Bauhaus are one of the many bands of the early 80s era who could lay claim to having a say in the ‘invention’ of goth rock. It’s fair to say that most folk will recall the name of only one member of the four-piece, that of singer Peter Murphy. And yet, the fact is he only became part of the band when the others approached him, not because of his vocal talents, but simply because he had the right look.
There’s no disputing that Murphy was one of those blokes who it was impossible for even the most hetro and red-blooded male to deny was good-looking. Certainly, there were plenty of us who tried hard to capture the image, be it the impeccably prepared hair, the sharp as a razor cheekbones, or the piercing eyes made all the more memorable by the clever application of make-up.
Bauhaus never quite made it the way so many expected them to. I was surprised to find out that of the 11 singles and 4 EPs released at their peak between 1980 and 1983, only two of them actually cracked the Top 40, and one of these was a cover of Ziggy Stardust (indeed, this was their biggest success hitting #15 in 1982).
There are, in my opinion, two tracks that have more than stood the test of time and I’ve dug the bits of vinyl out of the cupboard. Possibly the greatest nine-minute long single of all time:-
mp3 : Bauhaus – Bela Legosi’s Dead
I don’t have the original 1979 release but one from a couple of year later that has this fascinating little number on the b-side:-
mp3 : Bauhaus – Boys/Dark Entries (demo)
A close second in my personal Bauhaus chart is this:-
mp3 : Bauhaus – Kick In The Eye
The song had in fact been issued as a single in 1981 but had stalled at #59. On the back of the Ziggy success, the record label gave it a re-release on the Searching for Satori EP, but still public wouldn’t bite and it only reached a disappointing #45. And yet…..I could have sworn it was a huge hit…it was one of those songs that inevitably filled the floor of any student disco I was at. Here’s yer other tracks which by turn are surprising (ie not the sort of song you’d associate with miserable goths) and weird (ie unlistenable shite…..but feel free to differ)
mp3 : Bauhaus – Harry
mp3 : Bauhaus – Earwax
Oh and I forgot…..I’m also quite fond of giving this a listen every now and again, but I’ve only got a copy via a CD compilation:-
mp3 : Bauhaus – Lagartija Nick