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The Darkness

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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


Albums by
The Darkness

Top Songs by
The Darkness

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

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