The huge can of worms opened by the Northampton post-punk band Bauhaus when they exemplified the dark sound and cadaver-glam fashion ethos of Goth has still never been closed after 35 years.
In the mere four years from their transformative 1979 debut single “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” to their original incarnation’s final LP, Burning From the Inside, Bauhaus gave the seeds of a sonic and fashion lexicon to a romantically macabre strain of youthful angst that had never really had a name before, and out in front of that noisy doom parade was the gaunt, Bowie-ish figure of singer Peter Murphy, whose distinctively vampiric vocal affect and high-drama performance style are still imitated today. Born on July 11, 1957, Murphy celebrates his birthday today.
In the three decades since Bauhaus’ breakup, Murphy has performed in Dali’s Car with Japan bassist Mick Karn, released several solo albums, explored Middle-Eastern mysticism, and sang on a Bauhaus reunion/last hurrah LP. More recently, he ran afoul of the law in California, and was found guilty of a hit-and-run and possession of meth. But there seems to be reason to hope he’s gotten healthy again, as just last month, Nettwerk Records released Lion, his ninth solo LP, and it’s quite good.
Here he is in 1982, demonstrating what all the fuss was about:
More Murphy after the jump…