Bauhaus – ‘Shadow of Light’ UK VHS cassette (Kace International, KIP 2 006 D, 1983)

This is the original issue of this VHS cassette that I bought when it was first released in late 1983. That year had been quite momentous for Bauhaus of course with their final album, tour and split and they had gained a level of popularity that they had been working towards for some time. As David J infamously opined in a contemporary interview, with ‘Spirit’ they had knocked on the door of recognition, with ‘Ziggy Stardust’ they decided that it was time to boot it in. There’s no doubt that part of the appeal was their visual edge and the promo videos were all part of this (even if at the time in the UK, it was never easy to actually see these with any regularity).

Bauhaus 'Shadow of Light' front cover design

^ Bauhaus ‘Shadow of Light’ front cover design

So, for me, this video was a big deal. Not least the price – this was was still relatively early days of video releases and I can recall that this video cost something in the region of £20+, which was pretty astronomical compared to the budget for LPs and 45s I had – but such was my fixation with the band at the time, and the near mythical status of some of the videos, that it had to be done. ‘Mask’ for example had been subject of an article about its making by the production company, Standard Pictures, in the NME in June 1982, focusing on how they conjured a pseudo-horror clip in a low-budget fashion filming at night in a disused location. With only three television channels in the UK at the time, it had never been aired, so it just had to be seen by this means, along with the infamous footage from the Old Vic theatre (where their fans had ripped up seating, much to the outrage of the venue).

Bauhaus 'Shadow of Light' rear cover design

^ Bauhaus ‘Shadow of Light’ rear cover design

A mixture of their promo clips and footage from that gig, it is of its time and is on the short side but captures the bands aesthetic as it progresses. The ‘performance’ promo videos of ‘Telegram Sam’, ‘Spirit’ and ‘Ziggy Stardust’ show an increasing degree of polish. ‘Mask’ is quite primitive in retrospect, bigger on ideas than execution, though you can forgive that given the miniscule budget available, while by the time of ‘She’s in Parties’ the budget has been upped a good bit and it shows.

Bauhaus 'Shadow of Light' and 'Archive spines

^ Bauhaus ‘Shadow of Light’ and ‘Archive spines

The live performances from the Old Vic are quite something and capture Bauhaus in the finest of form – only four, but highly charged in the case of Rosegarden Funeral of Sores and In the Flatfield, more of this footage would emerge later on the ‘Archive’ video, but that is another story…

Bauhaus 'Shadow of Light' front cover design

^ Bauhaus ‘Shadow of Light’ front cover design

There have been quite a number of video cassette issues of this on various labels, a later Beggars Banquet release would swop the colourway on the front cover from red to purple. Both ‘Shadow of Light’ and ‘Archive’ would eventually be paired together for a DVD release in 2005.

Bauhaus 'Shadow of Light' rear cover design

^ Bauhaus ‘Shadow of Light’ rear cover design

Bauhaus 'Shadow of Light' label design

^ Bauhaus ‘Shadow of Light’ label design

2 Responses to “Bauhaus – ‘Shadow of Light’ UK VHS cassette (Kace International, KIP 2 006 D, 1983)”

  1. This was one of my favorite music videos of all time. By 1984, there were hip record store in town where one could rent rare and import music videos and this one had gotten a US release on an obscure video company called I.V.M. [who had also released The Stranglers “The Collection”] and this one had a lot of fans. This had all of the playability of an album and it reached a lot of eyeballs. I had [shh] duped the tape but in 1992, our Japanese friends released the program on laserdisc and I wasted no time in buying a copy, where it’s been a cherished part of my music vid collection ever since.

  2. admin says:

    Ahh, the wonder of Japanese laserdiscs!

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