Bauhaus - By Graham Trott

Bauhaus - America was just starting to digest and assimilate Punk, and then Goth appeared.

Bauhaus – Live In Chicago – 1980 – Past Daily Soundbooth

Bauhaus - By Graham Trott
Bauhaus – America was just starting to digest and assimilate Punk, and then Goth appeared.(Photo: Graham Trott)

Bauhaus – Live in Chicago – Recorded at The Space Place – September 9, 1980 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection

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Bauhaus in concert from Chicago in 1980 to drag you into Friday. One of the pioneers of Goth, Bauhaus were formed in Northampton, England, in 1978. The group consisted of Daniel Ash (guitar, saxophone), Peter Murphy (vocals, occasional instruments), Kevin Haskins (drums) and David J (bass). The band was originally named Bauhaus 1919 in reference to the first operating year of the German art school Bauhaus, although they shortened the name within a year of formation. One of the pioneers of gothic rock, Bauhaus were known for their dark image and gloomy sound, although they mixed many genres, including dub, glam rock, psychedelia and funk.

Bauhaus broke up in 1983. Murphy began a solo career while Ash and Haskins continued as Tones on Tail and, later, reunited with David J to form Love and Rockets.

Although the band were short-lived, their music was influential upon many bands and artists that followed. They had a significant impact on gothic, darkwave and deathrock artists including Christian Death, Type O Negative, Deine Lakaien and Glenn Danzig. The Mission’s Wayne Hussey sang with Murphy on stage in 2013.

Bauhaus inspired many industrial rock groups, like Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, Nitzer Ebb and Skinny Puppy. The band has been cited as an influence by electronic act Carl Craig, the crust punk band Amebix, the hard rock/heavy metal band the Cult, the extreme metal band Celtic Frost, and the lo-fi musician Ariel Pink. Bauhaus were also hailed by several alternative/indie rock groups including Jane’s Addiction, Soundgarden,the Smashing Pumpkins, A Neon Rome, AFI, Korn, Hole, Interpol, My Chemical Romance, She Wants Revenge, Shearwater, Elliott Smith, the Dresden Dolls, the Flaming Lips and the Horrors. Bauhaus influenced Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra in the writing of that band’s 1982 album Plastic Surgery Disasters. Duff McKagan of Guns N’ Roses listed the Bauhaus compilation Bauhaus 1979–1983 in his 100 favorite albums list.

The group have been namechecked by several other prominent musicians, including Steve Albini (of Big Black), Jeff Ament (of Pearl Jam), Bradford Cox (of Deerhunter), Courtney Taylor-Taylor (of the Dandy Warhols), Jesse Hughes (of the Eagles of Death Metal), Al Jourgensen (of Ministry), Fred Durst (of Limp Bizkit), Jonathan Davis (of Korn), Sean Yseult (of White Zombie), Stuart Braithwaite (of Mogwai) and Stephen Malkmus (of Pavement). Blink-182 namedropped Bauhaus on their song “She’s Out of Her Mind” on their California album.

The Bauhaus song “All We Ever Wanted Was Everything” (from The Sky’s Gone Out) was covered by several artists and bands, including John Frusciante (former guitarist of Red Hot Chili Peppers), MGMT and Xiu Xiu (who recorded it in 2006 for their Tu Mi Piaci EP). Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins sang T. Rex’s “Telegram Sam” and “All We Ever Wanted Was Everything” live on stage with Bauhaus in 1998. “Double Dare” was covered by the alternative rock band the God Machine.

The band’s signature song, “Bela Lugosi’s Dead”, was covered by numerous acts, including Until December (1986), the Electric Hellfire Club (1996), Opera IX (on 2000 album The Black Opera: Symphoniæ Mysteriorum in Laudem Tenebrarum), Sepultura (on 2001 album Nation), Nouvelle Vague (on 2006 album Bande à part), Chris Cornell (2007), Nine Inch Nails (2009), Trent Reznor with Murphy and TV on the Radio (2013), Massive Attack (2013), David J with Jill Tracy (2013), Chvrches (for the 2014 Vampire Academy soundtrack),and Dead Cross (on their 2017 debut album).

Needless to say, Bauhaus’ influence has been far and wide – which offers up further proof that you don’t have to be a massively successful band in order to make a lasting impression. Bauhaus are proof of that.

Crank it up and pretend its 1980 all over again – the mix is a bit strange, so take that into consideration.

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