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  One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back
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    PostPosted: 19 Mar 2011, 18:21 
Darkling
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I've already opened this up on the Twitter account (www.twitter.com/darklingsrock) and in addition am about to add it to the facebook page. So let's complete the trinity with a thread of it's own.

One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back


Released following the departure of original bassist Frankie Poullain it remains an album that divides opinion, so let's hear them. Pros, Cons, Favourite tracks. What did it get right? Where did it go wrong?


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  Re: One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back
    PostPosted: 19 Mar 2011, 19:13 
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Did anyone else use a marker to cover up '...and back.' on the back of the sleeve? ;)

Seriously though, it's not a bad album, just staggeringly mediocre as a whole.

I could happily go for the rest of my life without hearing 'Bald' again :roll:
Also Justin has an amazing voice, and he can hit some very high notes, but the screaming through tracks like 'Knockers' was totally unnecessary, that would have been an awesome track with a tiny bit of restraint in the vocals, high yes, labored screeching no Justin, NO.

I like 'is it just me' and 'girlfriend' is alright, but the album just left me cold.

...oh and they used terrible quality vinyl for the LP which is of course an offence punishable by castration :evil:

*prepares to be bottled*

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  Re: One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back
    PostPosted: 19 Mar 2011, 19:17 
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I love OWTTHAB, I think it's an amazing album, I've always enjoyed it. Favourite track is Is It Just Me?


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  Re: One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back
    PostPosted: 19 Mar 2011, 19:21 
Darkling
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I seriously love the album and the cover art is amazing! My favorite tracks are Is It Just Me, Bald and One Way Ticket.


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  Re: One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back
    PostPosted: 19 Mar 2011, 19:27 
Darkling
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As time's passed I've liked the album more and more...though 'Dinner Lady Arms' can make me all weepy at times....

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  Re: One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back
    PostPosted: 19 Mar 2011, 19:38 
Darkling
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Mick you and I share a mutual feeling when it comes to the vinyl used on that album. Contrary to what some think I don't have any 'links' to the band, but I will be using every channel available to me to plead the case for a proper thick bit of black (oooh I say) for TD3.

I used to insist back in the day it was a better 'album' that PTL. A more rounded effort. This was due to two things 1) A few of us back from the 2002/2003 era actually had a few issues with PTL. Namely that it didn't contain the awesome Best of Me. and er... reason 2) I can be a massive bellend at times.

Listening to it again this morning I was surprised by how melancholy a lot of it is. I find it hard to knock the gentler more reflective side, but also wonder if that's what the masses really wanted from a Darkness record and if that's why it suffered.

Or is it the upbeat material that's at fault. As you say Justin's vocals instead of being backed by the balls in your face hard rock of PTL get to hit the high notes all over radio friendly pop-rock on OWT. That didn't do a lot to destroy the 'novelty band' criticism a lot of people had and perhaps certain people just got sick of the joke.

Individually though I find myself only down on a couple of the tracks. Knockers for example I remember loving live. Although come to think of it that may have had something to do with the Boob Chariot.


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  Re: One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back
    PostPosted: 19 Mar 2011, 20:59 
Darkling
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I actually like it. I thought the first half of the album in particular is fantastic...the second half not so much, although 'Bald' is one of my fave TD songs. Blind Man was just appalling, and Girlfriend I hated at first but started to think it was ok over time.

Anyway, I think 90% of TD fans would say PTL is better, but probably only 10% of fans would say OWTTH...AB is crap. I think the sheer rawness of PTL made TD what they were, and that was lost on the second album when RTB came in...I think Justin wanted it to sound the way it ended up, he wanted it like Queen, but the fans felt that it was better with that raw edge that PTL had. It was kinda over-produced I suppose.

Nevertheless, I like it and hope they will continue to play some of the songs live...I'm sure they will....just as long as they pretend Blind Man was never written.

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  Re: One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back
    PostPosted: 19 Mar 2011, 21:37 
Darkling
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I don't mind blind man, but it seems to be the most hated song in TD's repertoire. I guess in some eyes the fact he used Freddie's piano was a sign of a massive ego. I'm not sure that's entirely deserved.


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  Re: One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back
    PostPosted: 19 Mar 2011, 21:42 
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Switch625 wrote:
I don't mind blind man, but it seems to be the most hated song in TD's repertoire. I guess in some eyes the fact he used Freddie's piano was a sign of a massive ego. I'm not sure that's entirely deserved.

For me, it wasn't the piano, it was the crap song...lyrics were truly awful.
"he sheds a tear because he just can't hear the children singing"....
why not? He's blind, not deaf!! Only song I ever thought Justin f**ked up the lyrics on.

