Bauhaus – Small Wonder Records – 1979

Bela Lugosi’s Dead

Boys / Dark Entries (part of)

Absolutely majestic nine and a half minutes of choppy guitars and moody basslines smother the debut release by Bauhaus on the Small Wonder imprint from 1979, also released on a very limited edition picture disc. The band had only been active for several weeks before the recording session that produced this classic.

I have not heard my copy of these records for well over 20 years. The way my speakers are now arranged, and the quality of my equipment in 2008 up in my ‘special’ room up the top of the house, makes the sound really special. 

I am pretty sure this was a firm Kill Your Pet Puppy house favorite at the time of release. 

Dedicating this post to Lena and Mike Old Bats of The Punk / Post Punk Tribe over in Quebec, Canada and also to anyone who ever wore pixie boots with a long dark coat.

Text below ripped from allmusic.com:

The group formed in 1978 in Northampton, England. Guitarist/vocalist Daniel Ash, bassist/vocalist David J (born David Jay Haskins), and drummer Kevin Haskins had played together as a trio called the Craze before forming Bauhaus with vocalist Peter Murphy. Originally, the band was called Bauhaus 1919 after the German art movement; by 1979, they had dropped the 1919 from their name.

In August of 1979, the group released their debut single, “Bela Lugosi’s Dead,” on the independent record label Small Wonder Records. Although it did not make the pop charts, it became the de facto goth rock anthem, staying in the U.K. independent charts for years. Three months later, the group signed with Beggars Banquet’s subsidiary label, 4AD. The group’s second single, “Dark Entries,” was released in January 1980. Following their first European tour, Bauhaus released their third single, “Terror Couple Kill Colonel,” in the summer of that year, which became a hit on the indie charts.

After touring America for the first time in September, the group released a version of T. Rex’s “Telegram Sam.” In October, they released their debut album, In the Flat Field, which reached number one on the independent charts and number 72 on the pop charts. The success of the album led to their first hits on the pop charts; both “Kick in the Eye” and “The Passion of Lovers” made the U.K. Top 60 in 1981. In October, they released their second album, Mask, which revealed a more ambitious musical direction; the new direction, which featured elements of metal and electronic sonic textures, made the music more accessible without abandoning the dark, foreboding core of their music. Mask was a commercial success, peaking at number 30 on the U.K. charts.

In March of 1982, Bauhaus released the EP Searching for Satori, which reached number 45 on the U.K. charts; another successful single, “Spirit,” followed in the summer. That fall, the group had a number 15 hit with their version of David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust.” The success of the single propelled their third album, The Sky’s Gone Out, to number four on the album charts.

Murphy contracted pneumonia at the beginning of 1983, which prevented him from participating in the recording sessions for Bauhaus’ fourth album, Burning From the Inside. Consequently, the record featured substantial contributions from Ash and J, who both pursued more personal and atmospheric directions. After Murphy recovered, the band toured Japan and then returned to the U.K. to promote the summer release of Burning From the Inside. The album was another hit, peaking at number 13. In July, Bauhaus split up.

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Penguin

1985 - 1988 All The Madmen Records and Distribution 1988 - 1991 King Penguin Distribution 1989 - 2018 Southern Studios / Southern Record Distribution

21 thoughts on “Bauhaus – Small Wonder Records – 1979”

  1. Great stuff, Penguin: what a record…
    Minimalist backing and Dub dynamics all the way…
    The way Murphy rolled his ‘R’s always seemed to add to the appeal as well…

    I bought this pretty much when it came out as I was quite obsessed with horror films when I was a kid and recognised the images on the cover from the horror reference books I’d been getting out of the library…
    At that time, my family only had a Marconiphone mono portable record player which played at 16, 33, 45 and 78, so I tried the 12″ at all the speeds…I have to say that it sounded monstrous at 16 rpm!

    I like the sound of your ‘special’ room, hehehe…
    😉

    Will the ‘long dark coat’ come back into fashion, I wonder?
    It seemed to have its day with the end of the Smiths…
    (unless – of course – you’ve got a Margiela trenchcoat, eh Chris? 😉 )
    I have a rather fetching check overcoat by the American golfing brand named after your good self, penguin…

  2. didnt pete murphy end up doing tv adverts for some product,cassette tape?
    loved this record ,top upload!

  3. Will the ‘long dark coat’ come back into fashion, I wonder?
    It seemed to have its day with the end of the Smiths…

    Did Smiths fans wear long coats? I always associated long coats more with folk who were into ACR, Killing Joke, Joy Division in particular that sorta thing around 1980. I remember lots of PIL logos on the backs of them around the time ‘metal box’ came out. Or maybe that was a Scottish thing? Long coat, baggy jeans, DM shoes, Hitler Youth haircut and you were sorted 😉

    I remember getting this 12″ after seeing it performed on some Friday night TV programme. Can’t remember what. I do, however remember all the girls at school creaming over Pete Murphy the following monday and taking note: malnourishment = sex.

