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4AD

Bauhaus

Bauhaus were singer Peter Murphy, guitarist Daniel Ash, bassist David J and drummer Kevin Haskins. The dark, dramatic music that they made for 4AD (and, later, for its sister label Beggars Banquet) possessed far more force, variety and playfulness than the "goth" tag that they were been unable to escape might suggest.

Although 4AD was neither their first nor their last home, Bauhaus have a special place in the label's history. The band released their classic first single, "Bela Lugosi's Dead", on the Small Wonder label in 1979, just as Ivo Watts-Russell was starting to put together the company that became 4AD [link to label history here]. Their second 7", "Dark Entries", duly made its appearance in early 1980 as part of the quartet of releases that marked the birth of Axis. The only one of the four that has not now vanished into obscurity, it was subsequently re-released by the nascent 4AD.

"Dark Entries" was followed by "God In An Alcove". which came out as a giveaway with Flexipop magazine, and then by "Terror Couple Kill Colonel". Bauhaus' landmark debut album, In the Flat Field, came out towards the end of 4AD's first eventful year. Following the plan at the time, the band then "moved upstairs" to Beggars Banquet, for whom they cut three further albums before dissolving in 1983. They remain a huge cult concern, especially in America, periodically reforming to wow their legion of followers.

Bauhaus were the first and last 4AD act to "graduate" to the parent label. Ivo took this opportunity to redefine 4AD's mission: rather than acting as a feeder imprint for Beggars Banquet, 4AD would now stand on its own.

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