Bela Lugosi's Dead

"Bela Lugosi's Dead" is a song by English post-punk band Bauhaus. This song was the band's first single, released on 6 August 1979 by record label Small Wonder.[1] It is often considered the first gothic rock record.[2]

"Bela Lugosi's Dead"
Bela Lugosi's Dead Cover
Single by Bauhaus
Released6 August 1979
Recorded26 January 1979
StudioBeck Studios, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, England
GenreGothic rock
LabelSmall Wonder
Bauhaus singles chronology
"Bela Lugosi's Dead"
"Dark Entries"

Writing and recording

"Bela Lugosi's Dead" was recorded "live in the studio" in a single take during a six-hour session at Beck Studios in Wellingborough on 26 January 1979. Four additional songs were also recorded: "Boys"; "Bite My Hip"; the reggae tune "Harry", which was about Deborah Harry, the lead singer of Blondie;[3] and "Some Faces".[4] Of these recordings, only two were released. "Harry" surfaced in 1982 as a B-side to the single "Kick in the Eye", while "Boys" served as a B-side to "Bela Lugosi's Dead", and later was re-recorded at Beck Studios in 1979.[5] Alternate versions of "Bela Lugosi's Dead" also included a portion of the early demo recording of their next single, "Dark Entries".

All four band members are credited as writers of the song: vocalist Peter Murphy, guitarist Daniel Ash, drummer Kevin Haskins and bassist David J (as David Haskins). David J has claimed that he wrote the lyrics.[2]


The sleeve cover art was taken from the D. W. Griffith film The Sorrows of Satan (1926).

The song is over nine minutes long; the vocals start (in the studio version) several minutes into the track. The dub-influenced[6][7][8] guitar sound was achieved by using partial barre chords and leaving the top E and B strings open.

The horror film star Bela Lugosi (1882–1956) in the title did much to establish the modern vampire image through his role as the title character in the 1931 film Dracula. He had died more than 23 years before the song was written and recorded.


"Bela Lugosi's Dead" was released in 6 August 1979, but did not enter the UK charts.

It was released on CD in 1988, and was compiled on the 1998 Bauhaus compilation album Crackle.

The original 12" release was on white vinyl and limited to 5,000 copies. Various other releases are included in the following:

  • Black vinyl with black-on-white sleeve (up to five versions exist, based on comparisons of runout matrices on each of the releases and sleeve format)
  • Blue vinyl with blue-on-white sleeve
  • Clear vinyl with brown-on-white sleeve
  • Green transparent vinyl with green-on-white sleeve
  • Pink vinyl with pink-on-white sleeve
  • Purple transparent vinyl with purple-on-white sleeve
  • Glow-in-the-dark vinyl with clear plastic sleeve


"Bela Lugosi's Dead" is considered the harbinger of gothic rock music and has been immensely influential on contemporary goth culture.[9]

In the 1983 horror film The Hunger, Bauhaus performed the song during the opening credits and introduction. A 7″ promotional record featuring an edited version of the song was released to theaters playing the film. The song was featured in numerous other films and TV shows including Smallville, The Curve, Good Luck Chuck, The Collector, Fringe,[10] Supernatural and American Horror Story: Hotel.[11] The song was used as the intro music for the late 1990s Saturday Night Live skit "Goth Talk", which featured Chris Kattan and Molly Shannon as two goth students.

Cover versions

Track listing

  1. "Bela Lugosi's Dead" - 9:36
  2. "Boys"
  3. "Dark Entries (demo)"




