Rocks Off’s “20 Greatest Goth Albums”

Mask%20Oct10“Rocks Off”, who recently gave us their  “five most important years in Goth music” also have their 20 best Goth LPs.  I definitely agree with number one, plus a few others (but for the obligatory Cure LP why why always bloody Disintegration?  Pornography chaps, please!).

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The five most important years in Goth music: 2002

Evanescence_fallen_coverPart five of a five part series.  Evanescence – Goth?  Really? Mumble, mutter, grumble, etc…

Arguably the last big goth album by a new band to make a crossover splash was Evanescence’s Fallen, released in early 2003. That one band led millions of mall-goths in one direction, towards the mainstream, while more traditional goths went almost the exact opposite way.

While no self-respecting goth purist would consider mentioning Amy Lee’s melodramatic band in the same sentence as Siouxsie & the Banshees, no one can deny that Evanescence was obviously inspired by ethereal-wave bands such as Dead Can Dance, and was indeed even formed around the same time that Faith and the Muse got going. They obviously considered themselves goth, whether OGs did or not.

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The five most important years in Goth music: 1994

4_nine_inch_nails_downward_spiral_rarPart four of a five part series, although this is all a bit un-Goth for me… Marilyn Manson – Goth? Trent Reznor – Goth?  I think not (and don’t get me wrong I like NIN a lot, I even got to see them on their debut UK tour – “Pretty Hate Machine” – at Bristol Bierkeller).

1994 was a good year for a new kind of goth. Previously, for the most part the men had been sensitive artists, and even the ones who could be pretty brutal — such as Nick Cave — never seemed to lose their sense of grace and elegance. But two men changed all that, one real and one fictional.

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The five most important years in Goth music: 1986

som_cdr_first_1Part three of a five part series.

Goth history does not have a lot of supergroups, unfortunately. Robert Smith briefly played guitar for Siouxsie and the Banshees, and Peter Murphy occasionally works with Trent Reznor; other than that, it’s just not a genre known for epic team-ups. However, a few bands like Bauhaus, whose members went on to equally productive solo careers, have become retrospective supergroups, and none stand taller than the Sisters of Mercy.

In 1986, the Sisters were an extremely hot commodity because they were brilliant, and front man Andrew Eldritch was a consummate music businessman with great acumen for getting what he needed. In 1985, the band released First and Last and Always, which as we’ve pointed out before is the greatest goth album of all time.

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The five most important years in Goth music: 1983

cure_cd_japanese_1Part two of a five part series.

Just as Bauhaus was breaking up, a place in England opened up whose gothic importance cannot be overstated. Beginning in 1982, the Batcave intended to bring about a revival of the glam scene using bands more in line with T. Rex and Bowie. By 1983, it had transformed into the hub of gothic culture.

The Batcave became a haven for people who were tired of the New Romantic movement and up for something a little darker. Peter Murphy, Nick Cave, Robert Smith and Siouxsie Sioux were all regulars at the club, and eventually its rather unique culture began to get exported.

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The five most important years in Goth music: 1979

bauhaus_12_bela_1I came across these interesting articles this week – this is part one of a five part series – the most important years in Goth music (via “Rocks Off” of the Houston Press).

Like any good structure, goth is built on the foundations of other previous cultures. You can walk back through David Bowie, Alice Cooper, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, and all the way to Chopin looking for the source, but what we really know as goth rock began in 1979. It was the beginning of a golden age where a subset of punks steered things in a more dramatic, elegant route.

It was the year that one of the most influential band managers in England, Tony Wilson, coined “goth” as it relates to music. The act he was talking about was his own Joy Division, which remains one of the most influential bands in the goth sound, although some would argue that they are more accurately classified as post-punk.

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