Monday, February 02, 2009

Random Peter Murphy Post

I admit that I never got the whole GOTH thing. I had no affinity for dressing in all black (although my wife will sometimes chastise me for the fact that I wear black slacks to work every day), the mascara and the wild hair. Outside of a love for THE CURE, the rest of the goth crowd was just a bit to extreme. For the most part I missed the boat on SISTERS OF MERCY, SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES and BAUHAUS. I opted for the poppier side of alternative which was probably best for my overall social life. So when I eventually ran into Mr. Murphy it was with little knowledge of his prior band affiliation.

His 1989 album, "Deep", was merely another intriguing product of my musical investigation. Obviously the first thing that hits you is his voice. It has an otherwordly quality that can dive into a deep baritone one minute and a half falsetto the next. Hearing it for the first time takes some getting used to. Then come the lyrics. For someone in his late teens, early twenties, this sort of existential poetry full of images of love and death can be a bit much for someone who was a relatively happy guy at the time. But I just couldn't shake the sound. I came back again and again to hear the tortured tale of "Marlene Dietrich's Favorite Poem" or the soul bearing honesty of "Cuts You Up". It just had this depth to it that was missing in a lot of music at the time.

The odd thing is that for a record that I was so obviously entranced with, I never moved beyond it into the rest of his catalogue. I tried some of the Bauhaus stuff, but it wasn't the same. His next record, "Holy Smoke", felt forced and overproduced to the point where I lost interest very quickly. Some artists are like that; just flashes in our musical journey. But in this case, a flash of needed oddity to shake me out of a stale part of my life.

(mp3) Peter Murphy -- Cuts You Up

(mp3) Peter Murphy -- Marlene Dietrich's Favorite Poem

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

nice post. i just saw he was added to the lineup for SXSW, which made me do some research about him... apparently he's coming out with a new album very soon. how do you think it'll sound?