Bauhaus was redefining music when they released 1980's In the Flat Field. Considered by many to be the beginnings of “goth” music, listening to this album now (a surreal experience in the sunny weather, like I have a secret life in my earphones), it is not the least bit irrelevant, despite what's become of the term “goth”.
It used to be a very radical thing. It wasn't sold in malls and even the music was initially undefinable. In fact, this album was critically ignored because it was unclassifiable. Goth used to call together those mysterious and interesting weirdos that I was too young to know but was always amazing by. Weirdos like the dynamic Peter Murphy, who I always heard a rumor about that he took out his back teeth to appear more vampiric. I can't find any confirmation of this anywhere though.
Murphy posses an unreal dark charisma. Just gaze upon his boney wondrousness in the introduction to the movie, the Hunger, singing Bela Lugosi's Dead, a single released before this, their first studio album.
But even as they were rock and roll mavericks, you can still hear their glam roots. More than once Murphy sounds like Bowie (Crowds) and the re-issue even contains their T-Rex cover of Telegram Sam (the only song on the album I don't like) along with other great additional singles like Terror Couple Kill Colonel and Dark Entries. Other favorites are Double Dare and Nerves but, really it's all great.
This is a stunning piece of work with the bizarre and hard to pull off merging of danciness and glum, yet it's not depressing, only one of the coolest albums to make my daily listening rotation lately. I've been listening to it for about four days straight now.