Anniversary marked with album release

By Emmett Overbey

Since breaking up in 1983, the members of Bauhaus have continued to churn out worthwhile music through a variety of incarnations. The bands Love and Rockets, The Jazz Butcher, Peter Murphy, Dali’s Car, Tones on Tail, The Bubblemen, and The Sinister Ducks have all involved one or more of the Bauhaus crew.

Most of these groups have long since passed on, but a couple (Love and Rockets, in particular) are still going strong. They had to start somewhere, however, and that “somewhere” was an art school in England, just about a decade ago…

For the tenth anniversary of the legendary “Gothic” band, Beggars Banquet has released “The BBC Sessions,” the second posthumous release for Bauhaus.

This double album is a collection of recordings made specially for British radio over a period of three years. This is not the same collection of hits as 1986’s Bauhaus anthology, but a presentation of several rare B-sides as well as alternate recordings of well-known Bauhaus ditties.

The line-up is refreshing for the most part, although after the 1986 retrospective, songs like “Terror Couple Kill Colonel,” “The Spy in the Cab,” and “She’s in Parties” become dredgingly redundant.

The rest of the songs, however, make up for these tolerable low points. Another plus of this album is the absence of the over-played, over-discussed, over-hyped “Bela Lugosi’s Dead.” It doesn’t rear its depressing head on this album and, in my eyes, it’s not missed.

The sound quality of the album is great, mixed directly from the original Radio One recordings. The content is unbeatable.

The songs were recorded live in a radio station studio for broadcast, so there is a certain feeling of spontaneous disorganization. Hearing typical Bauhaus staples like “In the Flat Field,” “Ziggy Stardust,” and “Silent Hedges” performed with a new twist makes for enjoyable listening all around.

Also included in this retrospective are some rare B-sides from early Bauhaus singles. “Party of the First Part,” “Departure,” and “Poison Pen” are experimental songs which break away from the typical Bauhaus format.

aving personally spent several weeks and many a hard-earned dollar trying to track down the original singles, I can vouch for the convenience of having all these goodies in one place.

The “live” atmosphere of the album adds a bit of humor to the songs, which is evident in David J’s bass runs in “Telegram Sam” and Pete Murphy’s struggle to stay on pitch in “The Three Shadows Part II.”

The true gems of the album, however, are the covers. Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust” has become one of Bauhaus’ most famous songs, but Brian Eno’s “Third Uncle” and T. Rex’s “Telegram Sam” deserve equal attention.

A creepy rendition of the Strangeloves’ “Nighttime” is by far the most impressive track on “The BBC Sessions” and makes this album a must for Bauhaus collectors and a safe bet for anyone thinking of dipping their toes into one of the best British bands to ever break up.