Peter-Murphy_Deep

Deep (1989) :: Peter Murphy

Peter Murphy’s voice has had a hard grip on my musical soul ever since I first heard the Bauhaus song, Bela Lugosi’s Dead. The depth of sound, the timbre of his voice, and the sensuality that oozes out in both his lighter and darker songs, is hypnotic, spellbinding, and full of desire. My love for Bauhaus came to fruition during my goth/death rock adolescence, when I was heart deep in adoration of New Wave, Goth/Death Rock, Post-Punk music. Then in 1989, during my first stint as a record store clerk, Peter Murphy’s Deep came out and on first listen I knew I had to have it. I had already adored his solo album, Love Hysteria, but this album – Deep – it just came along and swept me off my feet.

It became a “must” to have along in my car to throw in as the soundtrack to a night out in Hollywood, especially on the nights when my friends and I “haunted” Goth/Death Rock/Industrial/Dark Wave club nights, like Wednesday nights at Club Helter Skelter. Deep also became the backdrop to a short-lived romance with a dark soulful eyed boy who used to play it whilst we rolled around together in my car’s backseat, or in his childhood room at his Mother’s place. Sometimes we would dance to Marlene Dietrich’s Favourite Poem and he would whisper that I was his film star love, his poetess, and his favorite dream.

Deep would be the first album I would play in my first apartment, boxes strewn about everywhere needing attention and unpacking. We had put the stereo together first, then busted open our albums, music being our first priority. We slept that first night on the bare floor in front of the speakers, the light from the equalizer a flickering glow as we held each other close. He was an artist, full of his own sense of greatness, never calling me anything but my given name. As the songs played my mind drifted to that temporary love I had once been swept up in, and I could not deny that I missed it, that certain kind of romance of words and newly cracked open innocence.

Following are the songs as they play on Deep, with my three-sentence reflections…push play and I hope you enjoy. As always, I would love to hear/read your responses and recollections of the album, if you have them to share.

Deep Ocean Vast Sea

Early mornings we would drive to the part of the beach that was mostly deserted, populated only by those, like us, who had yet to have slept, or by others who chased after the sunrise surf to ride. Sand would collect in my fishnet tights, my boots thrown in the back so we could run with reckless abandon down to the water’s edge. Your lips tasted of tobacco, cherry candies and salt water.

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Shy

There were two ways up to our second floor apartment, neither way convenient for lugging boxes and furniture, and that old rust brown colored refrigerator that was handed down to us. Regardless, we managed to get most of it up and inside of that small one bedroom, with the help of many of our friends. You insisted I leave some things behind, and I choked back my argument, I swallowed my “no“, too shy then to say “these things matter to me.”

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Crystal Wrists

We were halfway out the drive-way when the music would start up. If we could have crossed state lines we would have, but we had to settle on crossing county dividers, instead. We were editing the plot as it unfolded before us.

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Marlene Dietrich’s Favourite Poem

You had a list of songs that you marked as mine, the ones you sang to me some nights, the ones you played when I lie there next to you, trembling, wanting, yours. You told me they were mine to keep, to take with me, to hold close when we were apart. But my young heart, needy and afraid, knew no song could replace being close together.

marlene dietrich 1932 - shangai express - by don english

Seven Veils

We drove by the Seven Veils every night we were in the city, passing it on the way to the liquor store that sold to the underage. It became a landmark, a vantage point, a sign of our fleeting innocence. The lights flashed brightly in our eyes, a temporary blind spot to cloud our next indiscretion.

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The Line Between the Devils Teeth (and That Which Cannot Be Repeat)

Before we took the keys, signed the lease, called it ours we used to take your motorcycle down the coast. The wind would whip my face, stinging like a slap, causing tears to come without permission. You took every curve a little bit faster, my hands gripping at the sides of your leather jacket, holding on, for dear life, as they say.

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Cuts You Up

I catch this one on the radio still, sometimes, and it takes me back to one night in late July, late at night, on a late for everything kind of moment. The crowd was thick, the room full of smoke and bodies pressing together, swaying and swirling, with this song spinning from the booth above. We saw each other at the same time, that momentary recognition, your smile slowly lighting up my way.

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A Strange Kind of Love

Without a doubt, my most favorite Peter Murphy song, as well as one of my most favorite love songs. Love like rebirth, like a new awakening, like the meeting up of darkness and light, exposed and intimate, both. A love like that, those great loves of one’s life, they do not come around all that often.

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Roll Call

When it was over there was no fighting between us, no harsh words, no dramatic goodbyes. It was just a fade into the distance kind of exit, a shadow falling, a curtain closed. I looked for you everywhere, but it would be years until I saw your face again staring back at mine.

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Roll Call (Reprise)

You were the first to say hello, to acknowledge my face, to take a stand. We talked in riddles, circling each other with surface conversations peppered with occasional knowing words. Neither of us showed our hand, both continuing the dizzy game of you first.

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Peter Murphy - Wild Birds - The Videos 2000

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