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Manchester, February 2006;
Liverpool, July 2006;
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Liverpool, November 2011....
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  Re: One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back
    PostPosted: 19 Mar 2011, 22:25 
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I appreciate that I'm in the minority by saying this, but 'One Way Ticket to Hell ... and Back!' is my favourite album - this is the opinion I've had ever since the 28th November 2005...

I work closely with two friends at work who just so happen to be Darkness fans, too, and the Darkness is a topic brought up often. I think the thing that doesn't sit well with most fans is the so-called 'over-production' of the second album, but I love the overall sound of OWT (as I do Permission to Land, I appreciate them both).

There are a few qualities in the second album that I adore - mainly Justin's contribution seems slightly more ... Justin, to me; I think the vocal range displayed in this album is incredible and I can't get enough of the singing.
I also think the lyrics in this album are truly great, as well as the level of humour. Personally I think this element is stronger than it was in PTL (this is my opinion).
Additionally, I enjoy the different instruments used in this album -IE, the bagpipes in 'Hazel Eyes', the synthesizer in 'Girlfriend' and the Sitar in 'One Way Ticket' - and I think this kind of toying-around with different ideas suits The Darkness really well.
There's a chance that nostalgia plays a part for my liking of OWTTH&B over PTL, as it was released in Nov 2005, and I has just started my first year of university and this album became the soundtrack to that era - a special time in my life.

Not to suggest I don't cream myself stupid to Permission to Land too, it's all just preference though, isn't it? I personally hope that the upcoming third album has a slightly different approach to the previous two albums, (but not too much, obviously :D )

PS: Saying this though, after listening to the Stone Gods album (which resulted in my appreciating of Dan's contribution to The Darkness even more so), I would like to see Dan's influence shine brighter than I'm sure it did in OWTTH&B.


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  Re: One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back
    PostPosted: 20 Mar 2011, 01:20 
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*singing one way ticket to helen's back*

always quite liked that track..... it appeals to the narcisist in me.....

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  Re: One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back
    PostPosted: 20 Mar 2011, 03:46 
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The Darkness have spoken exclusively to Kerrang! about their eagerly-awaited, second album, 'One Way Ticket To Hell... And Back'.

The Band - Justin and Dan Hawkins, drummer Ed Graham and new bassist Richie Edwards - recorded the follow-up to 2003's 'Permission To Land' with long-time Queen Producer Roy Thomas Baker in Rockfield Studios in Wales and Whitfield Studios in London.

"We're feeling really excited about it coming out but also there's a bit of trepidation," frontman Justin Hawkins confesses to K!. "It sounds like The Darkness, but intensified. We've moved on - but in the correct direction, and have lavished more time and glory on our sound. We spent ages on it and you can hear that."
"We've been working on this for well over a year now and usually when you finish something, you don't wan't to listen to it for a while," adds Dan. "But I can't turn it off! I think our fans will absolutely fucking love it. It's so us. It's going to raise the stakes, not just for other rock bands, but for bands making albums full stop."
Justin and Dan have also revealed that the departure of original basist Frankie Poullain last May was a real turning point for the band.

"That's the one decision that we've made in the last year that's really changed things for the better and really focussed us," admits Justin. "I think we'd still be recording the album now if Frankie was in the band, he was such a negative presence. He's very paranoid and thought that I was ripping him off, and that Sue [Whitehouse, The Darkness' Manager and Justin's other half] was ripping him off. I think he thought that he could drive a wedge between me and Dan. He's just somebody who changed and that's the end of it."

"It didn't put a spanner in the works, really," says Dan. "To be honest, it just meant that I had to play bass on the album. The band's sounding better than ever and we're really fortunate to have found Richie. It's not like he's trying to be someone else - he's a star in his own right - and people will feel at ease when they see him play."
"We're so out of the ordinary," he adds. "People didn't think we were going to be able to do it and it's so nice to prove everyone wrong. I can't wait for everyone to hear this album."

Here, then, is Justin and Dan Hawkins' track-by-track guide to the forthcoming 10- track rock extravaganza that is 'One Way Ticket To Hell... And Back'...

