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The “Ground Zero” of Goth: Bauhaus, “Bela Lugosi's Dead” and the Origins of Gothic Rock

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Abstract:

This paper examines the early history of gothic rock, focusing on the British band Bauhaus and its 1979 single “Bela Lugosi's Dead” as the putative origins of gothic rock. Bauhaus was by no means the first band to be associated with a gothic sound/style; however, an investigation of the musico-cultural and historical context of the song, the critical discourse that developed around it, the aesthetic-philosophic influences that informed Bauhaus's style, and the sonic palette of “Bela Lugosi's Dead” locates the song as the launching point of gothic rock and the genre's sine qua non.1

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03007766.2010.537928

Publication date: February 1, 2012

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