Darkness – Permission to Land…Again! (review)

Darkness – Permission To Land; 20th Anniversary 5LP Super Deluxe Box (Atlantic/Warner Music)

The Darkness breakthru record ‘Permission To Land just turned twenty and was re-released by Warner Music as “Darkness – Permission To Land; 20th ANNIVERSARY 5LP SUPER DELUXE BOX.”  I started with LP2; I Believe in a Thing Called Love DEMOS. The vox and instruments on each cut were far in the background, very flat sounding, low and unremarkable. Definitely needed something. 

Next it was LP3 – Singles and B-sides, which contain the radio cuts of each track, including the Smash Radio Single “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” and the 2003 holiday track “Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End).” Also, it has the harder to find explicit cuts: “Get Your Hands Off my Woman,” “Makin’ Out,” “Physical Sex,” and “Bareback,” which eluded radio play for some reason. Between the Demos and Singles the difference in clarity and punch on each song is amazing.

Next, I spun to the remastered (LP1) versions of each song which brought lead guitar and vocals even more front and center, focused, with added effects, doubled vox in spots and tightened up the overall track. They again improved the width of the tracks allowing each vocal and instrument to break thru more cleanly, while adding amazing clarity and balance. 

And lastly, I played the two live records LP4 – Live At Knebworth 2003, and LP5 – Live At Astoria 2003. These are two amazing recordings of two epic performances from the Worldwide 2003 Permission To Land tour. 

With this amazing box set we can compare the Demos, Studio cuts, Unreleased versions, Live cuts and a brand new Remastered versions of each track. It is a deep dive into the history of each song and an inside glimpse of the recording process not often offered up for fan consumption. I really dig it and you will too. The Darkness are currently touring the 20th Anniversary of this amazing record, Go check ’em out, coming soon to a venue near you.  – Ric Stewart