Did you know May 22nd is World Goth Day?
Goth Day started in the UK in 2009. BBC Radio 6 Music DJs Cruel Britannia and Martin Oldgoth started the annual celebration of goth music and culture.
While not really a goth myself, at least not on the outside, I have enjoyed listening to “goth” music (and its rougher mate “industrial” music) as my favorite subcategories of classic alternative music. I am a longtime listener of Sunday Night Vinyl on Orlando’s 104.1 which plays all of these genres of music.
Below is a sample of some of my favorite goth bands. Please enjoy in a low-key, introspective way.
Joy Division was a relatively short-lived Manchester, England band who released only two studio albums before the singer and guitarist, Ian Curtis, died. They started out known as Warsaw. This song is their best-known release and comes from the Closer album in 1980.
The Sisters of Mercy
Another English band from the same period is The Sisters of Mercy, originally from Leeds. The lineup changed several times with the band producing only three studio albums. I could have chosen almost any song from the 1987 album Floodland, but this is my favorite today.
If you don’t know the name Peter Murphy, you might know the band he fronted from 1978 to 1983 called Bauhaus. He’s from Northampton, England (seeing a pattern?). I prefer his solo work, with this song being a standout from the 1989 album Deep.
Siouxsie and the Banshees
Siouxsie Sioux is probably the best-known female goth voice. She was the face and voice of Siouxsie and the Banshees out of London. This song comes from the 1986 album Tinderbox.
When most people hear the term “goth” music, they probably think of The Cure. And they were really popular starting in the 1980s. Most people can identify Robert Smith with his unchanging wild hair and makeup. The Cure come from Crawley, outside of London. The band had several later hits, but my selection is from an earlier album, Faith, from 1981. Interestingly, both Smith and Simon Gallup play bass on this song accompanied by drums, but no guitars or keyboards.
Although not technically a goth band, The Smiths were very popular with the goths with Morrissey’s melancholy voice and lyrics and Johnny Marr’s original “jangle pop” guitar sound. The band produced many singles but only four studio albums. This song is from their third album, The Queen Is Dead, from 1986.
A dreaded sunny day
So I meet you at the cemetry gates
Keats and Yeats are on your side