Bauhaus in 1983

Rest In Peace

Following the successes of the latest two singles and a third Top of the Pops appearance (for She’s In Parties) and the immense acclaim The Sky’s Gone Out had garnered, Beggars Banquet were understandably anxious for a follow-up. Recording time was scheduled for March at Rockfield Studios in Wales and initial tour dates booked in Belgium and France for April. These plans would have to be revised, however, as Murphy contracted a nasty strain of viral pneumonia following filming of the music video for She’s In Parties. While the tour dates could be re-scheduled, it would prove harder to shift the recording time around. After postponing for a week, Ash, J, and Haskins collectively decided to enter the studio and begin work without Murphy, a decision that would prove volatile for the band’s future. Continued requests for interviews with only Murphy furthered heightened tensions and suggestions of a breakup began to circulate.

Burning From The Inside, the band’s fourth album, saw Ash and J take a much more hands on role, taking lead vocal duties on Slice Of Life andWho Killed Mr. Moonlight?, respectively. Contrary to popular belief, Murphy does provide vocals, to some degree, for almost every song, but during the recording process, he did not offer any input, feeling that Ash, J, and Haskins’s decision to begin without him meant (to him) that the band was already dead. Recording was wrapped up at the end of April.

Although no album was available until after the tour was completed, the band with a visibly gaunt and physically weak Murphy embarked on this one last excursion – the first leg focusing mainly on previously unchartered territory with shows in Hong Kong, Japan and Israel and the second leg exclusively in the UK. Tensions were once again mounting and rumors were now rife suggesting a split was imminent, but no one truly knew if or when such a thing would happen. As the tour approached its finale with two performances at the Hammersmith Palais in London in July, a brief rumor rumbled among some of the crew that this would be the end. Fans were told not to miss the final show. The performance (later released in 1992 by Nemo Records as Rest In Peace: The Final Concert) incorporated the regular Burning From The Inside set followed by an unprecedented six song encore reprising largely numbers that they had not played in recent times. After the band rumbled through Bela Lugosi’s Dead, J uttered into the microphone “Rest in peace.” In what must have felt like a blink, Bauhaus were finished. Four years, as many albums, and a string of singles. Over.