Bauhaus: First Band to be Labeled “Goth”

Music has continually evolved and produced different genres throughout the years, and during the early 1970s up until the late ‘80s, the most significant musical phenomenon was Goth rock.

In 1978, a band named Bauhaus emerged from Northampton and was later considered as the first gothic rock band. Peter Murphy, Daniel Ash, Kevin Haskins, and David J founded the group, originally calling themselves Bauhaus 1919. This particular name was inspired by the style of the German Bauhaus art movement in 1920, but they eventually dropped “1919” after a year of being together.

Bauhaus’ music is inspired by punk, glam-rock, funk, dub matched with bass-driven new wave, and orchestral atmospherics, which all worked to create their distinctly gloomy and introspective sound, thus, unintentionally giving birth to the Goth genre. This haunting ethereal sound, matched with Peter Murphy’s deep voice, was definitely appealing to the post-punk era that was looking for an alternative to the aggressive beats of punk.

After four years, the band members decided to go on their separate ways. However, a series of reunions happened after about a decade. In 1998, they decided to wow the crowds once again and performed at the Resurrection Tour of 1998, where they featured a new song entitled “The Dog’s a Vapour.” In 2005, they reunited once again for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California, which paved the way for their series of tours in Europe, North America, and Mexico that ended in February 2006. In 2008, they announced the release of their new album, Go Away White, as well as the end of the band, saying that this time it’s for real. It was a bittersweet moment for Bauhaus fans indeed.

Though the group has ended, their hits will surely live on. Their songs such as “4AD,” “Bela Lugosi’s Dead,” “Kick in the Eye,” and “She’s in Parties” have eternally left a mark in the music industry and in the hearts of Goths everywhere.

[Photo Credit By Pedro Figueiredo [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons]


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