Sky's Gone Out (Reviewed by Bogie):
Sky's Gone Out released by Bauhaus (Canadian Pressing) 1982. Beggars Banquet.
Third Uncle (5:13)
Silent Hedges (3:08)
In The Night (3:05)
Swing the Heartache (5:49)
The Three Shadows Part I (4:21)
The Three Shadows Part II (3:11)
The Three Shadows Part III (1:36)
All We Ever Wanted Was Everything (3:48)
Exquisite Corpse (6:40)
* Kick In
The Eye (3:30)
* Ziggy Stardust (3:12)
* Lagartija Nick (3:05)
* Bonus 12"
included with Canadian pressing.
It is unlikely
that any one band could be given credit for creating goth rock. However,
there are a few records that can be considered seminal to the development
of the genre. The Sky's Gone Out by Bauhaus deserves to be counted among
those. The contribution of Bauhaus to goth is often overlooked due to
the success of band members after its demise. Love And Rockets, Tones
On Tail and Dali's Car can all trace their roots through Bauhaus. Peter
Murphy's solo work speaks for itself.
Gone Out contains all the elements that have become standard goth content.
Lyrically the material spans the realms of disaffection and rebellion
against conformity. Bauhaus present observations on contemporary architecture,
the slip into suicidal thoughts, depictions of stage-actor dramatics and
a mini opus dealing with disaffection. There is even the inclusion of
mindless gibberish that still seems to work in this strange soundscape.
work by Daniel Ash seems to be made up of punk-like distortion but with
chord execution that was hardly heard outside of heavy metal in the early
1980s. The vocal sneering and pondering of Peter Murphy is one of the
most recognizable goth voices ever and he is at his best on most of this
record. The rhythm section of brothers Kevin Haskins on drums and David
J on bass has held together Bauhaus and Love and Rockets (only Haskins
worked in Tones On Tail). On this record both are solid and creative.
track Third Uncle is a cover of Brian Eno's 1974 release. If not for the
effects used by Daniel Ash on guitar and the hint of bongo drums this
would be a punk standard. The pummeling pace of the track is an effective
effort to grab your attention from the get-go. And it works. It is not,
however, a true indication of what is to come. Almost nothing else on
the album picks up to this speed. It's inclusion has to be more of a happy
wave to the earlier material that influenced the emerging genre of goth.
takes the pace of the record straight down. Ash's guitar work here sounds
very much like what will appear on Tones On Tail classic Go. It is almost
as if David J's bass is carrying the tune and the guitar is sound effect
and layered on top. Yielding one of the best lyrics from the album "what
happens when the intoxication of success has evaporated" this track
does a great job of presenting a culture's architecture as an indication
of its lethargy.
track on the record In The Night is standard goth fare. It will be emulated
and parodied. Razor-like guitar work and almost tribal drumming. A nifty
change of speed to another near-punk rant towards the end of the song.
And the subject matter being suicide. Oh! the melodrama. This works.
Heartache shows some of the things about early goth that were retained
by the soon to emerge Industrial bands. The metal-on-metal percussion
and swirling background noises are almost required on any industrial records.
The pace of Swing The Heartache could hardly be considered as industrial
though. Slow and meandering, this is plaintive weeping through the eyes
of a young woman.
separates (irreparably) those who prefer straight-up hard rocking from
those who enjoy goth is the affectation and pomposity of goth theatrics
and dramatics. Well, with Spirit Bauhaus moves head-long into theatrics.
This is a shining gem of a track that puts away the heavy distortion for
a moment and creeps at you with harpsichord keyboards and lyre-sounding
guitar. The depiction of the actor prancing around his stage is more than
a little reminiscent of Vincent Price in Theatre of Blood. The mantra
refrain "we love our audience" finishing off the song is representative
of the affectation often found in goth records. Although the band's delivery
(which is one of their true gifts) stops you taking this too seriously.
They mean it, but not in a good humoured way.
The Three Shadows also contribute to some people's dislike of goth and
yet other people's love of it. A mini-opus (how pompous and "art-rock"
can you get?) in the middle of the record that is broken into three parts.
