PETER MURPHY – DEEP
Released: December 19 1989 – 26 years ago
The third solo release by the former Bauhaus front man represents Murphy’s most commercially successful and is generally considered his best. Showcasing the dramatic power of his commanding voice and literate lyrics, Deep balances mass indie rock appeal with a brooding gothic sensibility that can be both bittersweet and rousing.
The Classic Pick is a weekly feature at 4pm M-F on The Home Stretch, sponsored by the Good Oak Bar and curated by Kris Kerry. Each Monday at 4pm Kris stops by KXCI’s studio to give us insight on this classic album at 91.3FM and kxci.org.
The former lead singer of cult favorite Bauhaus, Peter Murphy represents one of the most prominent figures in the Goth rock movement. Often referred to as the “Godfather of Goth,” Murphy is the embodiment of the Goth movement with his tall slender build, pail completion, gloomy poetics, and a booming baritone voice that can sound almost supernatural at times.
Bauhaus formed in the late 70s and is one of the earliest, most seminal acts within the Goth rock movement. The musical subgenre formed out of early post-punk and is characterized by a dark, introspective, and romantic mood and lyrical themes. Gothic rock soon gave rise to a broader subculture that included clubs, fashion, and publications. Other early bands associated with the early Goth movement include Joy Division, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Sisters of Mercy, and The Cure among others.
Musicians who initially shaped the aesthetics and conventions that became Goth include glam and proto-punk acts Marc Bolan and T. Rex, The Velvet Underground, Nico, David Bowie, Roxy Music and Iggy Pop. Darker hard rock acts like The Doors, Black Sabbath, and Alice Cooper likely had influence on the genre as well.
Deep was Murphy’s most commercially successful solo release. Peaking at 44 on the Billboard 200 chart, the single “Cuts You Up” reached number one on the US Modern Rock chart.
Simon Rogers, bassist for The Fall and member of The Lightning, gets production credit on Deep. Rogers has also worked with Goldfrapp, Culture Club, among other acts. He also produced Murphy’s sophomore release, Love Hysteria.
Deep was recorded at Wool Hall and Rockfield Studios. Wool Hall Studios, located in Beckington, England, closed its doors in 2002. It was where Tears For Fears recorded Songs from the Big Chair, The Smiths recorded Strangeways, Here We Come and Morrissey recorded Viva Hate. Other artists to record at Wool Hall include Annie Lennox, Sisters of Mercy and The Pretenders. Rockfield Studios, located in rural Wales, has been home to many well-known recordings since the late 1960s, including releases by Black Sabbath, Motöhead, Queen, Echo and the Bunnymen, New Order, XTC, and Oasis.
Murphy was born near Northampton, England, and was childhood friends with Daniel Ash whom was in Bauhaus with Murphy and formed Love and Rockets after Bauhaus broke up.
Murphy and his Turkish wife, Beyhan Murphy, have lived in Istanbul since 1992.
Neither Murphy nor Bauhaus have been inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. Bauhaus has been eligible since 2004.