Bauhaus: The Bela Session (Leaving) Review | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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The Bela Session


Nov 21, 2018 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Chances are, if you ever held a candle in deference to goth forefathers Bauhaus, you’ve probably built a decent shrine out of singles and B-sides. There’s certainly been no lack of unearthed skeletons in the three decades since the doomed quartet’s short-fused lifespan, from B-sides tacked onto re-mastered CDs to box sets that could fill coffins. But the devoted keep excavating, because the artifacts project a three-dimensional shadow far beyond the Dr. Caligari caricature that Bauhaus’s critics often cite. Early deep cuts proved that the boys could slaughter glam standards, skewer dub riddums, and royally goof off with all sorts of surrealist stories and cut-up recordings.

That said, purists won’t suck much blood out of The Bela Session. This discreet disc conjures the primordial studio session that Bauhaus would later cull for their first single, landmark ritual “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” and the much more pointed B-side, “Boys.” But the only recordings here that haven’t been exhumed elsewhere are “Some Faces” and “Bite My Hip,” which before now hardcore diggers could only uncover on a bootleg live album from Northampton Racetrack, 1979. (The pseudo-reggae skit “Harry” first appeared on an EP from 1982, then was tacked onto the CD version of Mask in 1988.)

Even for Bauhaus, though, these deep cuts are curious finds. “Some Faces” sees our crew in a rare garage rock mood, like The Yardbirds at twilight, with the fey Peter Murphy yelping about a rather mundane case of social paranoia. But “Bite My Hip,” as you might expect, gives us a perfectly pocket-sized lithograph of the razor-edged snarl that would define debut In The Flat Field.

At any rate, only the most diehard Bauhaus collectors need The Bela Session in their shrine. Everyone else can skip this overpriced artifact and just crane their ear to the grave. (

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