Is it Bela Lugosi is dead, or is it his dead?
On January 26th, 1979, Bauhaus entered Beck Studios in Wellingborough, England, and recorded their gothic rock masterpiece “Bela Lugosi’s Dead”.
The song is a 9 and a half minute dirge, featuring the creaking floorboards of Kevin Haskins percussion, the slow descending basslines of David J, and Daniel Ash’s dub reggae-infused guitars that crackle and hum to spine-tingling effect. All Leading into the crooning first lyric of the song “White on white translucent black capes” being sung by frontman Peter Murphy.
Bela Lugosi’s Dead is a song that can be considered “Freebird”, or “Stairway to Heaven” for Goths, whose lengthy playtime is often used by a many a Goth club DJ as an excuse for a bathroom break during a long set.
Watch our animated video on the making of Bela below:
While the song was cut in just one take, it would take the greater part of a year for the single to finally be released on Small Wonder records on August 6th, 1979.
There is also a longer director’s cut of this video that is available to our Patreon and Facebook supporters here.