Bauhaus

1979-1983, Vol. 1

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If all single-artist compilations were like this, the world would be a much better place -- while lacking liner notes, or even specific references as to what songs come from where, 1979-1983: Vol. 1, drawing mostly from In the Flat Field and Mask, does a frankly smashing job at capturing the many early high points of Bauhaus' recording career. No real obscurities appear -- singles tracks like "Dark Entries" and "Terror Couple Kill Colonel" had been available on EP and would soon be reissued with the Field CD -- while the version of "Bela Lugosi's Dead" in fact is the live take from the Press the Eject album. As an overview, though, it's just flat-out great, covering many of the band's different facets, from aggressive thrash ("Double Dare," "In the Flat Field," "Hair of the Dog") to mysterious, arty shades ("A God in an Alcove," "Spy in the Cab," "Mask") and more. While one could argue over including other worthwhile tracks -- the nutty humor of "Of Lillies and Remains" would have demonstrated the band's reach even more -- 1979-1983: Vol. 1 remains as near perfect a starting place for a neophyte listener as any.

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