I miss the days of making mix tapes and trading them with your friends. Bauhaus is one of many bands that I became a fan of because someone else included music of theirs on a cassette made for me. When I was in high school the only “goth music” I listened to had a punk rock aesthetic as well, bands such as The Misfits, Christian Death and 45 Grave. Now understand, I had heard of the band but dismissed them without ever hearing their music since they weren’t “core enough” to pay attention to. Sad how misguided youth can be sometimes …
The mix tape had a song by the name of “Lagartija Nick” on it, a single the band released in 1983. I was floored, the song had a punk edge to it but the tone was so dark and eerie, the drums pulverizing and most of all, the vocals stunned me. This was my introduction to Peter Murphy and I realized at that moment I had made a serious mistake dismissing this four-piece. This was my sophomore year in high school so this was late 1984. A trip to Tower Records later that same week was both rewarding and sad – rewarding because I picked up the band’s third album The Sky’s Gone Out, sad because I found out just how late to the party I was. Bauhaus broke up in 1983 after just five years and four albums together. Damnit.
The next year Bauhaus released a double cassette entitled 1979-1983, a compilation highlighting many of the band’s singles and other important songs. It was a chance for me to become fully acquainted with the band and remains an essential part of my music catalog today. I think it is an essential album for anyone interested in listening to quality goth music and the perfect introduction to Bauhaus if you are a novice like I was.
Luckily for me the band reunited in 1998 and I saw them in concert at Mesa Amphitheatre. The band could not have opened and closed the set any better, leading off with “Double Dare” and ending of course with “Bela Lugosi’s Dead”. I have seen the four members of the band live more in their respective post-Bauhaus contributions to music, Peter Murphy solo on four occasions (outstanding) and Love and Rockets (good in the studio, worthless live the one time I saw them play).
Allow me to play my favorite song from Bauhaus, which just so happens to also be the first song from the band I ever heard, “Lagartija Nick”.
Album Inspiration: 1979-1983