  1. ^ "Bauhaus: Bela Lugosi's Dead". iTunes Music. Apple. Archived from the original on 15 September 2014.
  2. ^ a b Carpenter, Alexander (2012). "The 'Ground Zero' of Goth: Bauhaus, 'Bela Lugosi's Dead' and the Origins of Gothic Rock". Popular Music and Society. Abingdon, England: Routledge. 35 (1): 25–52. doi:10.1080/03007766.2010.537928. ISSN 1740-1712.
  3. ^ "Daniel Ash returns! exclusive interview with former Bauhaus guitarist". Louder Than War. 29 November 2014.
  4. ^ "Bauhaus before Bauhaus - an in depth look on the bands that led to the formation of the iconic band". Louder Than War. 3 September 2017.
  5. ^ "Bauhaus Archives - Page 4 of 6 - Indigo Eyes: A Peter Murphy Fan Site". Indigo Eyes: A Peter Murphy Fan Site.
  6. ^ "Bauhaus invent goth | Music". The Guardian. 2014-03-13. Retrieved 2016-10-14.
  7. ^ Thompson, Dave. "Review of "Bela Lugosi's Dead"". AllMusic. San Francisco: All Media Guide. Archived from the original on 26 November 2012. From those basics, 'Bela Lugosi's Dead' crackles in on percussion alone, a tapping, rattling rhythm into which a three-note bass line only gradually intrudes itself before Ash's treated guitar slides in, echoed and echoing the most atmospheric dub.
  8. ^ Perpetua, Matthew (June 24, 2011). "The 15 Greatest Songs About Vampires". Rolling Stone. New York City: Wenner Media LLC. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
  9. ^ Park, Jennifer (2008). "Melancholy and the Macabre: Gothic Rock and Fashion". In Steele, Valerie; Park, Jennifer (eds.). Gothic: Dark Glamour. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press. p. 117. ISBN 978-0-300-13694-4. LCCN 2008024961. OCLC 216936076. OL 891133W.
  10. ^ "Fringe recaps: 'Midnight'". Fox. 28 April 2009. Archived from the original on 2 May 2009.
  11. ^ Woerner, Meredith (October 8, 2015). "'American Horror Story' recap: Lady Gaga makes a great turban-wearing immortal". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California: Tronc. Archived from the original on 8 October 2015. The two troll a goth club dancing to Bauhaus' 'Bela Lugosi's Dead' in search of a meal.
  12. ^ "Chris Cornell - 17) Bela Lugosi's dead (Argentina 2007)". Youtube. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
  13. ^ Kreps, Daniel (August 27, 2009). "Nine Inch Nails Wave Goodbye to New York With Bauhaus' Murphy". Rolling Stone. New York City: Wenner Media LLC. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
  14. ^ "Peter Murphy announces world tour; will only play Bauhaus material". Fact. London, England: The Vinyl Factory. 7 March 2013. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  15. ^ Solarski, Matthew (September 29, 2013). "Live Review: Massive Attack V Adam Curtis at New York's Park Avenue". Consequence of Sound. Chicago, Illinois: Consequence Holdings, LLC. Retrieved April 25, 2014. They played a wide range of covers that tied in to varying degrees with the agitprop documentary taking place onscreen. Some, like The Jesus and Mary Chain's "Just Like Honey" and Bauhaus' "Bela Lugosi's Dead", seemed chosen more for mood.
  16. ^ "Dead Cross - DEAD CROSS". 20 August 2017.
Bande à Part (album)

Bande à Part is the second studio album by the French band Nouvelle Vague. It was released on 14 June 2006 in Europe on Peacefrog Records. Like the band's eponymous first album, Bande à Part is a collection of bossa nova cover versions of 1980s new wave tracks.

The European edition has 14 standard tracks, with an 18-track limited edition. The slightly different United States edition, on the Luaka Bop label, has 14 standard tracks, with a 17-track limited edition.

Bauhaus (band)

Bauhaus were an English rock band, formed in Northampton, England in 1978. The group consisted of Daniel Ash (guitar, saxophone), Peter Murphy (vocals, occasional instruments), Kevin Haskins (drums) and David J (bass). The band was originally named Bauhaus 1919 in reference to the first operating year of the German art school Bauhaus, although they shortened the name within a year of formation. One of the pioneers of gothic rock, Bauhaus were known for their dark image and gloomy sound, although they mixed many genres, including dub, glam rock, psychedelia and funk.Bauhaus broke up in 1983. Murphy began a solo career while Ash and Haskins continued as Tones on Tail and, later, reunited with David J to form Love and Rockets. Both enjoyed greater commercial success in the United States than Bauhaus had, but disappeared from the charts in their homeland. Bauhaus eventually reunited for a 1998 tour and again from 2005 to 2008.

