas Time (Don't Let the Bells End), the Darkness concentrated on touring until 2005, when they returned to the studio with Cars and Foreigner producer Roy Thomas Baker. During the recording of their sophomore album, the band parted ways with Poullain and replaced him with former guitar tech Richie Edwards. One Way Ticket to Hell...And Back was released late in 2005 but didn't fare as well as its predecessor, which took a toll on Justin Hawkins. Following several months of touring, the frontman entered rehab in August 2006 for alcohol and cocaine abuse. Although he completed the program, Hawkins nevertheless left the Darkness' lineup later that year, leaving the group's fate in the hands of his former bandmates. The remaining musicians regrouped under the name Stone Gods the following year, while Justin busied himself with solo work, issuing a single under the moniker British Whale and a full-length album, 2008's Red Light Fever, with his new band Hot Leg. In 2011, the Darkness reunited with the original lineup featuring Hawkins and embarked on several European tours. In 2012, they delivered the full-length album Hot Cakes. In 2015, the band issued their fourth studio outing, Last of Our Kind, the first Darkness album to feature new drummer Emily Dolan Davies, who'd replaced founding member Ed Graham the year before. However, just before the album was released, Davies departed the band, with Rufus Taylor stepping in as her replacement for the subsequent tour. Taylor made his recorded debut on their fifth studio album, 2017's Pinewood Smile, released via Cooking Vinyl. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia
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Stations Featuring
The Darkness

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Albums by
The Darkness

Top Songs by
The Darkness

  1.   Song
  2.   I Believe in a Thing Called Love
  3.   Christmas Time (Don't Let the Bells End)
  4.   Southern Trains
  5.   Growing on Me
  6.   Black Shuck
  7.   Friday Night
  8.   Get Your Hands Off My Woman
  9.   Million Dollar Strong
  10.   Givin' Up
  11.   One Way Ticket
  12.   Solid Gold
  13.   All the Pretty Girls
  14.   Love Is Only a Feeling
  15.   Cannonball
  16.   Everybody Have A Good Time
  17.   Girlfriend
  18.   Hazel Eyes
  19.   Dinner Lady Arms
  20.   The Best of Me
  21.   Rock in Space
  22.   Rack of Glam
  23.   Uniball
  24.   Happiness
  25.   I Wish I Was in Heaven
  26.   Japanese Prisoner of Love
  27.   Why Don't the Beautiful Cry?
  28.   Conquerors
  29.   Hammer & Tongs
  30.   Mudslide
  31.   Mighty Wings
  32.   Wheels of the Machine
  33.   Barbarian
  34.   She's Just a Girl, Eddie
  35.   Nothing's Gonna Stop Us
  36.   I Can't Believe It's Not Love
  37.   Concrete
  38.   Forbidden Love
  39.   Keep Me Hangin' On
  40.   Curse of the Tollund Man
  41.   Planning Permission
  42.   English Country Garden
  43.   Bald
  44.   Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time
  45.   Is It Just Me?
  46.   Knockers
  47.   Physical Sex
  48.   Makin' Out
  49.   Holding My Own
  50.   Stuck in a Rut
  51.   Love on the Rocks With No Ice
  52.   Darkness
  53.   Stampede of Love
  54.   Lay Down with Me, Barbara
  55.   Buccaneers of Hispaniola
  56.   Sarah O'Sarah
  57.   Roaring Waters
  58.   Last of Our Kind
  59.   Open Fire
  60.   The Horn
  61.   Pat Pong Ladies
  62.   Love Is Not the Answer
  63.   Livin' Each Day Blind
  64.   Every Inch of You
  65.   Shake (Like a Lettuce Leaf)
  66.   I Love You 5 Times
  67.   Wanker
  68.   Blind Man
  69.   Bareback
  70.   How Dare You Call This Love?
  71.   Grief Hammer
  72.   Street Spirit (Fade Out)
  73.   With a Woman
  74.   Out of My Hands
  75.   Seagulls (Losing My Virginity)