Bauhaus: Peter Murphy (vocals); Daniel Ash (guitar, background vocals); David J. (bass, background vocals); Kevin Haskins (drums, percussion).
Personnel: Daniel Ash (vocals, guitar); David J, Peter Murphy (vocals); Kevin Haskins (drums, percussion).
A textbook example of how to do a comprehensive career summary, the double-disc 1979-1983 neatly encapsulates the best bits of Bauhaus' four-year career while purposely avoiding the filler that mucks up even the band's best albums. Starting with Bauhaus' first single, 1979's grinding, obsessive "Double Dare," and proceeding roughly chronologically, the set collects the A-sides of all of the group's singles with a good cross-section of album tracks, showing off all of Bauhaus' strengths: hypnotic drones (the nine-minute live version of "Bela Lugosi's Dead"), glammy rock (Bowie, Eno, and T. Rex covers plus the hard-charging "Lagartija Nick," the group's heaviest rocker), atmospheric pop ("Hollow Hills" and the glorious near-hit single "She's in Parties"), and, most tellingly, the humor that a lot of the band's detractors either missed or refused to recognize as such. Regardless, it's hard not to giggle at obvious jokes like "Of Lilies and Remains" and "Terror Couple Kill Colonel." Even better, the original vinyl pressing was released in a gorgeous jacket featuring full-size head shots of the four members, photos of all their albums and singles, and a full discography, including post-Bauhaus solo and group projects. ~ Stewart Mason