The Darkness - Permission to Land...Again

Here's a 4 CD + DVD box set from British glam rockers The Darkness. Arriving on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the release of their debut album Permission to Land, here's Permission to Land...Again, a five disc box set from swaggering rockers The Darkness. The British band --- front man Justin Hawkins on vocals, guitar and keyboards, Dan Hawkins on guitar, Frankie Poullain on bass and Ed Graham on drums --- burst onto the scene with Permission to Land's smash hit single "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" and the cut is represented here with a whopping nine versions including multiple live takes. The original album is featured on the first of the four CDs where other favorites include "Get Your Hands Off My Woman" where Hawkins sings nearly all of the song in falsetto, the Rolling Stones-like "Givin' Up," the reminiscence that is party anthem "Friday Night" and the glammy blues rocker "Love on the Rocks with no Ice." Half a dozen demos are appended to the set including Permission to Land cuts "Black Shuck," "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" and "Love on the Rocks with no Ice;" fans will probably find the demo of "Black Shuck" with its weird intro the most interesting of the three. Also here are demos of Hot Cakes cut "Nothin's Gonna Stop Us," Easter is Cancelled track "Live 'Til I Die" and non-LP cut "Out of My Hands."

The rest of Permission to Land...Again is a treasure trove of rare and live material. There's a full CD featuring singles, B-sides and non-album tracks with 2002 (pre album release) versions of "I Believe In a Thing Called Love," "Love on the Rocks with no Ice" and "Love is Only a Feeling," all of which rock with a little more punch than the originals. There's also a "clean" version of "Get Your Hands Off My Woman" that is not much cleaner; Justin's repeated use of mother****r is altered slightly so it's technically clean but there's little doubt as to what he's actually saying. Other goodies include "Makin' Out," "Out of My Hands," "Planning Permission," "Physical Sex" and the seasonal track "Christmas Time (Don't Let the Bells End)." Two CDs feature live material with 2003 shows from the Knebworth Festival and the now closed London Astoria (both reprised on the DVD) on one CD and a 17-track show from Wembley Stadium on another. All shows find the guitar-loving glam rockers at the top of their game, of course performing hits and favorites along with deeper cuts like "Buffet," "Dinner Lady Arms," "Grief Hammer" and the 1984 Bob Geldof/Midge Ure co-write "Do They Know It's Christmas?" The DVD, besides holding the live shows mentioned above, also has seven videos released as promotional tools, behind the scenes clips and outtakes, an audio only version of "Out of My Hands" and an EPK (electronic press kit) called "The History of The Darkness." Housed in a book style package, Permission to Land...Again has an awesome 60-page bound-in booklet with commentary and band interviews, lyrics and credits for the original album and lots of photos. This set is truly a godsend for fans of The Darkness and it will undoubtedly make many new fans as well. Permission to land? Granted! The Darkness are currently on tour; find show dates for the remainder of 2023 here.

Order the box set here.


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