Peter Murphy 1988

Finding Minor Success

Love Hysteria was released shortly thereafter in March 1988. As with his debut, Love Hysteria would not garner much commercial praise, even though the album’s sound was more commercial and brimming with happiness and confidence mirroring that of Murphy’s headspace at the time. The album did enjoy relative success among the club scene, particularly with its lead single (All Night Long), and enjoyed healthy rotation on the college rock radio stations, which would soon lead to a change in audience for Murphy – from the all-black, Aqua Net teased hairdos of the goths to the short sleeved shirts and jeans of college students.

Taken from a line in All Night Long, Murphy’s band was christened The Hundred Men and together they set out on a second tour of the United States in April. With two albums under his belt, Murphy began to slowly phase out most of the Bauhaus songs he had incorporated live during his initial shows, further evidence that there was indeed life after Bauhaus and that he was no longer Peter Murphy of Bauhaus, but Peter Murphy of Peter Murphy. 1988 ended with additional spurts of touring, including a notable second leg of the US with The Church as co-headliners. This tour would prove an interesting obstacle as The Church (whose latest album at the time had charted) insisted on headlining each night as Murphy’s album had failed to chart. Not content with this, Murphy and the Hundred Men soon did all they could to fire up the audiences, even going so far as to play a fifth encore in a given night (resulting in The Church’s manager literally pulling the plug halfway through that fifth encore), resulting in half the audience walking out as their set came to an abrupt halt. Some things, such as Murphy’s natural ability to command the stage and the audience, never change.

As 1988 ended, there was much to celebrate for Murphy. For one, with two albums successfully finished, Murphy knew he could carve out a solo career on his own without his former bandmates in Bauhaus. Love Hysteria especially proved that he had the ability to find his own voice and vision and could put together a strong album that was as much commercial in tone as it was unequivocally a Murphy piece of work. While having to start over again in the small club scene, it was clear that he still maintained a following in the United States, a fact that led to promotional changes in how Beggars Banquet handled Love Hysteria (namely that the album was licensed to RCA and was the first album Murphy had officially released in the United States). Full of momentum, Murphy would rush head long into 1989 full speed ahead instead of taking a well-earned break. This moment would prove absolutely pivotal in Murphy’s career.