    NB: “The Curse” by The Apostles rips off the riff from ‘Dark Entries’ – Nic, you’re slipping!!

  4. WOOOAAAAAAH… first heard this in summer 79 underneath Tottenham Court Road YMCA at first gigs set up by Colin Favor/ Final Solution [ Echo and Bunny men, Teardrop Explodes, Rema Rema, Cabaret Voltaire, Joy Division, Throbbing Gristle + more , over two or was it it four nights]… Bela Lugosi was played ( along with Electricity by OMITD) between the bands.

    The next week I went in to Small Wonder and asked Pete what the weird record was and discovered it was the not yet released Bela Lugosi.

    Bauhaus were a fave KYPP band, saw them twice with KYPP collective and there is an interview with Bauhaus in KYPP 3. Very hard to read (partly printed pink on white) – transcribed some for Greengalloway see http://greengalloway.blogspot.com/2005/06/alone-in-darkened-room-with-bauhaus.html
    See http://i208.photobucket.com/albums/bb227/killyourpetpuppy/KYPP%20issue%203/page12.jpg for original

    To make a historical point – what was to become goth emerged alongside ‘anarcho-punk’ and KYPP featured as many if not more proto-goth groups (Bauhaus, Southern Death Cult, Sex Gang Children, Alien Sex Fiend, Blood and Roses) as we did anarcho groups. This reflected our pre-punk roots in glam rock of the Bowie, Cockney Rebel, Lou Reed (Transformer), New York Dolls, Roxy Music and T. Rex and Rocky Horror Show era.

    The original Adam and the Ants and the Banshees (who did a version of T.Rex 20th Century Boy) were part of this glam>punk>goth transition as were Bauhaus when they did their version of Ziggy Stardust. What the obsession (e.g. our friend Dangermouse/ Andrew Spooner) with the presence or absence of an anarchist class-struggle critique within punk misses is the question asked in KYPP 4 “Do urban guerillas wear make up?”

    The context was an editorial comment on the ‘Gay Punx’ piece in KYPP 4 :

    anarchy/ punk/ decadence

    political liberation and sexual liberation, originally the two separate strands were combined in punk (sex people?) you still need the two together or you end up with ‘laddish’ anarchists with crass symbols attacking gays, and the “dance don’t riot” nite-clubbers dismissing anything to do with anarchy as “boring politics”. URBAN GUERILLAS DO WEAR MAKE UP!!

    KYPP 5 had a centre page spread by Cory [gay punk] which was a step by step guide to ‘Make up for urban guerillas’.

    The ‘laddish’ aspect of anarcho-punk was further and differently challenged in 1983 by Val, Nicky, Illayne, Angie, Beck, Steph, Jenny, Debbie, Mouse and Griet with their anatcha-feminist fanzine ‘Alternative Sex’.

  5. haha! Yeah, it does, Chris – I hadn’t thought of that…
    🙂
    I was listening to something the other day (for the life of me I can’t remember what) and thinking “Blimey – Andy Martin and Dave Fanning totally half-inched this tune”…

    Yeah – Smiths fans would shock out in a nice long mac, or perhaps a velvet jacket in some cases…
    (This would be mid-80’s rather than the ‘Miserablists’ of the late 70’s)

  6. “Blimey – Andy Martin and Dave Fanning totally half-inched this tune”…

    not Wayne County by any chance? Think quite a few Apostles songs were rather “indebted” to early Electric Chairs numbers.

  7. Agh – that is probably it!
    I was listening to ‘Paranoia Paradise’ while drinking some organic cider in the garden…

  8. It was Telegram Sam I was thinking of – just dug it out, 12″ with John Cale’s ‘Rosegarden Funeral of Sores’ and ‘Crowds’ on b side.

    I have Ziggy, but only on a singles 1981/83 compilation. “The kids were just crass, but he was the nazz, with god given ass… etc etc’ Like a leper messiah, when the kids had killed the man I had to break up the band … oooh yeah”.

    Reading some of the postings here, I feel a bit sorry for the young ‘uns who had to listen to Crass when they were 12/13 rather than Bowie and T. Rex. Probably also explains why KYPP was never a miserabilist anarcho zine. We never lost our glam roots.

  9. First album I ever bought was the cheap K-tel edition of Ride A White Swan by T Rex that you used to be able to get in Woolworths for about 69p, obviously (but not to me aged about 12) hastily repackaged to cash in on the success of their Glam success. That Xmas I’d been given The Slider as well, so that was my first 2 albums, still remember nan, tut tutting at the lyrics, bloomin racket, these words don’t make any sense, young people today, etc, etc.. Luckily I never played her any Crass a few years later. I do remember that she seemed to quite like Yes when I got into them a few years later, or maybe she’d just given up trying to argue with me.

