Long time and particularly dedicated readers who definitely do exist outside of my unrealistic aspirations will be familiar with me persistently referencing 1980s quiz show Blockbusters whenever I get to the letter ‘P’ in an A-Z challenge.
Because it is impossible to do the letter ‘P’ without channelling the immortal joke associated with that show. Which is “I’ll have a ‘P’ please Bob.”
Admittedly that joke is only funny to a very specific demographic. But as part of that demographic I make no apologies.
P is for Permission to Land
I don’t know how the debut album by The Darkness compares to the rest of their back catalogue. Until I started writing this year’s A-Z, I was unaware that they even had a back catalogue beyond Permission to Land.
As far as I was concerned they just burst on to the scene in 2003, captured the public’s imagination for a few months, released a novelty Christmas single and then disappeared off the face of the Earth.
That they kept making music without enjoying the commercial success of their 2003 album should come as no surprise though, because Permission to Land had no business being the multiple platinum sensation that it was. The Darkness should not have been popular in the noughties. They were a 70s/80s Glam Rock throwback, a real life Spinal Tap that were somehow in on the joke but definitely not a band that should be enjoying any kind of commercial success against the backdrop of popular music in the early 2000s.
But someone forgot to tell them that and frankly, for all the initial, and somewhat mistaken, perception was that they were some kind of parody act, they certainly knew how to make music. And back it up with live performances as I can attest to, having seen them that year.
They were probably a little too outside of the mainstream to sustain the success of Permission to Land, though I’ve read a few write-ups of subsequent albums and they seem to have consistently been well-received by the critics over the years.
Permission to Land may not have been the sort of album that should have been successful in 2003, but I can’t remember anyone who didn’t love it. I Believe in a Thing Called Love was the stand-out track but the whole album is solid gold.