Friday, August 12, 2022

"So Alive" by Love and Rockets

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  3901
Date:  05/20/1989
Debut:  94
Peak:  3
Weeks:  20
Genre:  Alternative Rock

Pop Bits:  This English outfit consisted of three former members of the cult goth rock band Bauhaus. After Bauhaus split in '83, its members worked on other projects including solo efforts and a short-lived band called Tones on Tail. Then in '85, Bauhaus members Daniel Ash, David J, and Kevin Haskins got together and formed Love and Rockets. They were quickly signed to Beggars Banquet and that same year issued out a debut album. It didn't get much attention, but their next two LPs found their way to the US Album chart thanks to a couple of Rock chart entries including '87's "No New Tale to Tell" (#18). Then in '89 they would issue out a self-titled album that found the band moving in a more radio-ready, alt rock direction. Its first single, "Motorcycle," would reach #20 at Modern Rock, but then this next single would quickly shove the band into the limelight. "So Alive" would take off and reach #1 at Modern Rock and #9 Rock. That attention helped the song get on the Pop chart and eventually it would make it all the way up to #3. The tune also got to #20 Dance. That unexpected success spurred album sales and it would get to #14 and go gold.

ReduxReview:  This was a dark, cool, sexy, groovy tune that was catchy and hard to ignore. Daniel Ash's suave and slightly naughty vocal delivery did a lot to sell the tune. The subdued arrangement with the "Walk on the Wild Side"-style background vocals was spot on for the track. It was definitely the band's most commercially viable single and it certainly made a mark.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  While Love and Rockets scored a big hit and were popular in their heyday, Bauhaus were arguably more influential and had a longer lasting impact. Formed in 1978, the band consisted of the three Love and Rocket members along with lead singer Peter Murphy. Their dark, industrial, gloomy, post-punk sound would make them pioneers in what would become known as goth rock. The roots of the genre stretched back to artists like David Bowie and The Velvet Underground, but it wouldn't be until the late 70s that goth rock would start to carve out its own place in music. Although artists like Siouxsie & the Banshees and Joy Division had works that contained the building blocks of goth rock, the 1979 debut single by Bauhaus, "Bela Lugosi's Dead," has widely been considered ground zero of the genre with the band's 1980 album In the Flat Field considered the first true goth LP. Bauhaus would do well in their native UK and even grab a #4 album with 1982's The Sky's Gone Out. After a 1983 album, Bauhaus would break up. During their initial run, none of the band's albums charted in the US. They remained a cult group with only one song reaching any chart; 1981's "Kick in the Eye" got to #29 Dance. Bauhaus would gain a bit of recognition in 1983 when they appeared as a band in a nightclub scene in the horror film The Hunger. They would perform "Bela Lugosi's Dead." The movie, which starred Susan Sarandon and David Bowie would do okay at the box office, but would later become a cult flick, especially within the goth community. Peter Murphy would have a successful solo career after Bauhaus. He would even score a #55 US Pop/#1 Modern Rock/#10 Rock hit in 1990 with "Cuts You Up." It was taken from his album Deep (#44).


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