THE DARKNESS – “Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End)” (2003 Warner CD single)
The Darkness wins when it comes to Christmas songs. Not content to rock up a classic, or write a crappy original, they did something that very few artists do: They wrote an original Christmas tune as good as any of their prior singles. For that reason, I heartily recommend “Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End)” to discerning rock fans everywhere. If you can’t find or don’t want the single, you can still get the track on the UK best-of compilation The Platinum Collection.
Even though the guitars are thicker than a good ol’ bowl of Thin Lizzy pudding, there is no mistaking this for anything but a Christmas song. It is a joyous rock re-imagining of a Christmas carol, with the unmistakable Justin Hawkins falsetto. It is incredibly difficult not to smile. A suitably joyous music video was made for this song, featuring the band opening gifts from each other such as a double-neck guitar.
“You know those guitars that are like, double guitars?”
The B-side is a non-album track called “I Love You 5 Times”. This slow ballad features Justin teasing like a purring cat, stuttering, and joking around. It’s not one of their most outstanding songs, and wouldn’t make my own Darkness mix tape. It is however a non-album Darkness song with a typically great guitar solo, so not completely a throw-away. The A-side is the reason to get this single.
And that A-side is holly jolly good time.