The many flavors of: Bauhaus – Bela Lugosi’s Dead

The many flavors of: Bauhaus – Bela Lugosi’s Dead

While driving home the other day, the b-side to this single (the song “Boys”) came up on my IPOD and between that, and seeing they are playing at that clusterfuck known as Coachella (and only that, and not touring again, bastards!), it inspired me to start another feature here.

The sickness/obsession/hobby known as record collecting can have different afflictions on an individual and perhaps the most frustrating and sleep depriving one is the one known as “completion”. You see, it isn’t enough for me to own just one copy of a record, oh no, that would be too simple. If the record came on 7 different colors of vinyl, I have to have them all! I seriously own multiple copies of the same record simply because they were on colored vinyl, or a foreign pressing, 2nd pressing, etc. This affliction doesn’t affect everyone thankfully, but it always has for me and has ever since I got interested in records when I was in grade school. I used to own foreign pressings of AC/DC albums simply because they had different cover art than the American ones, plus some had different songs.

So while driving, it hit me that I could snap some pictures of these variations contained in The Vault and share them with others who may not be aware of all the different versions. I figured this record was as good as any to start with since I was listening to it at the time, and there was a lot of variations of this record so it makes for a good example (albeit one on the extreme end). Also, I have yet to see an accurate discography for the different colors of this record. It was like one person incorrectly put together a discography and everyone copied it with no one bothering to tell them that there is no such thing as a red vinyl copy of this record, but there is a pink and purple one.

Bauhaus, while not considered punk band today, is a band I hold in extremely high regard. They were around for a short time (from 1979 – 1983) and pretty much helped jump-start the genre of music that is now known as Goth. This was their first record that came out in 1979 and sold thousands upon thousands of copies over the years and until only a few years ago, the songs on this single were exclusive to this record.

The record was, I believe, the second release on Small Wonder Records, who also put out the very first Cure 7″. I think this record alone is the reason the label was around as long as it was.

The first pressing of 5000 came on white vinyl with a thin sleeve.

It was then reissued on black vinyl with a thin sleeve, and later with the thicker sleeve that was used for all other pressings.

Then later another 5000 or 10000 on blue vinyl. Of all the colored vinyls, this is the easiest to find.

Years later (we’re talking around 1989/1990) they pressed it on purple vinyl with a purple sleeve,

pink vinyl with a pink sleeve,

clear vinyl with a brown sleeve,

and green vinyl with a green sleeve.


They all came out around the same time, and were perhaps all done as one big press run. I don’t think they made very many of each color due to the fact that I seldom see anyone selling them.

Throughout the years, there was still black vinyl pressings as the thing never truly went out of print.

The oddest one of all is one I found a few years ago at a record show. This one is clear vinyl with a black sleeve.
I believe these were made right around the time of their 1998 reunion tour as that is when I found them for sale new. There couldn’t have been many of those either as that one record show is the only time I ever saw any for sale and I haven’t seen them around since.

On top of all that, sometime in the early 80s, they made a picture disc of this too.

The thing did come out as a CD single that came in one of those slimline cases. When Bauhaus did their reunion tour in 1998, they sold a special edition that came in a printed cardboard sleeve and was signed by the whole band and numbered. That is out of print now, but the songs can be found on 1998’s Crackle CD, which was a “best of” album.

It seems that what was left of Small Wonder Records is no more as the official website for Bauhaus lists contact info for a law firm in Los Angeles for licensing inquiries for the songs contained on this single.

So there you go, a little Bauhaus vinyl history for you as well as a taste of the affliction known as “the need for completion”. Hopefully someone reading this found it interesting and would like to see this become a semi-regular feature. Let me know what you all think.






9 comments

  • This feature sounds cool, I’d like to see the record of which you own the most versions. Whats the top, like 20?

    I was just looking at my copy of this and of course its the blue one. Bah.

  • Ironic, no, that all those years fighting off the ashtrays and beer bottles to protect the turntable and 7″es that life has boiled down to a fucking ipod! A far cry from that record player spinning round and round and mesmerizing us, as did the cave fire for our ancestors, and sending us out into the streets to smash bottles and piss in the street. Gin please!

  • Nice feature! I never knew all the variations. I do own the Black vinyl version. I was fortunate enough to see Bauhaus in about 81/82 at the Roxy in Hollywood. That was one of the most memorable shows of the 80s. I like it!

  • Great record, but it wasn’t the 2nd release on Small Wonder, it may have been the 2nd 12″ release though. Apart from the first Cure single they also put out 7″s by Cockney Rejects, Angelic Upstarts, Carpettes, Menace, Fatal Microbes, Anthrax (the UK punk band not the metal band!), and the original release of “The Feeding of the 5000” by Crass. I only have a few of the original records but they’re all brilliant, one of the best ’77 era UK labels IMO.

  • GDD – the answer to yr question will be revealed in the next chapter of the series.

    Mark – You are probably right, the catalog # for the record is Teeny2 which is what gave me the idea that it might be the second release. It must be the second 12″ they did.

  • this was really helpful and cool

    i love collecting records (the cure being my tipple) but im even more curious…how many of those later pink/purple/brown and green ones did they release? I assumed you didnt know cause you didnt say but i thought id ask anyway 🙂

  • I dont’ know how many of the other colors they pressed. Judging by how rarely I see them for sale, I’d guess it wouldn’t be more than 1000 of any color. Who knows, it could be less. I wish I knew who owned Small Wonder Records so I could ask.

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