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Music / Bauhaus

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Left to right: Peter Murphy, David J, Daniel Ash, and Kevin Haskins.

The pangs of dark delight,
Don't cower in night fright
— "Double Dare"

Possibly Trope Makers and certainly Trope Codifier of Goth Rock. Bauhaus aren't just a goth band, they were the goth band. Although the band mainly performed Goth Rock and Post-Punk, they were not limited by it, and often explored their love of Dub music. The band consisted of: Vocalist Peter Murphy, guitarist Daniel Ash, bassist David J, and drummer Kevin Haskins.

When the band broke up, Murphy formed the short lived Dalis Car with Japan bassist Mick Karn, followed by a solo career. Haskins, Ash, and roadie Glenn Campling formed Tones on Tail. Shortly after Tones on Tail dissolved, Ash and Haskins re-grouped with David J to form Love and Rockets (named after the Hernandez brothers' comic). After Love and Rockets' breakup in 2009, Daniel and Kevin formed a new group in 2017, Poptone, with Kevin's daughter Diva Dompe on bass. Peter and David toured together in celebration of Bauhaus' 40th anniversary the following year.

In August 2019, Peter suffered and quickly recovered from a heart attack, which led to renewed contact with his former bandmates.

Not to be confused with the German artistic movement, although their name is a Shout-Out to it.

Studio Discography:

  • In the Flat Field (1980)
  • Mask (1981)
  • The Sky's Gone Out (1982)
  • Burning from the Inside (1983)
  • Go Away White (2008)

This band provides examples of:

  • Album Title Drop: The experimental "Exquisite Corpse" for The Sky's Gone Out, and "Black Stone Heart" for Go Away White.
  • The Band Minus the Face: After the band broke up and Murphy declined a reunion, the rest of the band reformed under the name Love and Rockets, which achieved commercial success.
  • The Cameo: Briefly but prominently featured in The Hunger, performing "Bela Lugosi's Dead" during the opening credits.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Peter. Case in point: Fishcakes.
    • From This Is For When...:
    Peter: Watch your camera's, my feet eat them for dinner! ...Am I being overly arrogant?
  • Cover Version: "In Heaven" from Eraserhead on Rest in Peace: The Final Concert, Dead Can Dance's "Severance" on Gotham, David Bowie's "Ziggy Stardust," among other covers, were usually played in live concerts, and many were recorded as singles.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: In true Post-Punk/Goth Rock fashion, most pictures of the band, most of the album covers and the video for "She's in Parties," are in black and white. The band also chose to eschew colourful stage lights, in favour of straight white lights.
  • Dissonant Serenity: In the Maxell ad "Break the Sound Barrier", Peter sits in front of a sound system that is so loud that objects literally start flying across the room, all while having a completely neutral expression on his face.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Peter and Daniel.
  • Epic Rocking:
    • "Bela Lugosi's Dead" and "Burning from the Inside" clock in at over 9 minutes.
    • "Nerves", "1-2-3-4", "Saved" and "The Dog's a Vapour" are 6-7 minutes.
  • Evil Laugh / Laughing Mad:
    • featured on "Rosegarden Funeral of Sores"
    • Downplayed on "The Sanity Assassin", which at one point features an evil chuckle.
  • Genre Roulette:
    • Recorded quite a few Dub songs, in addition to their better known gothic music.
    • Mask had a more pronounced Funk element in several of its songs, particularly "Dancing," "Kick in the Eye" and "In Fear of Fear".
    • "Exquisite Corpse" goes through several genres in a single song.
  • Goth Rock: Trope Codifier with "Bela Lugosi's Dead" (1979).
  • Ho Yay: Invoked by Murphy and Ash on stage, fairly often. Sometimes between Peter and David J.
  • Instrumentals: "The Three Shadows: Part 1", "Wasp" and "Satori."
  • Ironic Nursery Tune: "The Three Shadows: Part 2" is stated by Peter Murphy, as a song based around this.
  • Large Ham: Peter Murphy, especially on In the Flat Field. The album was bashed by critics at first because of that.
  • Lighter and Softer: "Spirit" is unusually upbeat for them, with lyrics about encouraging someone to not be nervous and go out and steal the show.
    Be glad for first-night nerves, for fear gives courage wings
    • The gentle acoustic ballad "All We Ever Wanted Was Everything".
    • Love And Rockets and Dalis Car as a whole were this to Bauhaus.
  • Live Album: Press the Eject and Give Me the Tape, Swing the Heartache, Rest in Peace: The Final Concert,, This is for when... (Hammersmith Palais - 9th November 1981), and Gotham.
  • Long-Runner Line-up: Though they've broken up several times, there's only ever been one lineup.
  • Male Frontal Nudity: On the cover of In the Flat Field.
  • Milking the Giant Cow: Peter's performances had plenty of dramatic hand gestures, especially in the video for "Spirit".
  • Miniscule Rocking: "Wasp" is only 20 seconds long.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • On Mask, "Hollow Hills," an extremely ominous song, is sandwiched between the significantly upbeat songs: "Dancing" and "Kick in the Eye."note 
    • On The Sky's Gone Out, the melancholy "All We Ever Wanted Was Everything" comes directly after the catchy "The Three Shadows: Part 3."
    • Happens within "1. David Jay 2. Peter Murphy 3. Kevin Haskins 4. Daniel Ash", which is essentially four different songs rolled into one. It opens with a serious piano-ballad before morphing into an absurd, goofy song about fishcakes.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: On "Stigmata Martyr", Murphy recites The Lord's Prayer in Latin, becoming increasingly unhinged while the same chanting is played in reverse.
  • Post-Punk
  • Precision F-Strike: "Crowds" features this twice. Also one of the rare times they've used profanity in their songs.
    You worthless bitch! You fickle shit!
  • Progressive Instrumentation: "Bela Lugosi's Dead". Starts with a drum beat, then the bass joins, then the guitar slowly comes, then the voice appears.
  • Rearrange the Song: They made several dub remixes of their own songs, such as "In Fear Of Dub" ("In Fear Of Fear") and "Here's The Dub" ("She's in Parties").
  • Ripped from the Headlines: "Terror Couple Kill Colonel."
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: The whole band, and especially David J, would frequently wear things like suits, (bow)ties, and Waistcoats Of Style, like on this page's image
  • Shirtless Scene: But it also wasn't uncommon for Peter (and Daniel, to a lesser extent) to perform shirtless.
  • Sibling Team: The rhythm section of David J and Kevin Haskins are brothers.
  • Soprano and Gravel: David J and Peter Murphy on "Of Lilies and Remains" and "Departure". Although in their case it is more of a contrast in energy than in pitch, with David providing monotone, spoken-word vocals and Peter's being very theatrical and intense.
  • Step Up to the Microphone: David J provides the vocals for "Who Killed Mr. Moonlight?", as well as the opening verse of "Of Lilies and Remains" and on a large portion of "Departure".
  • Studio Chatter: Very briefly in "Here's the Dub" and at the beginning of "King Volcano".
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: The (mostly) acoustic, melancholic yet warm-sounding "All We Ever Wanted Was Everything".
  • The Stoic: David J when performing on stage, often with Stoic Spectacles to boot. Kevin Haskins also could be considered this.
  • Three Chords and the Truth: Go Away White is a simplified Garage Rock album.