ONE WAY TICKET

Justin: "This is an anti-drugs song about cocaine. The subject matter of this song has turned out to be unbelievably topical. It was very interesting to hear it being played at 8:15am on national breakfast radio and hear the line, 'Several massive choking lines of glorious gak.' come across on the airwaves! I'm really proud of it because people think that we're a joke band, but they haven't bothered to peel off the top layer of this song and realise there are several more jokes being made at their expense! I can't wait for the shit storm to happen, but anyone with half an ounce of common sense will realise that it's anti-drugs. It's also got a pan flute solo at the beginning played by someone who is supposed to be the protege of the best pan flutist in the whole world, who recorded his bit in the mountains of Peru. Amazing."
Dan: "We've always been slaves to what the songs demand. The pan flute thing was there from day one and it just seemed like a natural way to begin this song and the album. At no point did we think 'ooh, let's try and get a bunch of exlectic sounding instruments on this album'. It doesn't work that way with us. If something's lying around then we'll play it."

KNOCKERS

Justin: "This one s about missing a lover and eventually getting her back and then not really realising how much you've missed her. There's a line that goes, 'Oh crumbs, I'm all thumbs... you're beautiful and busty and I'm a little rusty...'. I don't give a shit if people think I'm singing about my own prowess as a lover! It's working title was actually 'Knockers' because of that line but everyone kept referring to it as that, so we kept it."

IS IT JUST ME?

Justin: "This is a song about being apart from somebody and missing them and having a relationship that you're trying to conduct over a long distance and it's based on personal experience. It mentions John O'Groats, Land's End, Big Ben and the Taj Mahal and it has an amusing bawdy bit in second verse. 'I see your face when I close my eyes and there ain't no place like between your thighs!"
Dan: "This is an upbeat song but I think the album, in general, is really, really uplifting. It's an album that you put on in the car and you know that you're going to break the speed limit. It's like, 'let's fucking rock!' Not in an arrogant way but in a joyous way."

DINNER LADY ARMS

Justin: "This is the first song that we did 'Permission To Land' and it's a sweet story about an elderly couple who get back together after a long time, hence the dinner lady arms reference."
Dan: "This one has got a real Def Leppard influence to it, as well. We toured with them and we were blown away watching them every night, so they definitely inspired us."

SEEMED LIKE A GOOD IDEA AT THE TIME

Justin: "This is our big ballad and it's the nearest thing to 'Love Is Only A Feeling' on this album. It's got proper strings on it done by Paul Buckmaster, who did all the best Elton John records. It's an emotional song and is inspired by Todd Rundgren because I really like some of his longer song titles like 'Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference.' Is it a personal song for me? That's nothing to do with you! Keep out of it!"
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HAZEL EYES

Justin: "Scottish fishwives used to come to Lowestoft to work the nets but the North Sea got over-fished and there wasn't any more cod left for people to catch. So this song is the story of a woman who comes and finds there's no work but falls in love with one of the fishermen and they run off to get married. I thought it was a load of old bullshit until I looked it up and it turned out to be true - there were a lot of Scottish fisherwomen in Lowestoft. I made the story up, so it was quite good really!"
Dan: "When you write a song, you don't really write it for anyone else, as fucking pretentious as that sounds. We had to drop this from our live set because we hadn't had time to rehearse it properly and we couldn't play it very well. But it was one of my favourite songs and I fought tooth and nail for it to be on the album. So it's a special track for me because, conceptually, I spent a lot of time on it and I wasn't going to let it die."

BALD

Justin: "The idea was to write an enormouse 'Love On The Rocks'-style heavy metal song and I was thinking of virility and going bald! This one is definitely based on personal experience - my Dad went bald, my Grandad went bald, I'm fucked! It doesn't keep me up at night though, I've written a song about it now, so I'm okay. I could always shave it off, anyway, and wear a wig like several other members of the rock fraternity are rumoured to do..."

GIRLFRIEND

Justin: "This one is a straight-forward pop song and it's one of my favourites because it's got a Moog solo. I think I've excelled myself with my keyboard playing on this album. I'm quite proud of the lyrics on this one too because there's some rather amusing stuff. My favourite line is, 'Why the hell are we breaking our necks when there's absolutely no affection and hardly any sex?'. I think it works quite well really."
Dan: "Did I have to tell Justin to go easy on the amusing lyrics? Maybe at some points I might have gone, 'you can't do that', but I've learnt with him that if you say that he can't do something, he does it even more!"

ENGLISH COUNTRY GARDEN

Justin: "This song contains the best knob joke on the whole album - 'She said 'Have you got a match?' And I said 'Yes... My cock and Farmer Giles' prize winning marrow'. Ha ha! It's got my guitar solo as well and I really like my keyboard part, so I'm really proud of the results on this one. It was inspired by that kid's rhyme that goes, 'What shall we do if the farmer does a poo in an English Country Garden?'. I thought that was fairly amusing. You can write a song about anything, really. It doesn't have to be all doom and gloom, does it?"
Dan: "One of the best things about this album is the lyrics. It's almost like the forgotten art of being a fantastic lyricist. They don't seem to be around anymore and I'm just blessed to be in a band with one."

