2021 edition: “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” official reissue. Bauhaus – The Bela Session was produced entirely by the band, released by Leaving Records, and distributed by Stones Throw.
The new edition comes with red+black vinyl, and a 20 x 28-inch show poster.
The Bela Session captures the first time Bauhaus recorded together, January 26th, 1979, just six weeks after forming as a band. This is the first release of that complete recording session, including three previously unreleased tracks. This also marks the first official reissue of the single “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” on vinyl for over thirty years. The audio has been newly mastered from the original analogue tape by Mandy Parnell at Black Saloon Studios.
Bauhaus are a four-piece from Northampton, England: Peter Murphy (vocals), Daniel Ash (guitar), Kevin Haskins (drums), and David J (bass). The band emerged from the post-punk alternative music scene of the early 80s with a string of innovative albums and a powerfully dramatic live presentation.
“Bela Lugosi’s Dead” is considered the original gothic rock record and a cornerstone of the specific genre.
Originally released as a 12-inch single in August 1979 by Small Wonder Records, “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” failed to make the pop charts but remained a staple of the U.K. independent singles chart for many years. “Bela” has widely influenced contemporary goth culture as well as popular culture at large. Among many highlights, a live recording of “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” was the soundtrack to the opening scene of 1983 horror film The Hunger; it’s been covered by Nine Inch Nails, Massive Attack, Nouvelle Vague, Chvrches and others; cited as an influence on authors Chuck Palahniuk and Neil Gaiman; used on Saturday Night Live’s skit “Goth Talk”; and the band itself was parodied on Beavis & Butthead and South Park.
Three months after releasing “Bela,” the group signed with label 4AD who released their debut album In The Flat Field. They then moved to the larger parent company, Beggars Banquet and between 1981 and 1983 released a further three studio albums, as well as peaking at #15 with their cover of David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust” in the UK singles chart. After disbanding in 1983, members of the band went on to form Love And Rockets and Tones On Tail while Peter Murphy enjoyed a successful solo career.
Leaving Records, a Los Angeles-based label founded in 2008 by Matthew “Matthewdavid” McQueen, and Stones Throw partnered with Bauhaus for The Bela Session ahead of the 40th anniversary reissue of “Bela Lugosi’s Dead.”
“Bela Lugosi’s Dead” (9:36)
“Some Faces” (2:29) previously unreleased
“Bite My Hip ”(2:57) previously unreleased; later reworked, re-recorded as “Lagartija Nick” in 1983
“Harry” (2:56) later released as a B-side in 1982
“Boys” (3:03) previously unreleased; later re-recorded and released as the B-side of “Bela Lugosi’s Dead”
Original session produced by Bauhaus 1919; engineered by Derek Thompson. Reissue concept: Andrew J Brooksbank, Bauhaus Archives. Reissue A&R: Matthewdavid. Package design: Jeff Jank.
The Bela Session – 2021 edition: Red+black vinyl; Printed inner sleeve with facsimile of the recording session’s tape box; 28 x 20-inch (70 x 50-cm) replica show poster, designed by Jean-Francois Octave, from the band’s gig at Au Plan K in Brussels in 1980.