Old school: BauhausJune 25, 2008
Depending on how you count, it’s been a generation, maybe two, since the rise of what we’d consider independent music. So there’s a lot of good stuff that you may not have heard if you are new to the scene, either by age or inclination. Following up on my posting of an early-80s punk classic, I think I’m going to interpret ‘old school’ like ‘driving school’ and provide the odd bit of education on the old, starting with Bauhaus.
Despite its deeply Modernist name, cult favourite Bauhaus is often considered to be the sire of all goth bands. Their first single, 1979’s “Bela Lugosi’s Dead,” (if the name doesn’t ring a bell, click here) pretty much laid the groundwork for the genre – bleak, moody, and obsessed with vampires . Over the four or so years of their initial incarnation, they had several singles on the UK charts, including their brilliant cover of David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust.” As far as I know, however, Bauhaus was never more than a cult band in the US or Canada.
However, the members found more success in their post-breakup projects. Minus Peter Murphy, the remainder of the band went on to start Love and Rockets, which released a number of singles that received airplay in North America, including ‘Ball of Confusion,’ ‘No New Tale to Tell,’ and the surprise top-ten single ‘So Alive,’ which helped their 1989 self-titled album to go gold. For his part, Peter Murphy‘s solo career has also resulted in a number of hits, including 1989’s ‘Cuts You Up‘ (which topped the modern rock charts for 7 weeks), ‘The Sweetest Drop,’ and ‘Indigo Eyes.’ Murphy is still active and touring, and in fact will be bringing his lovely rich voice and amazingly high cheekbones to the Roxy in Boston on Saturday, June 28th.