It’s 1984 and proto-goth underlords Bauhaus have broken up, but guitar guy Daniel Ash still has some shadows to explore with bassist (and former Bauhaus roadie) Glenn Campling, an outfit they’re calling Tones on Tail. And it all comes good (if weird) with Pop, an album that that goes all kinds of cool places that music of the moment generally doesn’t. In the case of Real Life, that means acoustic, expansive, dynamic – the right kind of psychedelic.
“It’s perhaps hard to imagine now, but come the mid-1980s, so called psychedelic rock was pretty much absent as a musical force, even as an underground item. Chalk it up, I guess, to being two decades on from your various Beatles, Hendrix, Byrds, Cream (and related) eruptions and seductions, and the culture maybe just needing a break for a while. And yet, Love + Rockets sounded just fine to my ears. They were Bauhaus basically, without the singer, which, of course, made a big difference, still conjuring cool moods and working powerful dynamics, but they’d left Dracula’s castle in the rearview, opted for a brighter, sweeter, more colourful set (and setting). Look no further than a title like Yin and Yang and The Flowerpot Man, though the song actually seems to be about the mystical-magical virtues of alcohol, strangely enough.” (Philip Random)
“Bauhaus, at the peak of their considerable powers, deliver a generational anthem if there ever was one. Though I can’t say I’ve analyzed it much past the title, modest as it demands are. It’s 1982 and everything’s pretty much gone or going to sh**, slimy and/or demented conservative types in power pretty much everywhere in the so-called western world, the rich getting richer, the poor getting eaten. What do we young people want? Oh, not much. Just EVERYTHING.” (Philip Random)
“I did hear Telegram Sam at least once way back when, and my immediate teeny bop take was, ‘this sounds exactly like that other T-Rex song‘. And I was right. But ultimately, wrong. Because what I was really referring to was T-Rex‘s groovy, funky, rockin’ one in a trillion sound. Which I didn’t really get for at least another decade, which is when Bauhaus’s rather raucous take on Telegram Sam nudged me into paying attention again. Pop for the ages, glamorous and forever cool.” (Philip Random)
“Bauhaus were one of those rare bands who were so confident in the songwriting and performing categories that they could casually release something as raw and nasty and good as Lagartija Nick and not even bother to include it on an album. Which isn’t to say it didn’t make it onto my obligatory Bauhaus mixtape, essential soundtrack to many an mid-early 80s trip to the fun part of the dark side (or was it the dark part of the fun side).” (Philip Random)
They sold their share of records, but Love and Rockets never really got the respect they deserved in the 1980s. Serious fans of Bauhaus (the band from which all three had come) stayed huddled together in windowless rooms awaiting the resurrection of their main man, Peter Murphy (which never really happened). Serious art types were too busy getting their ears shredded by the likes of The Jesus + Mary Chain. Meanwhile David Jay, Kevin Haskins and Daniel Ash kept cranking out some of the coolest, best psychedelic sounds since the 1960s.
Dali’s Car (the project) may have looked brilliant on paper. Take ex-Bauhaus lead singer Peter Murphy, put him in a room with Mick Karn, instrumental genius from recently disbanded Japan – see what happens. What happened was an album called The Waking Hour which didn’t quite add up, not for forty minutes. But Dali’s Car (the song ) — that was memorably odd.