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Bauhaus performing live in August 2006.
|Also known as||Bauhaus 1919|
|Past members||Daniel Ash|
Bauhaus were an English post-punk band, 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 first gothic rock groups, 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. Peter 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. Both enjoyed greater commercial success in the United States than Bauhaus had, but disappeared from the charts in their homeland. Bauhaus eventually reunited for a 1998 tour and again from 2005 to 2008.
Daniel Ash, his friend David J. Haskins, and Haskins' younger brother Kevin, had played together in various bands since childhood. One of the longer-lived of these was a band called the Craze, which performed a few times around Northampton in 1978. However, The Craze still split up fairly quickly, and Ash once again tried to convince his old school friend Murphy to join him, simply because Ash thought he had the right look for a band. Murphy, who was working in a printing factory, decided to give it a try, despite never having written any lyrics or music. During their first rehearsal, he co-wrote the song "In the Flat Field".
Ash's old bandmate Kevin Haskins joined as the drummer. Ash made a point of not inviting David J, the driving force in their previous bands, because he wanted a band he could control. Instead, Chris Barber was brought in to play bass, and together the four musicians formed the band S.R. However, within a few weeks Ash relented, and replaced Barber with David J, who suggested the new name Bauhaus 1919. David J. had already agreed to tour American airbases with another band, but decided that joining his friends' group was "the right thing to do". With their lineup complete, the band played their first gig at the Cromwell pub in Wellingborough on New Year's Eve 1978.
The band had chosen the name Bauhaus 1919, a reference to the German Bauhaus art movement of the 1920s, because of its "stylistic implications and associations", according to David J. The band also chose the same typeface used on the Bauhaus college building in Dessau, Germany. Bauhaus associate Graham Bentley said that the group was unlike any Northampton band of the time, most of which played predominantly cover songs. Bentley videotaped a performance by the group, which was sent to several record labels, in the hope of obtaining a contract. This approach was hindered partly because many record companies at the time did not have home video equipment, so the group decided to record a demo.
After only six weeks as a band, Bauhaus entered the studio for the first time at Beck Studios in Wellingborough to record a demo. One of the five tracks recorded during the session, "Bela Lugosi's Dead", more than nine minutes long, was released as the group's debut single in August 1979 on Small Wonder Records. The band was listed simply as Bauhaus, with the "1919" abandoned. The single received a positive review in Sounds, and stayed on the British independent charts for two years. The song received crucial airplay on BBC Radio 1 and DJ John Peel's evening show, and Bauhaus were subsequently asked to record a session for Peel's show, which was broadcast on 3 January 1980.
Signing with the 4AD label, the band released two more singles, "Dark Entries" in January 1980 and "Terror Couple Kill Colonel" in June 1980, before issuing their first album In the Flat Field in October 1980. NME described it as "Gothick-Romantick pseudo-decadence". Despite negative reviews, In the Flat Field topped the indie charts, and made headway on the UK Albums Chart, peaking for one week at No. 72. In December 1980 Bauhaus released a cover of "Telegram Sam", a hit by glam rock pioneers T. Rex, as a single.
Bauhaus' growing success outstripped 4AD's resources, so the band moved to 4AD's parent label, Beggars Banquet Records. Bauhaus released "Kick in the Eye" in March 1981 as its debut release on the label. The single reached No. 59 on the charts. The following single, "The Passion of Lovers", peaked at No. 56 in July 1981. Bauhaus released their second album, Mask, in October 1981. The band employed more keyboards, and a variety of other instruments, to add to the diversity of the record. In an unconventional move, the group shot a video for the album's title track as a promotional tool for the band as a whole, rather than any specific song from the record.
In July 1982 Bauhaus released the single "Spirit", produced by Hugh Jones. It was intended to break into the Top 30, but only reached No. 42. The band was displeased with the single, and re-recorded it later in 1982 for their third album The Sky's Gone Out. In the same year, Bauhaus scored their biggest hit with a cover of David Bowie's "Ziggy Stardust", which was recorded during a BBC session. The song reached No. 15 on the British charts, and earned the band an appearance on the television show Top of the Pops.  Due to the success of the single, the album also became the band's biggest hit, peaking at No. 4. That same year, Bauhaus made an appearance in the horror film The Hunger, where they performed "Bela Lugosi's Dead" during the opening credits. The final cut of the scene focused on Murphy; this, coupled with the singer's modelling work in a popular ad campaign for Maxell, caused resentment among the rest of the group.
