This was released as a singe twice, the first time in August 2002 with "Love On The Rocks With No Ice" and "Love Is Only A Feeling." In September 2003, it was released as the third single off The Darkness' debut album Permission To Land with "Makin' Out" and "Physical Sex." It charted the second time.
The New York Times wrote that this song "Sticks to the listener like hair gel."
The British magazine Classic Rock named this as their Greatest Rock Song of the Noughties. The band's former frontman Justin Hawkins commented: "All The Darkness ever tried to do was bring a little joy into the glorious realm of rock, but 'I Believe In A Thing Called Love' crossed over big time and changed our lives forever. To have been awarded 'Song Of The Decade' is overwhelming and I'm very grateful to Classic Rock for everything."
The band's former guitarist, Dan "Stone Gods" Hawkins, told Classic Rock the story of the song: "'I Believe In A Thing Called Love' was such an important song for The Darkness, but when we wrote it I really wasn't sure about it. The chorus is so stupidly catchy, I thought people were just gonna take it as a complete joke! Right from the start, this song stuck out like a sore thumb. It's at the Def Leppard/Queen end of what we did, whereas 90% of our stuff was inspired by 1970s AC/DC. And Aerosmith. And Thin Lizzy. Oh, I could go on!
Writing it was a real collaborative effort. Me and Frankie (Poullain, bassist) shared a top-floor flat in Primrose Hill in London, which sounds posh, but trust me, it was a s--thole! Justin (Hawkins, guitarist/vocalist) would come over and the three of us would write in this flat, jamming on an acoustic, cos we couldn't afford to write in a rehearsal room. When we wrote 'I Believe In A Thing Called Love', we had some booze, smoked some 'Joe', and tried to write the most '80s song we could. We started with the riff, which Justin came up with. It sounded really great right away. But when he sang the chorus for the first time, I just said, 'No, you can't do that – it sounds ridiculous!' I really thought people would just laugh at us when they heard it. So for the rest of the song, I tried to make it sound cool, more 'rock.' The rest of the song is all in minor key.
Back in 2003 when this song was released as a single, you never heard a guitar solo on the radio. But this song was designed to have guitar breaks in it. It was built towards the solos as much as the chorus.
I was so unsure that we debated about playing the song live. But as soon as we did, people loved it. It's party music, and it just gets people going."
Samsung used this song in a 90 second commercial for their Galaxy Note smartphone that ran on the 2012 Super Bowl. In the spot, a disaffected girl presumably in line to buy an iPhone sees the Note and says, "I don’t know what I believe in anymore." Like a genie, Justin Hawkins of The Darkness appears and begins performing this song. The Darkness went on hiatus in 2006, but reformed in 2011. Their first single after their break was "Nothin's Gonna Stop Us," released shortly before the Super Bowl spot.
Director Alex Smith originally shot a low-budget music video with the band at his house and around a supermarket. Given a bigger budget, he shot a second, space-themed clip with Justin Hawkins performing in front of a wall of Marshall amps before the band's spaceship gets attacked by a giant squid.
Taylor Swift rocks out and lip-syncs to the track as if nobody's watching in an Apple Music advert. Apparently, the songstress is an old fan of The Darkness. "Taylor Swift used to come to a lot of our shows back in the day, frontman Justin Hawkins told Billboard magazine. It's good to see she hasn't given up on her roots! Take it to the bridge, Swiftmeisteress!"