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Music / Peter Murphy

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Peter John Joseph Murphy (born 11 July 1957) is a British Alternative Rock musician currently based in Turkey. He came to prominence in The '80s as the Large Ham singer of Goth Rock pioneers Bauhaus, where his deep voice, doom and gloom poetics and vampiric appearance earned him the title of "Godfather of Goth".

After the band split and he tried a short collaboration with Japan's Mick Karn as Dalis Car, he set out on his own moderately successful solo career, holding the Billboard Modern Rock charts longer than any previous single in 1990 with "Cuts You Up". His music is characterized by his high-personality, a David Bowie inspired penchant for arty Alternative Pop, and the occasional dabble in World Music, including that of his home country Turkey since converting to Islam and moving there in The '90s.

Solo Discography:

  • Should the World Fail to Fall Apart - (1986)
  • Love Hysteria - (1988)
  • Deep - (1989)
  • Holy Smoke - (1992)
  • Cascade - (1995)
  • Alive Just for Love - (2001, Live Album)
  • Dust - (2002)
  • Unshattered - (2004)
  • Ninth - (2011)
  • Lion - (2014)

Peter Murphy provides examples of:

  • Alternative Rock
  • Answer Song: "The Answer is Clear" is a response to "The Movement of Fear" by former Bauhaus bandmate Daniel Ash's band Tones on Tail, which Peter believed to be about him. The song quotes the title of "The Movement of Fear" in the chorus and features Ash himself on guitar.
  • Cover Version:
    • Should the World Fail to Fall Apart: "The Light Pours Out of Me" by Magazine, "Final Solution" by Pere Ubu.
    • Love Hysteria: "Fun Time" by Iggy Pop.
  • Electronic Music: Dabbled in the ambient side with Cascade and the darker, Industrial side with Lion.
  • Epic Rocking: Every song on Dust runs between 6:47 and 9:00.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Ninth is his ninth album, including Alive Just for Love.
  • Goth Rock: A pioneer of the genre, though he has been mostly out of the style since the '80s, and since moving to Turkey he remains unaware of anything happening in the Goth subculture. 2014's Lion is his first Goth Rock-like release since Bauhaus.
  • Improv: Much of Lion was improvised. When it came time to tour the album, Peter questioned how he managed to sing so high.
  • Large Ham: His singing style includes a near-operatic level of command, bravado and personality.
  • Live Album: Alive Just for Love.
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: Peter raps for several measures halfway through and in the fadeout of Art Rock song "Shy".
  • Poe's Law: "Canvas Beauty" talks about a man misinterpreting the actions of an actress.
    The actress' love that he mistook
    A siren love for his aging look
  • Self-Backing Vocalist: Most of his records are sung entirely by him, excluding some female backing vocals on Cascade.
  • Sequel Song: "The Line Between the Devil's Teeth" is a rewrite of the Bauhaus song "In the Flat Field".
  • Silly Love Songs: Where a lot of his love songs are coated in poetry and gloom, "I'll Fall With Your Knife" is a sprawling, unambiguous declaration of love and devotion, while "Let Me Love You" has even less subtlety.
  • Take That!: "I Spit Roses" towards his former Bauhaus bandmates, taking its name from a situation where Peter spat roses into their faces while recording Bauhaus' Go Away White album.
  • Three Chords and the Truth:
    • Cascade has a more ambient, sparse style following the dissolution of his backing band, The Hundred Men.
    • Ninth is a stripped-down Rock album with simpler, more spontaneous compositions.
  • Titled After the Song: The Hundred Men, Peter's backing band until after the Holy Smoke tour, take their name from a line in "All Night Long":
    Ahh no hundred men now would dare cut into us
  • Windows of the Soul: Indirectly referenced in "A Strange Kind Of Love", where he sings that the girl's eyes are "Like the doors to a wide, vast dominion, they open to your prize", implying her soul is beautiful as well.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: His songs often include really abstract metaphors, such as "Your head's a supernova" from "Deep Ocean, Vast Sea" and "Crush her velvet call" from "Marlene Dietrich's Favorite Poem."