RE-REMEMBERING BAUHAUS

So here’s the thing.

After more than 3,300 posts, a good number of which have been kindly submitted by guest contributors, it gets difficult to come up with something of interest that hasn’t been published before.

I was keen to write up something on Bauhaus, but checking through the index indicated I had done something along the lines I had been thinking back in February 2014.

And then I thought to myself.  There may well be some folk who drop by here on a regular basis who weren’t readers back in 2014, and who haven’t had the time or inclination to go through the archives, so what’s the harm in re-posting something?  Doing so allows me to be slightly lazy in that this is just a cut’n’paste job, but the mp3s are again available after many years’ absence, so please feel free to listen and enjoy  – and if it stimulates your brain to the extent that you would like some more, then make sure you either visit a record shop or make some sort of digital purchase.

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 hetero 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 that 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 years 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 the 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 (i.e. not the sort of song you’d associate with miserable goths) and weird (i.e. 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

Enjoy!!”

I really do hope you enjoy what’s on offer today, as there’s every chance I’ll be delving into the TVV archives in the coming weeks and months.  Nobody minds, do they? Oh, and if there’s anything in particular that any reader would like to see given a re-post, feel free to drop me an email : thevinylvillain@hotmail.co.uk

Oh, and it would be remiss of me not to also point you in the direction of ICA#223, submitted in August 2019, by Middle Aged Man.

JC

10 thoughts on “RE-REMEMBERING BAUHAUS

  1. Double ooft! Cocteau Twins now Bauhaus. Sir, you spoil us.

    I believe it was in and around 2014 that I was first introduced to the blog but don’t recall reading this. Time flies.

    Bauhaus achieved many things in their career not least the stellar cover versions of Telegram Sam, Ziggy Stardust and Third Uncle. Bliss!

    I have extremely fond memories of the 1983 Glasgow to promote Burning From The Inside and less fond memories of travelling home on the bus from the record shop, in Glasgow, and noticing the LP had melted and warped against the faulty heater. Nothing for it – straight back into town to get another copy.

    I like all of the choices presented here. I would maybe highlight others but that’s unimportant.

    My best pal was the real Bauhaus fan. I couldn’t ever match his fervour – he had the rarities and imports. If I had to choose a favourite LP it’d be The Sky’s Gone Out.

    Another much appreciated treat. Thanks, JC.

  2. Always happy to read about and listen to Bauhaus, so no complaints from me, JC.

    A perfectly timed post too, given the news that Bauhaus released their first new song in 14 years – Drink The New Wine – yesterday (24th).

    It’s a really good song, composed during lockdown using the Exquisite Corpse method, which is also the title of the last track on The Sky’s Gone Out which, like FFF, would be my pick if forced to choose a favourite album.

  3. I think I first really noticed Bauhaus on the first release of Kick In The Eye, which I still think is a killer track. Slightly lacking fantasy maybe my all time favourite with them is Bela Lugosi’s Dead . Their 2 LP collection 1979-1983 makes a great condensation of all things fantastic with Bauhaus, and is still on regular rotation in my house.

  4. Latest vinyl to be identified as missing

    Ziggy Stardust 7″
    Telegram Sam 12″

    Ach!

    Still, I have the songs on other formats.

  5. can never have enough Bauhaus, as Khayhem says perfect timing, and the press release that goes with the new song is awesome, one of the great things about Bauhaus is their pretentious and its great to see it is still there bring on the album

  6. Maybe not the most representative of their black mascara goth glory, but ‘Kick In The Eye’ does it for me every time. Great post.

  7. Bela Lugosi’s Dead is a highlight for me too, although the live version pips it for me. This is probably because I started with The Sky’s Gone Out/Press The Eject And Give Me The Tape double play cassette then the mighty 1979-1983 double vinyl compilation, so it was the first and only version I heard for many years.

    Kick In The Eye and Lagartija Nick are also favourites, though I have to thank you for steering me back to Middle Aged Man’s excellent ICA. I wasn’t commenting much at all back in 2019, so here’s a belated cheers for what was/is a brilliant selection that I’ve been enjoying all over again today.

  8. My vector of Bauhaus infection was seeing the “Spirit” viddy on MTV and racing out to get “The Sky’s Gone Out” [which A+M Records – who else? – picked up for distro in America] and getting the shock of my life when I played it! The atmospheric GothPop of the single version was nowhere to be heard, with a more stentorian and brittle rendition on the album. And what I might call Art Metal and Brechtian Rock surrounding it. And loving it.

    My goto Bauhaus track for any mixtapes I made for others was always “Lagartija Nick!” A pulsating, farocious Hell-Dive of the first order! The crazy Dub explosion of the “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” 12″ may have been part of the 1-2 punch with Siouxsie + The Banshees “JuJu” that were the flint and tinder to the Goth movement; with Bowie being the John-The-Baptist-I-Was-Only-Dancing for it all. But I chose not to blame any of the aforementioned parties for Fields of the Nephelim!

  9. Kick In The Eyes is hands down, my favorite Bauhaus song.
    I have to give a nod to Dark Entries as one of the most haunting and harrowing songs any Rock and Roll band has ever written/performed.
    For my money Bauhaus also own Eno’s Third Uncle. Eno may have done everything he could to bury Glam Rock with the track – and at the same time invent a proto-Goth Rock, but it took Bauhaus to take the track to it’s deserved heights…

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