Peter Murphy

Peter Murphy

 New York City, New York, USA

Peter John Murphy (born 11 July 1957) is an English gothic rock vocalist. He was the vocalist of the rock group Bauhaus, and later went on to release a number of solo albums, such as Deep and Love Hysteria. Thin, with prominent cheekbones, a rich Baritone voice, and a penchant for gloomy poetics, Murphy is often called the "Godfather of Goth."


Murphy was born near Northampton, England, and raised in Wellingborough, England. Whether rising from coffins on-stage, driving a hearse called the "Bauhearse," summoning thunder storms, or appearing in concert as vampires, Bauhaus were one of the establishing acts of the goth movement.Their use of spacey recording effects and theatrical aesthetics was evocative of both early horror films and glam rock; they became an influential group in the early days of gothic rock.

Murphy's solo career over time became more varied than Bauhaus, ranging from pseudo-pop to haunting ballads that showcased his deep and complex vocals, with lyrical themes that are often metaphysical or religious. His knack for such lyricism and the occasional pop-reinvention did, however, cause some initial trepidation by the record-buying public. After the commercial non-start of Dali's Car, Murphy's first solo album was similarly overlooked. Should the World Fail to Fall Apart did spawn several singles, including a cover of Pere Ubu's "Final Solution" that made a minor splash on the club scene.

The followup, Love Hysteria, sank without trace in his native UK along with his career there. However, in the USA it performed better than his previous solo releases. The albums also marked the beginning of a long-term collaboration with songwriter Paul Statham, who co-wrote songs with Murphy until 1995. The resulting singles "All Night Long" and "Indigo Eyes" helped garner a wider following, and the black-and-white video for "All Night Long" entered rotation on MTV.

The pinnacle of Murphy's solo popularity in the US came with the release of Deep. For this album Murphy sported hair dyed platinum blonde and returned to the more aggressive alt-rock sound that was a trademark of early Bauhaus. The single "Cuts You Up" from Deep held on to the top spot on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart for longer than any other single before displacing "So Alive" by his former Bauhaus-bandmates Love and Rockets. The record was unbroken until the release of R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion."

Although he had grown up in an Irish Catholic household, Murphy converted to Islam in the 1990s.He eventually moved to Turkey with his wife, and a subsequent Middle Eastern influence can be heard in his later albums. In particular, Murphy has been inspired by the mysticism of Sufism. 1992's Holy Smoke mixed some traditional Turkish influences into the music while continuing the sound pioneered on Deep.

Murphy continued to release solo albums throughout the 90's and 2000's. He also reunited with Bauhaus in 1998 for the resurrection tour and released "Go Away White" in 2008 with Bauhaus.

More recently, In 2009 Murphy appeared at shows across the United States with Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, and the band members Reznor had for the 'Lights Over the Sky Over North America 2008' tour. He also appeared with Nine Inch Nails on in August 2009 at Terminal 5 as special guest musician. Additionally, he appeared with Nine Inch Nails on 28 and 29 August at the Aragon Ballroom.

In 2010, Murphy made a cameo appearance in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse as "The Cold One".He also collaborated with Sarah Fimm and Leigh Nash on a song called "Crumbs and Broken Shells".In Summer 2010, Murphy will begin his "Dirty Dirt Tour" in promotion of his forthcoming studio album Ninth to be released in the fall.


Solo Career:
Should the World Fail to Fall Apart (1986)
Love Hysteria (1988)
Deep (1990)
Holy Smoke (1992)
Cascade (1995)
Recall EP (1997)
Wild Birds: 1985-1995 (compilation) (2000)
A Live Just for Love (live) (2001)
Dust (2002)
Unshattered (2004)
Ninth (2010)

In the Flat Field (1980)
Mask (1981)
The Sky's Gone Out (1982)
Burning from the Inside (1983)
Go Away White (2008)
This is for When (live album recorded in 1981 but released in 2010)