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The Darkness (Rock/Pop)

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. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia, Rovi
full bio

Comments

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mfijut0
Darkness rocks
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bob00313
Message for The Darkness...T e n more albums please :-p
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These guys get it....its f**kin perfect rock!....lov e it
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Last of Our Kind sounds to be AWESOME...th e y have evolved into a vicious attacking pack of wolves!!!!
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I love these guys <3
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These guys came along at the most opportune time. Helped to resurrect the guitar and melodies of seventies and eighties rock. F.U.C.K off to all that nineties B.U.L.L.S.H. I . T . GRUNGE S.U.C.K.S.
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How is this pop? I love the darkness
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LOVE THE DARKNSS!! JUSTIN HAKINS CAN WAIL !!!!!
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we need rock like this again. BRING BACK THE HAIR BANDS!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! !
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I haven't heard a falsetto like this since Freddy Mercury, and with that 80's metal style......t r u l y awsome.
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Awesome band.
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i love this band! I couldn't take them serious at first! but now i do. they are great,
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jay18
These guys take me back in time to when over the top was the norm. The Darkness would fit right into the mid 80's heavy/glam metal scene. They're half serious rock and half heavy metal parody. I think they're awesome.
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Heard he had his balls removed to sound like that lol. GREAT TRACK
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love this s**t
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Bad a**
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wkgcnc
nothing like Led Zeppelin music is so so lead singer sucks!
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morgangass
His voice.....is amazing.
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onegoldengir l
Love his voice.
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The app for Hot Cakes is most excellent.
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sam_i_am7588
he does have 1 hellova good voice
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Agreed, the new album is going to be awesome!! Love Everybody Have A Good Time!
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That awesome, victorious moment when I Believe in a Thing Called Love comes on. YES. These guys rock! SO stoked about Hot Cakes in August!!!
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geoffloadman
Just saw them live in brisbane, australia. Awesome live band!
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najanial
their last american tour of 2012 ended in dallas. they were absolutely brilliant. not just the music was awesome but they put on a show. They blew me away. Plus i caught the lead singers pick
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SH!T YEAH! I saw them last night in New Orleans and its hands down one of the most action packed shows I've ever been to. Even if you don't like the music, go see them play just for the performance.
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johnmarchak
Remember that Thin Lizzy is the Darkness' favorite band. Very similar guitar sounds. Not vocal, just guitar...
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neilvandehey
My tix are also in hand! The Darkness at Roseland Theater, Portland, OR
Thu, 02/23/2012, 8:00 p.m.
Report as inappropriate
US tour announced!!! ! I already have my tix!
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I can't believe they're getting back together! I hope they come to the US
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sam said it best...this definitely beats grunge!
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Laaaaaaame a** band with a lame a** name. And I tried hard to like them too.
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Too cool. These guys rock, no doubt!
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These guys rule!! If you are not familiar check them out-wish they had kept on for more that 2 album
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this beats grunge
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titagula
I'm not actually a huge fan of The Darkness, but i absolutely positively love the song "I believe in a thing called love"
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DEBRA-"Don't diss Pandora rickenbach7 punk "-I was stating a fact, I'll do whatever I want. little girl!

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DARKNESS KILLER THRASH
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Don't diss Pandora rickenbach7 punk
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This song sounds awesome. Not near as boring as most crap pandora plays.
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terrasky
they have a good bassist and decent guitar licks. But their music is really lacking that "punch" that I want to hear.
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burnettsemb
it seems to me that pandora has grouped 2 bands together here. "darkness" and "the darkness".
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I believe in a thing called MANOREXIA
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Ugh Im glad they only had one big hit.
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@plorkenblor g : Talented musicians are in every genre, and these guys aren't all that hot. Yeah some of their songs are good, but it's just the same s**t we've all heard before. They do nothing to advance rock, and instead are content to feed off the bloated corpse of better artists. Queens of the Stone Age are innovative, they do stuff that presses the boundaries. The Darkness does nothing like that.
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there a good rock band, but they broke-up over a very stupid spat
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plorkenblorg
Bands all have influences. There are obvious Queen and Led Zeppelin influences in this music. Why is that a bad thing? They and QotSA are helping in a revival of talented musicians.
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Aww, look, s**tty glam trying to be a fusion of Queen and Black Sabbath! Aren't they just the cutest?!
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greytarzan
Best band ever!
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lblieseke
I adore The Darkness and I think both CDs are great! When I'm in a mood to just have fun, this is the music I choose. I hope they will re-unite at some point. I like the Hot Leg cd too but I didn't find it to be as engaging as the two by The Darkness.
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