Prior to the recording of their fourth album, Burning from the Inside (1983), Murphy was stricken with pneumonia, which prevented him from contributing much to the album. Ash and David J took the reins, becoming the driving forces behind the record and even performing lead vocals on several tracks. The album's lead single, "She's in Parties", reached No. 26 on the charts and earned Bauhaus their third and final Top of the Pops appearance. Bauhaus then embarked on an international promotional tour for the album, with dates in Europe and the Far East. David J recalled that the night before they were supposed to perform two shows at Hammersmith Palais in London, the group decided to disband.
The band played their farewell show on 5 July 1983 at the Hammersmith Palais; dedicated fans had been warned by the band's crew not to miss the show, without telling them it was the last. After a long encore, consisting of some of their early songs, David J left the stage with the words "rest in peace". Burning from the Inside was released a week later. The album received largely positive reviews and reached No. 13 on the charts. Bauhaus released the single "Sanity Assassin" in limited quantities as a farewell gift for those who joined the group's fan club.
Bauhaus reunited for the "Resurrection Tour" in 1998, which featured a new song, "The Dog's a Vapour", which was also included in the Heavy Metal 2000 film soundtrack. A live album was recorded during the tour, Gotham, which was released the following year. It included a studio recording of Bauhaus' cover of the Dead Can Dance song "Severance".
Bauhaus reunited again in 2005, playing that year's Coachella Festival in Indio, California. They opened their set with Murphy being lowered upside-down to the stage, singing "Bela Lugosi's Dead". Following Murphy's 2005 tour, Bauhaus embarked on a full tour beginning in North America in autumn 2005, ending in Europe in February 2006. During the tour, Bauhaus covered Joy Division's "Transmission". The band also mentioned that they hoped to record new music. In May they performed as opening act for Nine Inch Nails on the summer leg of the latter's US tour.
In 2008, Bauhaus released their first new studio album since 1983, Go Away White (Cooking Vinyl). It marked the band's end and the album had no promotional tour. In late 2007, Kevin Haskins said "We were getting along really well, but there was an incident that occurred", and added that as a result, "Some of us just felt that we didn't want to carry on as a working unit". In early 2008, Murphy claimed that he "was most satisfied with the bonding on an emotional level. It was good to be working together and to put the past behind us and it was very positive. The result was coming out really fast, so it was exciting and it was very enjoyable", but in the end, "that rocky character worked and I think it was a bit right to finish it, really". The same year, David J commented on the breakup: "You have a test tube, and you pour in one chemical, and you pour in another chemical, and something happens. It starts to bubble. Pour in another chemical, and it starts to bubble a bit more. You pour in a fourth chemical, and it bubbles really violently, and then explodes. That's my answer".
After Bauhaus disbanded, the members of the band moved on to various solo work. Murphy worked briefly with bassist Mick Karn of Japan in the band Dalis Car, before going solo with such albums as 1986's Should the World Fail to Fall Apart, 1988's Love Hysteria and 1989's Deep. Ash had already started Tones on Tail with Bauhaus roadie Glen Campling as a side project in 1982; after Bauhaus broke up, Kevin Haskins joined the group, and the trio released an album and several EPs before breaking up after a 1984 American tour. During this time, David J released two solo albums and collaborated with other musicians, recording two albums with the Jazz Butcher, and also with comics writer/spoken-word artist Alan Moore in the short-lived band the Sinister Ducks.
During a discussion about the state of their projects at the time, Ash and David J began talking about reforming Bauhaus. All four band members arranged a rehearsal, but Murphy failed to show up on the scheduled day. The other three band members rehearsed regardless, and were inspired by the chemistry they had as a trio. As a result, Ash and the Haskins brothers formed Love and Rockets in 1985. Love and Rockets scored a US hit four years later with "So Alive". The band broke up in 1999 after seven albums. Both Ash and David J released solo albums during the Love and Rockets years; Murphy contributed backing vocals to David J's 1992 single "Candy on the Cross".
In 2017, Ash and Kevin Haskins toured as Poptone with Haskins' daughter Diva Dompe on bass. The group performed songs from Bauhaus, Tones on Tail, and Love and Rockets along with cover songs. A live album recorded at various stops on the tour was released through PledgeMusic.
