Another “best bands” articles, but, like this 20 best goth records article, this ones pretty good…
I’m sure Peter Murphy, a.k.a the “Godfather of Goth,” would want to see his band Bauhaus first on this list. And, the truth is, Bauhaus were actually one of the most brilliantly compelling and sometimes confounding bands to come out of England following that country’s progressive, glam rock and punk scene. They were a kind of decadent hybrid of all of that music, influenced by early David Bowie and Brian Eno (they released a fabulous single with faithful renditions of “Ziggy Stardust” and “Third Uncle” late in their career). There was makeup and mullets, but nobody wore them cooler.
Their name paid tribute to a hugely influential art school in Berlin that produced important modernist art that ranged from surrealism to design. Their lyrics, sung with epic, breathless range and force by Murphy offered tributes to the original Dracula actor Bela Lugosi and the French performance artist Antonin Artaud. There were also creepy surrealist lyrics throughout that addressed mysticism and death to theatrical yet edgy heights. Daniel Ash’s piercing, angular guitar work was minimalist Mick Ronson.
All members had incredible egos, and their final couple of albums captured clashing visions in the baroque song-craft that ultimately imploded the band in a legendary blaze of sonic glory. Repeat, patient listens reveal The Sky’s Gone Out (1982) and Burning From the Inside (1983) as genuinely excellent, dynamic, complex albums. Murphy, Ash and bassist David J. all enjoyed solo notoriety, and there were terrific splinter groups like the atmospheric and haunting Tones on Tail and the poppy Love and Rockets (the latter, basically Bauhaus without Murphy with Ash taking vocal duties). They later tried reuniting for tours and even released an album in 2008, but they were never as good as they were when they were young and angry, blazing the trail for the Goth scene.