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The Darkness Turn In Metal Cover of Radiohead’s ‘Street Spirit’

Justin Hawkins, Thom Yorke
Amanda Edwards / Michael Buckner, Getty Images

‘Street Spirit (Fade Out),’ the epic closing number on Radiohead‘s 1995 album ‘The Bends,’ gets an extreme metal makeover at the hands of fellow Brits the Darkness, the glam rock band probably best remembered for their 2003 crossover rock hit ‘I Believe in a Thing Called Love.’

That, or perhaps you recall singer Justin Hawkins’ admission a few years later that he had been spending nearly $5,000 a day on cocaine at the height of a substance abuse problem that seriously jeopardized the band’s very existence.

Hawkins has since cleaned up and the Darkness have a big comeback album, ‘Hot Cakes’ — their first in seven long years — out next month. And it is there, on the second-to-last track of the disc, that you will find ‘Street Spirit (Fade Out),’ the unlikely cover choice that’s sure to live up to your expectations. That is, if your expectations are for a balls-to-the-wall hair metal madness, with extreme falsetto vocals and a production setting that we’d best describe as “hairspray.”

The Darkness covering Radiohead may not be as odd as it seems. Apparently the Darkness have been playing the tune live for years, which obviously means when they hit the studio they had the song down cold. Besides, ‘Street Spirit’ was Radiohead’s first Top 5 single in their British homeland, while the Darkness haven’t landed in Top 5 since ‘Love Is Only a Feeling,’ off ‘Permission to Land,’ the same album that gave us ‘Thing Called  Love.’

If the stars line up right, you never know — maybe they’ll make a big comeback with the tune. If nothing else, we wouldn’t be surprised if Thom Yorke is a fan of the track. A big fan — or at least oddly amused by it. That’s probably the best way to describe our reaction to the tune.

Listen to the Darkness Cover Radiohead's 'Street Spirit (Fade Out)'

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