Playlist: Time to get your Goth on

Happy World Goth Day everyone!

Er… To be honest, it’s not a holiday I observe but it did give me occasion to start in on an idea that I’ve kicked around in the past. And that is making and sharing genre-themed playlists on these pages. So, yeah, starting things off with Goth.

Goth is easily the music genre, lifestyle, and subculture that is most misunderstood by mass media and the public in general. I remember the going joke amongst a few of my coworkers, some years ago, which centred around the term ‘practicing Goth’ (as in, ‘Look at all that black, it looks like Jennifer is practicing Goth today’). It’s a term we culled from an article, one of many that had wrongfully attributed the perpetrators of the Columbine massacre as members of the ‘Goth community’.

I’m not sure I even fully understand the idea of being and ‘practicing’ Goth and all of the different offshoots that now exist but I do enjoy some facets of the fashion (the adoption of Victorian dress, for instance). I am also quite a big fan of a lot of the music that inspired the original scene, though I completely missed out on it, being too young at the time.

Some people sneer at the term Goth as a genre of music, calling it gimmicky, and the truth of the matter is that many of the original artists attached to the genre disliked the tag and tried to loosen its hold. I can remember going to a Sisters of Mercy show in Toronto in 1998, seeing all the youngsters in the audience wearing black, leather, S&M gear, etc., and wondering what they thought of lead singer Andrew Eldritch coming out on stage with his hair bleached blonde and cut short, and wearing a loud red Hawaiian shirt.

The idea in creating this playlist was not to define what is and what is not goth but to celebrate those artists that inspired generations to wear black. It is somewhat chronological, starting with those post-punk artists that toiled in darkness (Joy Division, Bauhaus), continuing with those that took up the mantle (The Cure, The Sisters of Mercy), squeezing in some acts that are not technically goth but definitely don’t sound out of place (Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen), and finally, gently transitioning to those that felt honoured to play in the originators’ shadows (She Wants Revenge, The Horrors), many years later.

For those who don’t use Spotify or if the embedded playlist below doesn’t work for you, here is the entire playlist:

1. Joy Division “She’s lost control”
2. Bauhaus “Bela Lugosi’s dead”
3. Tones On Tail “Christian says”
4. Love and Rockets “Haunted when the minutes drag”
5. The Cure “The hanging garden”
6. Killing Joke “Love like blood”
7. Siouxsie & The Banshees “Cities in dust”
8. Sisters of Mercy “Alice”
9. The Mission “Tower of strength”
10. The Cult “She sells sanctuary”
11. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds “Red right hand”
12. Concrete Blonde “Bloodletting (The vampire song)”
13. Leonard Cohen “Waiting for the miracle”
14. Dead Can Dance “Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove”
15. Cranes “Shining road”
16. Interpol “Obstacle 1”
17. She Wants Revenge “Tear you apart”
18. The Horrors “Do you remember”
19. Esben and the Witch “Marching song”
20. I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness “According to plan”

Enjoy.

For those of you who are on Spotify, feel free to look me up. My user name is “jprobichaud911”.

6 Replies to “Playlist: Time to get your Goth on”

  1. Some great tunes in there, JP. Also had a chuckle at the thought of the Hawaiian shirt among all the black.

    I mind the goth explosion in the late 90’s into the early 2000’s. I knew quite a few folk via mutual friends and it was all eyeliner and heavy black clothes – long leather jackets in summer!!

    Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails being the order of the day, along with some of the stuff that qualifies as nu-metal – Korn, System of a Down, Deftones, etc (though SoaD and Deftones transcend that). I guess it was a post-grunge thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Because I was familiar with the original goth scene, albeit very much after the fact, I never considered the 90s and 00s industrial, nu-metal, rap/rock hybrids as goth as such. However, the branches have grown and there’s so many offshoots now that I’ve just given up and decided that the term can mean any number of things. The whole EMO thing, too, appears to be lumped in for mass culture. I don’t know. Maybe I’m just old and set in my ways…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I wasn’t really familiar with the original scene, but know that there was a load of folk who identified as goth with the 90’s and 00’s stuff we’ve mentioned. Like you say though, it can mean anything really. Emo definitely appears to be another branch from that tree.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Haha. I remember reading a Spin magazine article when Interpol first came out on the evolution of goth and all the different types and my mind was blown.

        Liked by 1 person

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