In 2018, Murphy and David J announced a tour of New Zealand, Australia and Europe to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Bauhaus, with the pair performing In the Flat Field in its entirety.
Bauhaus cited early post-punk bands Joy Division and Siouxsie and the Banshees among their influences. The singing was compared to David Bowie and Jacques Brel. The band's other influences included punk rock (e.g. Devo, the Stooges and Sex Pistols), glam rock (e.g. David Bowie, T. Rex and Gary Glitter), psychedelic rock (e.g. Syd Barrett, Pink Floyd, the Beatles), art rock/avant-garde music/experimental music (e.g. Brian Eno, Captain Beefheart, Pere Ubu, Roxy Music, Suicide and the Velvet Underground), krautrock (e.g. Kraftwerk, Can and Neu!), funk (e.g. James Brown, Bobby Byrd, Sly and the Family Stone) and Jamaican dub music (e.g. Lee Scratch Perry, Errol Thompson and King Tubby).
When asked about the influence of reggae on Bauhaus' music, Murphy stated that it was "massive. We were listening to toasting music all the time, and David brought in a lot of bass lines that were very lead riffs [...] those bass lines really formed the basis of the music"  In regards to the influence of the original Bauhaus movement on the band, Murphy stated that "Bauhaus had no influence on Bauhaus (the band) except for being the sound, shape, energetic, and sensory birth name of our group."
Bauhaus combined these influences to create a gloomy, earnest and introspective version of post-punk, which appealed to many music fans who felt disillusioned in the wake of punk's collapse. Its crucial elements included Murphy's deep and sonorous voice, Ash's jagged guitar playing and David J's dub-influenced bass. Their sound and gloomy style would eventually come to be known as gothic rock.
Although the band were short-lived, their music was influential upon many bands and artists that followed. They had a significant impact on gothic and deathrock artists including Christian Death, Type O Negative 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), 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).
Bauhaus's fanbase extends beyond music; the American novelist Chuck Palahniuk was influenced by the Bauhaus song "Bela Lugosi's Dead" when writing his 2005 novel Haunted. In James O'Barr's 1989 comic book The Crow, the facial features of Eric Draven were based on those of Peter Murphy. In Neil Gaiman's series The Sandman, Dream's face and appearance were also based on Murphy. Additionally, comic book writer Alan Moore wrote the sleeve notes of Mask and contributed an anonymous Bauhaus review called, "Phantoms of the Teenage Opera" to the UK music paper Sounds.
Susie Lewis, the co-creator of the American animated series Daria, is a fan of the band and used their song "1. David Jay 2. Peter Murphy 3. Kevin Haskins 4. Daniel Ash" in the closing credits of episode 213, "Write Where it Hurts".
At the time there were two drummers who had an influence on me namely, Steven Morris from Joy Division and Kenny Morris from Siouxsie And The Banshees. I liked how Steven played sixteenth notes on the hi hat and he used this wonderful electronic drum called The Synare drum which I ran out and bought immediately! With Kenny I loved how he would use the tom tom drums rather than hi hats and cymbals.
Peter Murphy comes across like David Bowie imitating Jacques Brel declaiming a pastiche of Lautréamont backed by the early Banshees.
Our influences were many. The obvious ones were glam rock and punk rock, but when we were recording, when we finished each day, we’d usually record in a residential studio so we would all stay together at night time. So when we’d wind down, we’d always play either dub reggae or late Beatles, like Sgt. Pepper. When I mention that to people they’re kind of surprised. So we weren’t listening to dark music, there were many influences.
It is Type O Negative's gothically tinged metal, reared on a steady diet of Bauhaus and Sisters Of Mercy, which never takes itself too seriously, that has garnered them critical and commercial success.
Manson: Bauhaus is one of our absolute favorite bands.
Having discovered the industrial-grade thumping and noise terrorism of UK bands such as Throbbing Gristle and Cabaret Voltaire, and the moodiness of Bauhaus, Joy Division, early New Order and Depeche Mode, Key and Ogre set about creating their own brand of electronic attack.
Born in 1969 and brought up in Detroit's middle-class West Side, Craig took Detroit's Europhile tendencies even further than his mentor Derrick May. As a sensitive teenager, he was into bands like The Cure, Bauhaus and The Smiths.