BLIND MAN

Justin: "This song reminds me of ABBA in some ways and it sounds a bit like a Swedish folk song. It's about a family member of our's who lost his wife and then ended up dying of cancer and the way he fell apart when his wife died. It's a sad song, but I conceal the sadness behind a few silly things at the beginning. That's what we've always done, though. We write deep songs with silly titles."
Dan: "In some cases this album is more grown-up but in other's, it's far more futile than we've ever been."
Kerrang!

Kerrang ! October 15th 2005

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  Re: One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back
    PostPosted: 20 Mar 2011, 10:00 
Darkling
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Enjoyed reading that, but it just reminds me how much coke they were doing at the time. Also writing an anti-drugs song whilst you're still doing massive amounts of drugs. Hmm...


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  Re: One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back
    PostPosted: 20 Mar 2011, 12:05 
Darkling
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Switch625 wrote:
Enjoyed reading that, but it just reminds me how much coke they were doing at the time. Also writing an anti-drugs song whilst you're still doing massive amounts of drugs. Hmm...


Yes...at some points it did make me think 'what utter, drug-induced bollocksy drivel are you on about now'

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  Re: One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back
    PostPosted: 20 Mar 2011, 12:27 
Darkling
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CodaQueen wrote:
'what utter, drug-induced bollocksy drivel are you on about now'


Sounds like a quote from my wife.

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  Re: One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back
    PostPosted: 20 Mar 2011, 17:29 
Darkling
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Thanks for posting the Kerrang article! I really enjoyed reading that as well.

Well, If somebody asks me which is my favourite album ever my answer is for sure PTL. But talking about The Darkness here I've to say I love both albums. PTL is more rock and roll, classic and stuff. I think that's one of the reasons why people love it so much. Plus, let's not forget it was the first work of the band. We heard of them thanks to this masterpiece, it was such an special time and CD for every person who loves the band. PTL will always be special record.
In my opinion OWT is a really good album too. I really enjoy it too, since the day it came out.
I agree on the thing that it could be more melancholic but still a great piece of music. You can feel all the work they put on it. It also has something different but it's not a bad thing. Other way round, they decided to innovate which is a great to improve and show the awesome musicians they are.
Good tunes on it and different instruments. And oh yes, covert art is amazing!
My favourite tracks on it are Dinner Lady Arms, Is It Just Me? and Hazel Eyes.
So yeah, I enjoy both masterpieces, in fact any music by The Darkness. Aces are aces! I love every single song by them, each one is special. I guess I can't say other thing, I love The Darkness so much :mrgreen:
I can't wait for album 3. I'm sure it's amazing!

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  Re: One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back
    PostPosted: 20 Mar 2011, 17:58 
Darkling
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Was disapointed with the One way Ticket.

Liked Is it Just Me and Knockers. One Way Ticket was ok and Girlfirend ok....

Didn't like it as a whole. Never liked Hazel Eyes much....

All the songs had some potential but it all sounded substandard when you compared it to the first album....I remember wandering around Alexandra Palace when they played there and thinking that it was the first time I had done a toilet break during a Darkness gig.....and it didn't matter.....

But I prefer to remember the good times - and there were those!
:)


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  Re: One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back
    PostPosted: 20 Mar 2011, 21:01 
Darkling
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Thanks for posting that article, interesting to read. It just makes me wonder even more about what the 3rd album is going to sound like. I trust them to give us something amazing, which i'm sure it will be! Does anybody else think that Xtraordianry Woman (the Hot Leg song) should be a Darkness song? It's too good not to release, I hope it is! Whatever they put on the third album will be great anyway i'm sure


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  Re: One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back
    PostPosted: 21 Mar 2011, 01:47 
Darkling
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Re-reading Frankie's book I'm increasingly optimistic about circumstances surrounding this album. I don't think Atlantic really knew what they had. This time we're free of record company involvement. The focus is once again on songs and not producers and instruments. The album isn't being recorded around touring commitments, the band isn't physically fucked and there's not a great amount expectation (outside of ourselves).


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  Re: One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back
    PostPosted: 21 Mar 2011, 18:39 
Darkling
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Dirk Gently wrote:
Who will be producing the third album exactly? I hope it won't end up sounding cheap and under produced. But I agree with every word you say about the intervening industry.


I think that Justin and Dan will be producing the album with Nick Brine? That doesn't sound too unreasonable, or does it?


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