Collecting singles isn’t as easy as just buying the single anymore. Which versions are out there, with what tracks? The Darkness’ singles are usually interesting for the different bonus tracks and variations out there. Their hit ballad “Love Is Only a Feeling” was available on CD, DVD and 7″ vinyl. You only need the CD and DVD to get all the tracks, but there’s a catch: the DVD is in PAL format (common in Europe), so you need a player that can decode it.
No problem. LeBrain HQ has a collection of frankenstein multi-media tech that can convert the most popular physical formats into something easier to play! It’s not a pretty setup but it gets the job done. All the tracks from all the versions of “Love is Only a Feeling” can be compiled in a single file folder!
As far as ballads go, The Darkness didn’t wimp out with “Love is Only a Feeling”. The Lizzy-like intro harmonies meld into an acoustic mandolin verse. A bombastic band like the Darkness is at home with a bombastic ballad, but early Darkness didn’t use a lot of frills and extraneous instrumentation. “Love is Only a Feeling” doesn’t go overboard, but sticks to pretty a traditional rock arrangement. You can blast it out the car windows — no problem.
The first of the single B-sides is “Planning Permission”, an unpolished song that almost stands with the ones that did make it onto Permission to Land. It could use a little more tightening up but the roots of a good song are there. Next is the bizarre “Curse of the Tollund Man”. It might even be considered educational. The actual mummy of the Tollund Man was found buried in peat as described in the song. It sounds like the Darkness were really trying to write a Queen B-side. It’s amusing but all over the place.
The music video for “Love is Only a Feeling” is the main feature of the DVD single. I’m a sucker for mountaintop videos. “Love Is Only a Feeling” is almost as epic as the Bon Jovi and Guns N’ Roses clips that came before . Then, they take it over the top by going under the ground, in a cave! A behind-the-scenes video reveals safety ropes, helicopters and elevated platforms to heighten the drama.
The real reason to seek the DVD single is to acquire the final bonus track, “Get Your Hands Off My Woman” live at the Astoria. The action-packed track features Dan Hawkins on all guitars, so Justin can jump around and do the splits. Vintage live Darkness with the original lineup is scarce, as far as official releases go. This live Darkness is full speed, filmed in the raw. It doesn’t matter if you get it for watching or just listening. It’s a great version.
If you’re fortunate enough to play DVDs from multiple regions, the singles are usually dirt cheap on Discogs. This one even came with a poster! DVD singles were a fad and never really caught on. They can, however, patch some holes in your Darkness collection.