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|We're dancing to the dark side of this tune
-- "Dancing", Bauhaus
(Peter Murphy, Daniel Ash, David J, Kevin Haskins)
"For many goths, this is where it all begins;
for some, it may even be where it all ends. Bauhaus' music, though not the
earliest music that can be called 'gothic', is certainly foundational. The
Bela Lugosi's Dead single is the song that *defines* gothdom for many;
in fact, it is *such* a nightclub staple that many folk have gotten thoroughly
sick of it by now, wondering what the big deal was about Bauhaus. Well, the big
deal is this: Bauhaus albums are angry and dark and thoroughly musical; the
songs are meticulously crafted and the lyrics are lovely explorations of decay,
emptiness, and fear. Not just that, but Peter
Murphy and the boys had a great sense of humour about the cult that they
were in the process of creating, and even as they descended into the morbid and
hateful, they always took a moment to laugh at their own pretenses and at the
assumptions that their fans were making about them. The laugh was bitter, but
it gave Bauhaus a sense of perspective that is missing in many of the
imitations that they spawned. The music itself is hard to describe -- it's
guitar-driven with liberal doses of feedback and random changes in direction;
Peter Murphy's vocals swing from tortured howls
to deep and resonant chants (of course, Daniel Ash and David J. supplied vocals
for many of the songs too, particularly on Burning From The Inside). The
records are a lot more elegant and have much more depth than singles like
Bela or She's in Parties would suggest -- as great as those songs
are, it is generally a good idea to see what Bauhaus is *all* about rather than
letting the nightclub decide for you."
¾ 1980: In the Flat Field
" (...) 'In The Flat Field' is an early example of that ghastly confluence of post-punk and heavy metal, and gave rise to a new generation of Goth-rockers, many of them fostered under the 4AD umbrella."
--Anthony Quinn -- Emap Consumer Magazines Ltd"As one of the original goth rock bands, Northampton's Bauhaus deserve some respect for their unique ability to marry Ziggy Stardust-style glam rock with glum, portentous surroundings. (...) The stark, crazed brilliance of opening tracks, 'Double Dare' and 'In The Flat Field' convey feelings of horror in the listener whilst more minimalist efforts such as 'God In An Alcove' and 'Spy In The Cab' are just as creepy as vocalist Peter Murphy screams in terror ably backed by his guitar-wielding cohorts as they attempt their best Mick Ronson impersonation. Listening to music of this intensity is a bit much to stomach in one sitting but it certainly does give goth rock a good name. "
" (...) 'Mask', their finest achievement, explores a variety of styles, incorporating airs of heavy metal, funk brass and Tangerine Dreamy electronics into an organic whole. Though still weighty, the lyrics make occasional stabs at humor and reveal an increasingly romantic side."
¼ 1982: The Sky's Gone Out
" ...marks a stylistic midpoint in Bauhaus brief but spectacular career. (...) In comparison with their earlier, almost impenetrably convoluted literary references and effectively murky production, this album is lyrically more direct, musically more straightforward, and features vastly cleaner production. (...) The music is less harsh--almost inviting the listener in before the slicing lyrics drop like poised blades. Production-wise, the sound is no longer as cacophonously dense."
1982: Press Eject and Give me the Tape
Recorded live at various venues between 1981 and 1982, 'Press the Eject and Give me the Tape' is a muscular set of some of Bauhaus' best tracks. Incidentally, these tracks were recorded on the same tour that was filmed for the band's on-screen performance of Bela Lugosi's Dead in the 1983 film, THE HUNGER. Press the Eject features a striking version of John Cale's Rosegarden Funeral Of Sores, a particularly spooky run-through of Hollow Hills that out-creeps the studio version on "Mask", and the punk rock fuzz-out of Dark Entries. Of course, Bela appears here as well, in a luxurious nine-and-a-half-minute version. Washed in feedback and ever-so-subtly accelerating and decelerating, this song is the true center of "Goth" mythology.
