Shadow & Light

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Collecting all the regular promotional videos filmed by Bauhaus, along with a smattering of live performances, Shadow is a fantastic way to catch up on the oft-cited visual/artistic element of the quartet, not to mention a way to see what all the shouting was about regarding the band's legendary live performances. The regular videos all benefit greatly from not seeming like products of their time; directors Chris Collins and Mick Calvert, who between them directed all but one of the pieces, avoided all the early-'80s clich├ęs in favor of a darker, more cinematic approach (Calvert's own use of grainy film foreshadows the efforts of directors like Anton Corbijn). The outright winner, and possibly one of the best videos ever made, is Collins' "Mask," which perfectly complements the combined grinding power and delicate beauty of the song with a murky, Expressionist-inspired scenario filmed in a decayed building, with a terrifyingly made-up Murphy revived from death by the other band members. Combined with a series of bizarre, often horrifying clips of grotesque figures played by the four -- one shot in particular, of Murphy writhing in sudden pain as the camera jerks back suddenly, never fails to disturb -- it's a stunner. The four live cuts, all directed by Collins from a show at London's Old Vic theatre, not only capture the stark design of their live sets (only white lights were used in various combinations, with David J memorably declaring in one early interview that colored lights were for Christmas trees) but also Murphy's outrageously effective stage persona in particular, pacing, thrashing, exploding in a frenzy of limbs and contortions while still able to sing and project powerfully. A tense duet between him and Ash during a take on John Cale's "Rosegarden Funeral of Sores," with Murphy grabbing the guitarist close as the latter rhythmically screams over the former's singing, is especially memorable.