    First single I ever bought was Popcorn by Hot Butter.

    Has anyone else ever noticed that ‘mausoleum’ by the Sinyx had a riff that was a dead ringer for a slowed down version of Dark Entries? The band always denied it when ever I asked them about it, claiming they’d never even heard Bauhaus, but I was never convinced…

  10. > I was listening to something the other day (for the life of me I can’t remember what) and thinking “Blimey – Andy Martin and Dave Fanning totally half-inched this tune”…

    The Hunt ( I think it was?? maybe something else on their first album) was a complete note for note rip-off of ‘Emerald’ by Thin Lizzy – when I mentioned this to Andy Martin he was absolutely amazed that anyone who was into the Apostles would have been aware of The Liz’s Emerald… Little did he know the very first live band I ever saw was Lizzy on the Jailbreak tour at Southend Kursaal in 1976, paid for with my paper round money… Monster band, no-one rocks out better, ‘cept maybe the Zep…

    Eee ain’t it great in 2008 when you can be totally open about yer dinosaur rock past!

  11. Seriously though, I do nowadays sort of count myself to have been quite lucky to have caught the ‘cusp’ of the era between what went before and what came after… Old enough to have an appreciation of the rock and prog eras and caught quite alot of those bands live and realise that it wasn’t all ‘boring old fart dinosaur music’ (Van Der Graaf Generator, Can, Hawkwind, Thin Lizzy, etc, etc, etc), yet young enough to get caught up in the spirit and energy of punk.

  12. Graham, those ‘old farts’ in your list are now considered part of the influences of punk.

    what about Graham Parker And The Rumour?

    Right on the cusp.

    Hotel Chambermaid?

    Marvellous.

  13. Yes, I know – apparently Mclaren was furious when Johnny Lydon/Rotten reeled these off as influences on an early radio interview as it undermined his myth that punk was some kind of ‘year zero’ and that its principle players came from nowhere with no musical or cultural antecedents… Nonsensical really, its obvious that any late teen motivated enough to form any sort of band would be listening to or at least aware of what was around at the time, even if their attitude to it was iconoclastic.

    Never really got into Graham Parker. Living in Southend on Sea I suppose I should have been into that whole ‘Thames Delta’ thing, the R’n’B stuff, Wilko Johnson, Lew Lewis, Hot Rods, Feelgoods, etc. However I never really found that stuff musically interesting, although alot of it was good live. Im afraid the big influences for me was the more avant gard pre-punk stuff like Henry Cow, which was probably why I ‘got it’ when I first heard Crass, as their musical structures are far more derived from the avant garde, always were, even the early stuff like Feeding, in fact probably more so than the later stuff. Wheras the music press and some of their contemporary bands would be saying ‘oh, what a tuneless racket, its bloody awful’ I’d be, ‘oh, N A palmer is using his second guitar to create a drone effect running all the way through they’ve Got a Bomb, and the drop out section is a homage to John Cage’…

  14. Taking up on a point that AL made about 12/13 year olds listening to Crass. I guess that I am slightly older than that, in that I was born 1966 and “discovered” punk when it had filtered well into the mainstream with the likes of SLF, Skids, Undertones, Stranglers, Clash in 1978/1979 and went on from there.

    I guess I did turn round and go “backwards” in musical tastes to the 1976/77 Pistols, Buzzcocks and The Clash but I did not go back any further. The records that were already in our house at that time were the Elvis , Gene Vincent etc Rock and Roll records that belonged to my dad so I in effect “missed out” on everything in between and dismissed it all as Rick Wakeman flared trousers, hair sweeping the stage kind of nonsense when it clearly wasn’t.

    Even to this day, I have not looked back pre punk, much beyond the obvious Iggy, The Doors . Maybe I was scarred at an early age by the “Mclaren….Never Trust a Hippy line”.

    Moving forward to the Crass thing, I guess I was old enough to have caught the end of the first wave ( god I hate this first wave, second wave thing, so I had at least some points of reference and so the Crass thing passed me by, as it all seemed to cliche ridden and leading up a blind alley, uniform etc. I veered towards bands with a bit of colour rather than those that droned on about “the system” as if “it” was something tangible that you could prod…

    This meant that I ignored the Crass bands in search of something of more colour, with the early “Goth” bands .

    I agree with AL that there are probably kids younger than me who did not even have my points of reference . Be interesting to hear there viewpoint.

  15. Yeah, Andy Martian was def influenced by Jayne County.
    I remember all three of us spending a whole day hanging out toghther.
    I remember walking down the road with Andy Martian, Jayne County and my boy friend Alex, both of us in collar and leads, and passers by looking totally horrifed!!!!

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