Bauhaus 1979–1983

Bauhaus 1979–1983 (sometimes referred to as simply 1979–1983) is a compilation album by English post-punk band Bauhaus, released in 1985 by record label Beggars Banquet.

Bauhaus discography

The discography of Bauhaus, a British gothic rock band, consists of five studio albums, four live albums, three compilation albums, four extended plays (EPs), eleven singles and three video albums. The band was formed in Northampton in 1978 by Daniel Ash (guitar), David J (bass), Kevin Haskins (drums) and Peter Murphy (vocals).

Released in August 1979 on Small Wonder Records, Bauhaus's debut single—the nine-minute-long "Bela Lugosi's Dead"—failed to make the UK Singles Chart. The band signed with 4AD in 1980 and released three more singles, all of which failed to chart. They also released their debut album, In the Flat Field, in 1980 and this became the band's first release to chart when it reached No. 72 on the UK Albums Chart. After changing labels in 1981 to Beggars Banquet Records, the band made the UK Singles Chart for the first time with "Kick in the Eye", which reached No. 59.

Their follow-up single, "The Passion of Lovers", reached No. 56. After the band's second album, Mask (1981), reached No. 30 on the UK Albums Chart, the next two singles failed to reach the Top 40 of the UK Singles Chart. October 1982 saw the band's highest showing in the UK Singles Chart when they released a cover version of David Bowie's "Ziggy Stardust", which reached No. 15—as well as reaching No. 13 on the Irish Singles Chart. Also released in October 1982, The Sky's Gone Out reached No. 4 on the UK Albums Chart. The band released two more singles and an album in 1983, all of which failed to capitalise on the success of their releases in late 1982, before disbanding.

After disbanding, all four members of Bauhaus undertook various solo projects before Ash, David J and Kevin Haskins reformed as Love and Rockets in 1985. Bauhaus reformed for the Resurrection Tour in 1998 and for a one-off concert in April 2005. Another reunion tour followed towards the end of 2005, before work started on a new album Go Away White, released in March 2008. The album charted poorly, only reaching No. 120 on the UK Albums Chart, but gave the band their first entry for a studio album on the U.S. Billboard 200 when it reached No. 105. Following the release of the album, Bauhaus disbanded again.

Crackle (album)

Crackle (also known as Crackle: The Best of Bauhaus) is a greatest hits album by English goth-rock band Bauhaus. The album was released in 1998 by record label Beggars Banquet, during the band's Resurrection Tour. It includes remastered versions of some of their single hits and most popular songs.

Dark Entries

"Dark Entries" is a song by the English gothic rock band Bauhaus, released as a stand-alone single in January 1980 by Axis (an early name for 4AD) and later issued on 4AD and Beggars Banquet. It featured the 1944 painting "Venus Asleep" by Paul Delvaux as cover art.

David J

David John Haskins (born 24 April 1957, Northampton, England), better known as David J, is a British alternative rock musician, producer, and writer. He was the bassist for the gothic rock band Bauhaus and Love and Rockets.

He has composed the scores for a number of plays and films, and also wrote and directed his own play, Silver for Gold (The Odyssey of Edie Sedgwick), in 2008, which was restaged at REDCAT in Los Angeles in 2011, and The Chanteuse and The Devil's Muse, 2011. His artwork has been shown in galleries internationally, and he has been a resident DJ at venues such as the Knitting Factory.

David J has released a number of singles and solo albums, and in 1990 he released one of the first No. 1 hits on the newly created Modern Rock Tracks charts, with "I'll Be Your Chauffeur." His most recent single, 'The Day That David Bowie Died' entered the UK vinyl singles chart at number four in 2016. The track appears on his latest double album, 'Vagabond Songs'.