Part I is an instrumental that sounds as if it should have been the score
for the Basil Rathbone version of Hound of the Baskervilles. Very simple,
moody guitar work and bass make up this track. This IS art-rock.
upwards in tempo The Three Shadows (Part II) is essentially a waltz. Albeit
a waltz for Dracula and the Bride of Frankenstein. The lyrics here are
almost nonsensical if not considered in conjunction with Part III of the
opus. Like the first installment, this is sparsely populated with music.
Minimalist doesn't quite seem naked enough to describe it. But this is
probably Peter Murphy's best activity on the album. His lungs are in rare
form and his sneer has seldom been more finely tuned. The lyrics will
grab your attention even if they are not always understood on the first
Shadows (Part III) picks up the pace another notch although the song is
very brief. Throbbing piano and uncredited violin sounds are what make
up the background music. At first the lyrics seem somewhat obscene and
pointless but this changes with more listening. This is pure angst toward
the mindless existence of blind conformity. The powerful imagery used
here centres around fish and baited hooks. You will never look at your
childrens' goldfish bowl the same way again.
All We Ever
Wanted Was Everything has an almost juvenile song and lyric structure.
I suppose the song must have a point of view but I'll be buggered if I
can tell you what it is. Generally speaking, it seems to be about the
waste of life and youth in a small blue collar town. Other than some strumming
there is almost no music here. It's almost an anti-song. But it works
in a way that possibly only this record would allow.
track on the original album Exquisite Corpse is a strange beast indeed.
You probably couldn't think up a more goth song title. At first the song
does not appear to belong here. Reggae is the sound most apparent throughout
the track and its inclusion here seems very, strange indeed. At one point
the guitar theme from Silent Hedges is reintroduced. And this actually
does work. The reggae sound becomes much heavier toward the fade-out.
It's heavy enough to remind one of the intro to Banana Republic by The
Boomtown Rats (released in 1980) but the bands are probably too divergent
for the Rats to be a true influence on Bauhaus. There is an eerie silence
at the end of this track, interrupted by an even creepier dialog that
sounds sampled from somewhere. Your guess is as good as mine when it comes
to the meaning of this track. Please post your thoughts.
release of The Sky's Gone Out contained a bonus 12" that was different
to the releases in the rest of the world. This is the one that I am most
familiar with. The material on the 12" does not sound like the music
offered on the album proper. It still sounds like Bauhaus but it's not
quite the same.
love it or hate it, was never performed with this much power by David
Bowie. Many people have raised the valid point that it probably should
never be played this way. For me, it works. As good as the original? No.
There is nothing unique about this rendition of the song other than the
power. The point of its inclusion has to be marking influences. Who could
claim a greater influence on goth than the glam rockers of the 1970s like
Bowie, Marc Bolan (who's Telegram Sam is treated in a much more original
way on other Bauhaus recordings) and Iggy Pop?
with its original release in 1981 Kick In The Eye was a late night club
classic in the early 1980s. Driving bass line, simple drumming, subtle/sparse
use of guitar and Buddhist lyrical content pouring through Murphy's sneers.
I'm being nostalgic now but I can recall a short set at Voodoo in Toronto
(haven't a clue what the year was but it must have been '83) that included:
To Hell With Poverty by Gang of Four, Ignore The Machine by Alien Sex
Fiend and Kick In The Eye by Bauhaus. My life changed forever.
Nick is one of the rare out and out rockers produced by Bauhaus. Powerful
straight-up rock n' roll here. Even a hint of saxophone in the background
chord changes that build during the last half of the song. There's a fullness
of sound in this track that is not evident in most of the others on The
Sky's Gone Out. More driving rhythm section work designed to keep everybody
dancing. After all, isn't that what all good goths are supposed to do?
to this review by DarkWave):
excellent review, you put my reviews to shame! you are a great writer!
I have all Bauhaus album...except for this one, but after having reading
your post, Ill think ill go buy it! keep up the good reviews, just can't
wait to read your next one!
to this review by Bogie):
for the kind words DarkWave. Run out and get the album now - you'll love
The CD available in Canada includes all the tracks that were on the original
Vinyl. But puts Kick In The Eye in the middle of the album tracks. There's
also a little bonus track called Earwax that is not listed on the back
of the CD but is listed on the disc itself.