“Yeah, we were developing all these influences from people like Bauhaus and Joy Division...."
Q: "What or who else influenced the Cult?" Astbury: "The Cult grew out of a lot of post-punk influences, Joy Division and Bauhaus."
All the same, Celtic Frost were clearly also utilizing a much wider spectrum of influence, including that of gothic rock acts such as Bauhaus and Christian Death, and were already beginning to demonstrate the decidedly innovative approach to songwriting (evident in the restrained but notable use of violin and female vocals) that would increasingly earn them the “avant-garde metal” tag.
Dave [Navarro] & I [Stephen Perkins] met those cats. They [Perry Farrell and Eric Avery] were more into Echo & The Bunnymen, Joy Division, Siouxsie & the Banshees and Bauhaus. I think that was the sound of Jane's Addiction
The first Bauhaus record I bought was a live record [Press the Eject and Give Me the Tape]," he remembered. "Peter Murphy's hiding his face behind a cymbal — which is removed from the drum kit, which I liked — and he's singing. Something about that just spoke to me, like, 'I don't know what this is, but this has to be great.' They became one of my favorite bands.
As a band, I think we really sprang from two things: this sort of British, moody, goth-y, bass riff-oriented music like Gang of Four, Joy Division, Bauhaus, Killing Joke, and then this guitar-oriented, post-hardcore thing in America, like the Meat Puppets and Hüsker Dü and the Butthole Surfers," he said. "I think those were two things that were really playing into what Soundgarden was about collectively when we formed, you know, in '84.
"Our music is as much influenced by British bands like Killing Joke and Bauhaus as it is by heavy metal." - [Kim Thayil]
'We were trying for something a little weirder,' Borra says. 'I was listening to hardcore, but we were more influenced by the British side of things – PiL, Bauhaus. By 1984 when A Neon Rome started, punk was considered dead.'
By the age of 19 he still hadn't found a band to solo in, and had grown bored with the headbanging genre. "I lost the whole 'f--- society, f--- authority' thing that was driving it from the beginning, so I just stopped playing music in general, and my tastes shifted," he says. He started listening to music that he wasn't immediately inspired to play himself, like Wagner and Beethoven, or gothic groups such as Bauhaus and Sisters of Mercy.
But today they stopped by The A.V. Club armed with a smoke machine and fluorescent lighting and covered Bauhaus’ 1981 hit “Kick In The Eye” and David Bowie’s Lodger in its entirety. The band revealed they are actually huge fans of Bauhaus, and their bassist plays fret-less a la Bauhaus’ David J. They are also working on another record that is heavily inspired by the late ’70s and early ’80s and both Bauhaus and Bowie are among the biggest influences.
Their first EP from 1984, self-released and pressed in a run of 1,000 vinyl copies, was influenced by darker UK rock on the goth end of the spectrum, bands like Bauhaus and Echo and the Bunnymen.
Interviewer: "Who else influenced you?" Jello Biafra: "...When I wrote Plastic Surgery Disasters, the main stuff I was listening to was Bauhaus, Les Baxture and The Groundhogs."
A little under a year ago, the three members of RNDM – Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament, singer/songwriter Joseph Arthur and drummer Richard Stuverud – got together to begin sketching out ideas for their new LP, Ghost Riding (out March 4th), a follow-up to their 2012 debut Acts. “We said to each other, ‘What is the spirit album for this record?'” says Ament. “We started throwing out experimental albums back and forth that we love, like Laughing Stock by Talk Talk, David Sylvian’s Brilliant Trees and Gone to Earth, some of the most experimental Bowie albums, Bauhaus and the first couple of Peter Gabriel records.”
Courtney: "Listen to the first Bauhaus album and you'll instantly get it. Bauhaus were massive for me – they changed my life like no other band, other than Devo."
According to Durst, he endured childhood ridicule over his taste in music. "I loved the Cure and Bauhaus and the Smiths," he says.
Still, in those days, it wasn't easy being Jonathan Davis. ..."I was into Bauhaus, Ministry, Depeche Mode..."
"I don't remember writing it," says Davis, discussing "Basic Needs" from the studio chair. "It just kind of came about. It's definitely got the dark world-music/gothic vibe, but that's just for me, what I'm inspired by. I love bands like Bauhaus, I love Peter Murphy, I love Dead Can Dance ... I loved all of these different kinds of band when I was growing up, and that's just what [came] out of me.
