I Believe In A Thing Called Love by The Darkness voted greatest song of the 21st century

The Darkness in 2002
The Darkness in 2002 (Image credit: PYMCA / Getty Images)

I Believe In A Thing Called Love, a hit for The Darkness in 2002, has topped a poll to discover the 100 Greatest Songs of the Century (so far). The poll was voted for by Classic Rock readers, and is featured in issue 277 of the magazine, which is published tomorrow.

"Come, rejoice with us at the news of this most esteemed accolade bestowed upon us by Classic Rock," proclaim the band. "The new issue celebrates the 100 Greatest Songs Of The Century, and it seems the people have crowned IBIATCL their No.1 tune! Thanks to all who voted - a great honour indeed!"

I Believe In A Thing Called Love beat out strong opposition from the likes of AC/DC's Rock'n'roll Train, Alter Bridge's Blackbird and Foo Fighters' Best Of You to top the poll - and a playlist of all 100 songs is below. Over 60,000 votes were recorded.

The Darkness recorded the song in 2001, although it wouldn't reach its peak position at no.2 in the UK Singles Chart until October 2003. As singer Justin Hawkins struggled to hit the high notes on the song, he thought being naked would ease his nerves – and wind up former drummer Ed Graham.

“I was naked in the vocal booth," Hawkins told us. "At first I did it as an experiment to see if it would help, because I was struggling with the vocal. Then I just started doing it because it made Ed a bit uncomfortable, then it became a tradition.

“Perhaps I was just showing off. But that is part of my job, I suppose.”

"Of all the brilliant songs that have been released during the last 20 years, I Believe In A Thing Called Love is a rock anthem for the ages," says Classic Rock editor Siân Llewellyn. 

She continues, "In 2001 The Darkness may have been a band out of time with their OTT dress sense in a world of miserablist plaid, with massive guitar solos when the nu metallers were raging against them, with their big belt-it-out don't-bore-us-get-to-the-chorus mindset, but with Justin's full-on falsetto and canny way with a massive tune, they took the rock world (and the world at large) by storm. 

"It is, after all, a bona fide rock classic. A 100%, put-it-on-at-a-wedding-and-everyone-knows-it kinda song, and it's wholly deserving of its top spot."

Issue 277 of Classic Rock is published tomorrow, and can be ordered now

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.