While the concept behind Dark Pleasures: Gothic Rock Collection is a good one, the execution is somewhat botched -- it's a real stretch to call the Cramps, Killing Joke, or the Church goth rock, and while the post-punk sounds of Magazine, Wire, and Echo and the Bunnymen certainly had a tremendous influence on the movement, the bands themselves didn't quite cross the line into full-fledged goth rock. Plus, licensing restrictions no doubt prevented such defining goth bands as the Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, the Sisters of Mercy, and Christian Death from checking in. So who's left? Bauhaus is present with their classic "Bela Lugosi's Dead," and other big-name goth acts like the Mission UK, the Sex Gang Children, Love and Rockets, and Tones on Tail all make appearances, as well as Specimen, the March Violets, and Shriekback, plus two early British punk bands -- the Damned and the Stranglers -- who went through goth phases. All in all, it's a nice try, but nowhere near a definitive or representative look at the genre.
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AllMusic Review by Steve Huey