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David J with Jill Tracy : “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” [Bauhaus Classic]

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I’m a big Bauhaus fan and I was ecstatic when Bauhaus bassist and co-founder David J appeared on a track on our Transnational Dubstep compilation a few years back and even more so when he helped to promote it via his website. It was another proud moment for me cause David J is in my little “cool school” of mega artists.

“Bela Lugosi is Dead” was the first Bauhaus single released in 1979 and is also considered to be one of the first ever Goth tracks. Of course, I didn’t know it when it came out but I got familiar with it much later on.

I think I just realized today for the first time that strangely it’s got a kind of Bossa Nova riddim, wow, never noticed that before!  Maybe I’m mad for thinking that but it sounds like Bossa Nova to me!

Here’s the original version:

Now, there’s a new cover version featuring David J and I was a little apprehensive to hear this new version but I gotta say it is pretty spectacular.  It continues that same strange Bossa Nova riddim and evokes the gothic vibe and atmospherics of the original in a less raw but more cinematic way.

Truly beautiful and I am in love with it all over again!  I’ve had it on loop for the past 1 hour!!

Here’s what Fear Net says about it:

The many talents of Jill Tracy, whose darkly romantic music has graced films like The Fine Art of Poisoning (now playing in our short film library) and accompanied screenings of the silent classic Nosferatu, are a natural fit for all things gothic and beautifully macabre… so it feels like supernatural synchronicity to discover that Jill has collaborated with Bauhaus co-founder David J for a new rendition of that band’s most legendary hit “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” – which genre fans know well from the opening scenes of Tony Scott’s 1983 vampire film The Hunger.

The idea for this post-classical “cinematic version” of the song – which Jill describes as “a spooky sonic rollercoaster ride” honoring the tone and mood of the original – was born during the recording of “Sell My Soul” from her album The Bittersweet Constrain, which she says was partly inspired by Bauhaus.

“The engineer Alex Nahas kept referring to my signature dark grand style of playing as ‘Bauthoven,’” she recently told FEARnet. “I loved that phrase.” She then started developing the concept of a piano intro which would gradually reveal the familiar rhythm of the classic tune.

“This seemed to be an unknowing foreshadow of what Fate had in store,” Jill noted, “as I did not even know David at that time!”

With David on lead vocals and Jill at the grand piano, the song also features Ysanne Spevack on antique autoharp, violin and backing vocals, Kenny Annis on stand-up bass and percussion by Randy Odell.

“We recorded practically in pitch darkness,” Jill says of the session, which was captured live in a single take. “That’s why there is such a gorgeous, seductive urgency to the piece: the band could only hear… and feel… and react.”

You can stream the track below, and be sure to visit David J’s Bandcamp page to get the download.

BELA LUGOSI’S DEAD

Revisited by DAVID J and JILL TRACY

Undead is Forever…

An exquisite new cinematic interpretation of the Bauhaus classic “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” from David J, one of the legendary band’s founding members, with signature post-classical piano from noir chanteuse Jill Tracy.

Featuring an excerpt from Lord Byron’s chilling vampire poem, ‘The Giaour’

With Ysanne Spevack on eerie antique autoharp, banshee violin and ‘bride of Dracula’ backing vocals, Kenny Annis on seismic rumbling contrabass and Randy Odell on ghost whisperer drums, this dark melancholic exploration was recorded live by candlelight in a single take.

Released at 1 minute past the Witching Hour on Halloween 2013
lyrics
Bela Lugosi’s Dead

White on white
Translucent
Black cape’s back on the rack
Bela Lugosi is dead

The bats have left the bell tower
The victims have been bled
Red velvet lines the black box
Bela Lugosi is dead

Undead undead undead

The virginal brides file past his tomb
Strewn with time’s dead flowers
Bereft in deathly bloom
Alone in a darkened room
The count
Bela Lugosi is dead

Undead undead
Undead undead undead

And undead is forever
Undead is forever
Undead is forever and ever and ever and ever and ever . . .

Poor Bela
Bela’s undead
Poor Bela
Bela’s undead
Poor Bela
Bela’s undead
Poor Bela
Bela’s undead

And Bela Lugosi sleeps with Sister Morphine
Bela Lugosi sleeps with Sister Morphine
Bela Lugosi sleeps with Sister Morphine
Bela Lugosi sleeps

Credits
Released 31 October 2013
Featuring:
David J – vocals
Jill Tracy – piano
Ysanne Spevack – violin & autoharp
Kenny Annis – stand-up bass
Randy Odell – drums

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