Bauhaus in 1981 in New York City

The Difficult Second: Mask

Similar to the majority of the songs that would comprise In the Flat Field, much of the material that would be released on its follow-up, Mask, were recorded and played live ahead of the official recording sessions for the album. After Bauhaus had been transitioned to Beggars Banquet in January, the group booked time in Jam Studios to record a slew of new songs including Kick In The Eye, In Fear Of Fear (and its dub counterpart,In Fear Of Dub), and Of Lilies And Remains.

Spring 1981 saw the band tour the East Coast and Canada for their first full US tour and included a brief cable television appearance on the New York Band Stand where they mimed to both Kick In The Eye (the new UK single and their first on Beggars Banquet) and Stigmata Martyr. Following their return to the UK, the group reconvened at Playground Studios, resulting in several new Mask additions over the span of two separate recording sessions. A June UK tour saw them play with Nick Cave’s The Birthday Party (the tour support) before The Passion Of Lovers single was released.

An initial version of Mask was prepared by July 1981, but the band would soon reject this compilation at the eleventh hour, opting to play their first shows in Italy and hold off releasing the new album. This very brief stint of touring resulted in further studio time, recording additional material in September. By the middle of October, Mask was finally released. Often cited by bands as the difficult second, Bauhaus had no such concerns as Mask received high critical acclaim, seen as an even more experimental venture than their debut album. The group would close the year with an ambitious 30 date tour of the UK and Europe in support of it.