Bauhaus - The Bela Sessions EP - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Bauhaus - The Bela Sessions EP

by Kevin Orton Rating:8 Release Date:2018-11-23
Bauhaus - The Bela Sessions EP
Bauhaus - The Bela Sessions EP

Bauhaus’ ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’ is iconic. More than any other track, it helped usher in what we know as “Goth”. What’s remarkable is it was essentially recorded live and in one take. It also led to a great misunderstanding as to who Bauhaus were. No one could listen to ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’ and think these guys took themselves seriously. If anything, there was great tongue in cheek camp to it all. However, it’s the song that went on to define the look and sound of the band. And many to follow. But listening to these sessions and it’s more than obvious that Bauhaus were far more varied than their reputation would suggest. Who knows why it took nearly 40 years for them to release these sessions in their entirety, but now you have it. Lend an ear beyond their signature tune and one can hear the Dub and Glam influences elsewhere in their work.

The previously unreleased, ‘Some Faces’ can’t help but bring The Clash to mind. After the doomy likes of ‘Bela’, it's startling to hear them so bubblegum Punk. I can certainly understand why its languished in the vaults. It’s not what fans would normally associate with Bauhaus. A longtime fan that I am, I thought I pretty much heard every B-side and outtake but ‘Some Faces’ this is new to me and a welcome side to the iconic group. Same goes for, ‘Bite My Hip’ which is clearly an early version of what would later become the far more superior, ‘Lagartija Nick’. Both the Dub influenced ‘Harry’ and Glam influenced ‘Boys’ have been released before as B-sides and bonus cd tracks. But it’s nice to finally hear these sessions collected together in context and released on one EP. Personally, I love the rawness of these recordings. What’s more the mix and master of ‘Bela’ sounds incredible. Far better than my old, worn Best of Vol. 1 disc.

This curiously belated EP is a snapshot of the band exploring their influences and assembling those sounds into their own unique hybrid. You can hear the Funk influence in David J’s bass and the baroque atmospherics Daniel Ash would later use to unsettling effect. In terms of Peter Murphy’s unmistakable vocals, its plain to see he arrived fully formed. 

Halloween may be over but with Christmas coming, who could ask for anything better under the tree than The Bela Sessions EP? 

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