Release Date: Jul 7, 2017
Record label: Cherry Red
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Goth Rock
Although often wrongly dismissed as fancy-dress indulgence, the gothic rock uprising can now be seen as the next major step from punk, its dark artistic tentacles descended from The Doors, Alice Cooper and Suicide reaching deep enough to become a major shape-shifting influence on rock in the 80s. As Natasha Scharf's introduction to the 25-page hardback book shrouding this major retrospective says, goth was about "introspection, intellectualism and passion… inspired by film, philosophy, literature and mythology". To make that point, its five CDs kick off with Joy Division and the Birthday Party, while others sprinkle PiL, Bauhaus, Danielle Dax, The Damned, Nico, Sisters Of Mercy, The Cure, Cocteau Twins, Associates, Adam And The Ants, The Mission, Theatre Of Hate, Fields Of The Nephilim and Southern Death Cult among lesser-resonant names who raided mum's make-up box and posed for pictures in graveyards (step up Screaming Dead, Bone Orchard and I'm Dead).
As rock-related subcultures go, "goth" can mean all things to all people. Capable of inspiring everything from slavish devotion to seething revulsion, as a genre it's often dismissed as merely a fashion statement: a doom-laden, perma-black state of being with a curious proclivity for appendages such as fishnets, piercings and ultra-dark eyeliner. In rock'n'roll lore, definitively pinning down the point when "goth" first appeared in the lexicon is a tough call.