Dead Cross (album)

Dead Cross is the debut self-titled studio album by American hardcore punk band Dead Cross. It was released in August 2017 under Ipecac Recordings.

Dream pop

Dream pop (or dreampop) is a subgenre of alternative rock and neo-psychedelia that developed in the 1980s. The style is typified by a preoccupation with sonic texture and atmosphere as much as melody. It often overlaps with the related genre of shoegazing, and the two genre terms have at times been used interchangeably.

Funtime (Iggy Pop song)

"Funtime" is a song written by David Bowie and Iggy Pop, first released by Iggy Pop on his 1977 album entitled The Idiot.

It reflects Iggy and Bowie's growing fascination with the German music scene, and bears marked similarities to "Lila Engel" by Neu!. It has since been covered by multiple artists including Blondie, Boy George, Bebe Buell, R.E.M. and The Cars.

Gotham (album)

Gotham is a double-disc live album by English gothic rock band Bauhaus of a concert performed in 1998, released in 1999 by record label Metropolis. The album also includes one appended studio track, a cover of "Severance", originally recorded by Dead Can Dance on their 1988 album The Serpent's Egg.

If I Was Your Vampire

"If I Was Your Vampire" is a song by Marilyn Manson, and is the first track on the album Eat Me, Drink Me. Marilyn Manson wrote the song on Christmas Day in 2006. The song was uploaded to Manson's MySpace on April 16, 2007 and was officially released on June 5, 2007 on the album.

Nation (Sepultura album)

Nation is the eighth studio album by the Brazilian metal band Sepultura, released in 2001 through Roadrunner Records. Nation features guest appearances from artists such as Hatebreed singer Jamey Jasta, Dead Kennedys singer Jello Biafra, Ill Niño singer Cristian Machado, Ratos de Porão frontman João Gordo and Apocalyptica.

According to the official site, a video for "One Man Army" was scheduled to be filmed at the end of August 2001. However, due to a lack of support from Roadrunner Records, the video was never made. Sepultura blamed Roadrunner Records for not promoting the album and left for SPV Records in 2002.

Non Stop Ride (album)

Non Stop Ride is a cover album by American Industrial rock band Godhead. It features covers of The Prodigy's Smack My Bitch Up, KMFDM's Virus and Blur's Girls and Boys.

The Curve (film)

Dead Man’s Curve is a 1998 thriller starring Matthew Lillard, Keri Russell and Michael Vartan, which premiered at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival under its original title, Dead Man's Curve.

Until December

Until December was a San Francisco-based rock band active in the early to late 1980s. The band released four 12" singles in 1985 on 415 Records / CBS. A self-titled album Until December was released in 1986 by 415 Records / CBS, which contained their biggest hit "Heaven".

Other notable songs performed by Until December include their song "Until December", "Live Alone In Shame" (B-Side to the 12" of "Until December - The Berlin Mix") and a cover of the song "Bela Lugosi's Dead" by Bauhaus. In 1986, they released 12" singles of "Call Me" B/W "Free Again" and "Secrets (I Won't Tell)" B/W "We Are The Boys". A full list of their discography can be found at toured the U.S. as a headliner and with seminal 80's bands such as New Order, Gene Loves Jezebel, and Specimen. The band was especially popular in the leather subculture. Before the band split up they expanded their line up to a five-piece with the addition of Mark Pistel on bass and Tim Huthert, from Specimen, as a second drummer.

Member Adam Sherburne later formed the band Consolidated in the 1990s. Bryan Weisberg later formed Maximillion's Motorcycle Club with Tim Huthert. Greg(Auggie)Senzer former drummer owns and operates a motorcycle customizing shop and plays with several Bay Area bands.

You Shriek

You Shriek is an American band founded in 1990 by Raziel Panic. Their sound includes influences from 1980s 4AD, New Romantic, goth and industrial. They are associated with underground club scenes catering to fans of darkwave, futurepop, and EBM.

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Live albums
Compilation albums

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