HEAVIÖSITY: "Yeah, White Zombie was a difficult band to categorize." Yseult: It was kind of a gradual process. A lot of people were like, “Oh, all of a sudden you’re on Geffen and you’re metal.” No, if you listen to the transition on all of these records we put out ourselves, up through Caroline Records, you can hear it. It was happening for years before we got on Geffen. You know, we both loved a lot of punk, like The Cramps and Gun Club. Even Bauhaus."
They played a wide range of covers that tied in to varying degrees with the agitprop documentary taking place onscreen. Some, like The Jesus and Mary Chain's "Just Like Honey" and Bauhaus' "Bela Lugosi's Dead", seemed chosen more for mood.
It is not only these literary traditions that have informed and inspired Palahniuk's fiction; there are significant cinematic and musical influences as well. ...When it comes to music, Palahniuk has said that “the punk esthetic shaped my work: Start loud, run short, end abruptly.”93 Punk, industrial rock, and other edgy, confrontational styles tend to be the major influences.... ....To get into the right mood to create his damaged and sometimes dangerous characters, Palahniuk will often listen to the same song on repeat while he is writing. These have included Radiohead's “Creep” for Choke, Depeche Mode's “Little 15” for Diary, and Bauhaus's “Bela Lugosi's Dead” for Haunted.
The physical appearance of Eric Draven was based heavily on the face of Peter Murphy of the band Bauhaus, who O'Barr also saw while in Germany, and the body of rock icon Iggy Pop.
Q: How did the Crow character of Eric come to you? O'Barr: Basically, I was just playing around with the makeup on the face. I was in England. On the side of a building was painted the three faces of the English theater, which were Pain, Irony and Despair. The smiling face was Irony. So that's basically where the makeup came from. Physically, Eric is kind of a mixture of Iggy Pop and Peter Murphy.
The Sandman image was inspired by Peter Murphy, the ex-Bauhaus singer and Maxell tape model, because when artist Mike Dringenberg saw the original sketches for the character he said "He looks like Peter Murphy from Bauhaus."
['Sandman' artist Kelly Jones talks about the inspiration behind Dream's appearance] I know Neil always said [the Sandman] was based on Robert Smith of the Cure, but I just hated the Cure. I didn't want to hear that. I was really into Peter Murphy at that time, the guy from Bauhaus. I didn't like Bauhaus, but I liked him on his own, and he had a song called "Cut You Up" or something; it was on the radio at the time. I bought the CD, and I said, 'You know, with that big poufy hair, he looks like that guy.' At that time, Murphy was very gestural. I don't think the guy ever had a picture taken of him that wasn't angled and in deep lighting. So I took that, too. I said, 'Whenever I do him, I'm gonna do that kind of thing. And get into his face, don't just keep him in deep shadow all the time. He will be in deep shadow all the time, but I want to put across a guy who's clueless. Not stupid, but he's not understanding things.' Because he's an immortal guy who...
The original idea-model for Morpheus was Peter Murphy from Bauhaus.
If I remember correctly Dave based the face on the cover of Sandman #1 on an image of Peter Murphy.
Sandman inker Mike Dringenberg observed, '"Hey, [he] looks like Peter Murphy from Bauhaus.'" Cover artist Dave McKean and Gaiman 'got some Bauhaus videos and immediately saw that Mike was right; and Dave ended up making the central image on the cover of Sandman [number one] a Peter Murphy-like face.
...Mask by Bauhaus in the issue dated 26 February 1981 (Moore also wrote the sleeve notes for that album, as Brilburn Logue)...Moore wrote the programme for Bauhaus: Burning the Inside Tour (1983).br />Khoury, George (2003). The Extraordinary Works of Alan Moore. TwoMorrows. ISBN 9781605490090.
"Phantoms of the Teenage Opera" half-page article on the group Bauhaus. uncredited but unmlstakeably by Moore, later confirmed on the letters page of the November 29. 1980 issue (p.62): in the course of replying to a reader's letter the editor remarks,...
The show used all sorts of different songs, although, primarily, they stuck with the alternative sound that hewed closely to the ethos of the show. “Since so much of me was part of Daria and Jane, I decided they would like the same kind of music that I liked,” said Lewis, who lists Nine Inch Nails, Bauhaus, and Love and Rockets as some of her favorite bands.
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