Record Review: Bauhaus – The Sky’s Gone Out [part 1]

A&M Records ‎| US | LP | 1982 | SP-4918

Bauhaus: The Sky’s Gone Out US LP [1982]

  1. Third Uncle
  2. Silent Hedges
  3. In The Night
  4. Swing The Heartache
  5. Spirit
  6. The Three Shadows [part I]
  7. The Three Shadows [part II]
  8. The Three Shadows [part III]
  9. All We Ever Wanted Was Everything
  10. Exquisite Corpse

Please tell me you saw this one coming a mile away.

I vividly recall my first encounter with Bauhaus. I might have first heard the name in a Dogfood [the local New Wave paper that my teenaged life revolved around] review, but it remained until late ’82 when I managed to catch one of the scant airings of the video for Bauhaus’ single “Spirit” on MTV, which had only been available since September of that year where I lived. You can imagine that in my home, it was on almost at all times. At least in those salad days of only interesting videos from almost 100% UK New Wave acts. Of course, we were soon driven from Paradise, but that’s another story.

I was immediately struck by the entrancing song. I was fascinated to hear music this great that had no obvious synthetic component. By 1980, synths had come to dominate my musical listening, and it was rare to hear a guitar band who still managed to perk my ears up this strongly. I noted that the album was on A+M in America, and on a trip to the godlike Record City in Fern Park I bought my first Bauhaus album, “The Sky’s Gone Out.”

I set the distinctive silver and tan label on the spindle and was rewarded with my first hearing of Brian Eno’s “Third Uncle.” By the previous year I was steeped in the first two Eno solo albums, but a copy of “Before And After Science” was still in my future at that point. The breakneck rhythms of Kevin Haskins’ drums pummeled the song onward at a furious pace as Daniel Ash’s seriously phased roars of lead guitar shrieked overhead like jets scrambling. But they were not warm jets. This was brittle, frantic music in full panic mode.

Over it all, Peter Murphy’s multiple threads of interlocking, syncopated vocal lines wove a tapestry of catastrophe. This was obviously the soundtrack to some horrible, unstoppable event. It was foreboding in a way that anything moving this fast rarely was. And yes, it certainly got my pulse racing. I was now enervated and ready for anything. Good thing, too… because they then proceeded to throw everything but the kitchen sink at those still tender ears.

“Silent Hedges” began innocently enough, in an English Folke mode before the bass of David J piled on and began smothering the light as the song accelerated down its “beautiful downgrade, going to hell again.” Then the next track really twisted the knife.

Next: …Scrape those nerves

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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2 Responses to Record Review: Bauhaus – The Sky’s Gone Out [part 1]

  1. Echorich says:

    More like seen a light year away. This is one of the most harrowing collections of music which I own. Third Uncle is also one of the greatest covers ever attempted.


  2. Jon Chaisson says:

    A lot of people tend to like Mask more, but I really love Sky’s Gone Out…there’s a lot of really solid tracks on this one, many of them my favorites.


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