¾ 1983: Burning from the Inside
"Bauhaus was already starting to splinter by the time of this final album, so 'Burning from the Inside' is a rickety bridge between fiery, arty intimations of darkness, and the two paths bandmembers later took: singer Peter Murphy's intense new-wave drama, and the more playful dance-club rock groove favored by the others (who went on to Tones On Tail and to Love and Rockets). David J.'s guitar sound, sour and sharp, and the band's dubby production tricks, define these songs more than Murphy's tremulous pronouncements about Antonin Artaud and emotional violence, and the artistic tension makes this their most musically adventurous record, from the tiny groan Wasp to the sprawling, doom-laden title track."
-- Douglas Wolk , Amazon.com
1986: 1979-83 Volume I
14 Best-of songs.
1986: 1979-83 Volume II
Second volume. Completes the history of the band through the early Eighties.
1989: Swing the Heartache- The BBC Sessions
Recorded btwn 1980 and 1983, at the BBC studios in Britain for broadcast on Britain's national radio station, Radio One. The album is comprised of 5 session recordings for John Peel's show and David Jensen's show. "In most cases, Bauhaus performed live in the studio with minimal overdubs, giving the tracks an additional edge".
½ 1998: The Crackle-Best of Bauhaus
Recorded and released to coincide with the Bauhaus stage reunion of 1998 "The Resurrection Tour". A collection of 16 Bauhaus greatest hits, remastered for a cleaner sound.
"Although it contains no new tracks, Crackle contains the studio version of the Bauhaus classic, Bela Lugosi's Dead, and it's the only Bauhaus album to do so. It's obvious that a good deal of money was spent on the disc-- the clarity of the recordings has notably improved, and it's much easier to pick out the roles of the individual instruments than on previous Bauhaus recordings. So distinct are some of the sounds, in fact, that it's easy to pick up on mistakes in "The Sanity Assassin," where the fretless bass is played a hair too flat. But while the album allows one to hear the technical flaws in the playing when they're there, it also shows off the band's ability to play. And when they're on, they're really on."
-- Skaht Hansen, pitchforkmedia.com
½ 1999: Gotham (live)
Metropolis Records presents Gotham, a live double CD and video which was recorded at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York during the Resurrection Tour. 17 classic Bauhaus songs (live) + a live version and a studio version of the bands own rendition of the Dead Can Dance song Severance.
¾ 2008: Go Away White
Tracklisting: 01. Too Much 21st Century 02. Adrenalin 03. Undone 04. International Bullet Proof Talent 05. Endless Summer of the Damned 06. Saved 07. Mirror Remains 08. Black Stone Heart 09. Zikir
"Bauhaus slid fully formed from punk rock's womb in late 1978. Over the course of four hot years, they unintentionally birthed a genre (Goth), moved on, moved forward, and surged mercurial through the post-punk musicscene, tearing into tense, stark, dub bass-driven new-wave, T-Rex-esqueglam, and swirling, clattering, orchestral atmospherics, whilst churning it all into a grand velvet, Rimbaudian hallucination. It was a wild, inspired, enthralling sound. And it still is. Now there is a new record. Go Away White was recorded in 18 days at Zircon Skye in Ojai, withsinger Peter Murphy, bassist David J, guitarist Daniel Ash, and drummer Kevin Haskins playing together as a band in one room, taking first takes as final cuts. So, a new record but apparently a final one, the bandhaving decided to release it as a posthumous swan song. Go Away White is everything you would hope Bauhaus would deliver astheir final statement. Fronted by a cover photo of Bethesda, the angel ofthe healing waters in New York's Central Park, the music inside is purecathartic renovation, a psychedelic glimpse into an enchanted moment. Aided in part by guitarist Daniel Ash's inspired use of Jimi Hendrix's ownpersonal Vox wah wah pedal, gifted to him by Peter Murphy at the start ofthe sessions, it is pop as much as it is experimental."
-- Adam Gnade, 12/07"These are ten songs of classic guitar alongside something more jazzy, other times more minimal/electronic, or equally maybe even choral (The Dogs A Vapour) its effortless, an embodiment of why theres still people interested in what Bauhaus have to say. Simple, dark and dramatic. There may not be a Bela Lugosis Dead #2, but who wants that anyway? (...) Long-term fans shouldnt be disappointed, not just by virtue of the mere release of this album but instead because its both whats expected and desired. Go Away White may not ever be as classic as the back catalogue but it is a few other things - inventive and memorable, involved and distant, personal and all-seeing."
-- Natalie Shaw, gigwise.com, 01/08
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