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Life Less Lived: The Gothic Box

4.1 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In his insightful notes for Rhino's unprecedented new box, Goth expert Mick Mercer writes, Goth blossomed on the gritty soil of punk; forever indebted, essentially different. It has survived all manner of invective and unhealthy assumptions to become a shining example of music made because it needs to be, not because of anything the performers expect to get out of it. This is art which gets inside your heart. The artists featured on this 3CD & 1 DVD collection, the most comprehensive of its kind, indeed created affecting music about what passionately mattered to them, and what started as intense personal expression evolved into a 'lifestyle' for the core audience who most embraced its deep and dark ethos. Reveling in introspection and entranced with sex, death, the life of the mind, and musical poetry, Goth's power to fascinate has never waned, making it one of the most complex and enduring sub-sets of underground music ever.

Amazon.com

Yes, I was one of those kids: big, messy hair; black clothes; makeup on the weekends; surly demeanor with everyone but my friends. But my friends were legion. And what bonded us all? Goth music--dark, arty, dramatic, epic, apocalyptic. It gave us focus and refuge during those formative years. Now, it appears some of those kids have grown up and started working for Rhino. A Life Less Lived: The Gothic Box hones in on the territory started by their expansive Left of the Dial box set and gives it a smear of red lipstick and a down-turned glance. And in usual Rhino fashion, it's lovingly designed (the slipcase is a faux-leather corset!), with an extensive booklet that will answer all of your questions about goth, and this box set in particular. It will be needed. One can already hear the cries of "What about...?," "Why that song?," and "Is that goth?" These questions are addressed and gotten out of the way in quick succession. Rhino has the cachet to pull together artists that wouldn't normally be part of such a box set, so they rightly concentrate on including the biggies (the Cure, Bauhaus, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Sisters of Mercy). Also present less well-known bands, such as Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, the March Violets, and the Virgin Prunes. What about the Jesus and Mary Chain, the Misfits, and Echo & the Bunnymen? Are they goth? Not strictly, but every goth I knew loved them. There's even an "instructional" essay for those new to the scene, and a cover of the Cure's "The Hanging Garden" by new-schoolers A.F.I. to bring in the uninitiated. Go on, break out those velvet vests and pointy boots and put this on--it's still amazingly vibrant stuff. --Robert Arambel

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Dead Souls -- Joy Division
  2. Charlotte Sometimes -- The Cure
  3. She's In Parties -- Bauhaus
  4. Temple Of Love -- The Sisters Of Mercy
  5. Christian Says -- Tones On Tail
  6. Mutiny In Heaven -- The Birthday Party
  7. Spellbound -- Siouxie & the Banshees
  8. Fatman -- The Southern Death Cult
  9. Mirror People -- Love And Rockets
  10. Power -- Fields Of The Nephilim
  11. Now I'm Feeling Zombified -- Alien Sex Fiend
  12. Snake Dance -- The March Violets
  13. Walking On Your Hands -- Red Lorry Yellow Lorry
  14. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang -- Specimen
  15. Wasteland -- The Mission UK
  16. The Grip Of Love -- Ghost Dance
  17. His Box -- Dali's Car

Disc: 2

  1. The Weeping Song -- Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
  2. Exterminating Angel -- The Creatures
  3. God's Zoo -- Death Cult
  4. Heartache -- Gene Loves Jezebel
  5. I Go Crazy -- Flesh For Lulu
  6. Cuts You Up -- Peter Murphy
  7. Open Your Eyes -- The Lords Of The New Church
  8. Heaven Is Waiting -- The Danse Society
  9. All My Colours -- Echo & The Bunnymen
  10. Don't Fall -- The Chameleons UK
  11. Dreamland -- The Rose Of Avalanche
  12. Fall -- The Jesus And Mary Chain
  13. Coming Down Fast -- Daniel Ash
  14. Muscoviet Mosquito -- Clan Of Xymox
  15. Incubus Succubus II -- Xmal Deutshland
  16. Starblood -- Cranes
  17. Ardera Sempre -- Miranda Sex Garden
  18. Blood Bitch -- Cocteau Twins
  19. The Arcane -- Dead Can Dance
  20. Rain -- The Cult

Disc: 3

  1. Away -- The Bolshol
  2. Watch Without Pain -- Rubicon
  3. Pagan Lovesong -- Virgin Prunes
  4. Morning Dew -- Einsturzende Neubauten
  5. Hamburger Lady -- Throbbing Gristle
  6. To Blame -- Kommunity FK
  7. Melody Lee -- The Damned
  8. Romeo's Distress -- Christian Death
  9. Party Time -- 45 Grave
  10. Kiss -- London After Midnight
  11. Dieche -- Sex Gang Children
  12. Assimilate -- Skinny Puppy
  13. Halloween -- Misfits
  14. Tomorrow's World -- Killing Joke
  15. So What -- Ministry
  16. The Hanging Garden -- AFI

Disc: 4

  1. Lullaby [DVD] -- The Cure
  2. Bela Lugosi's Dead [DVD] -- Bauhaus
  3. Lucretia My Reflection [DVD] -- The Sisters Of Mercy
  4. Moonchild [DVD] -- Fields Of The Nephilim
  5. Deliverance [DVD] -- The Mission UK
  6. Ball Of Confusion [DVD] -- Love And Rockets
  7. Head On [DVD] -- The Jesus And Mary Chain
  8. The Killing Moon [DVD] -- Echo & The Bunnymen
  9. Where The Wild Roses Grow [DVD] -- Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
  10. Stigmata [DVD] -- Ministry
  11. Spiritwalker (Live) [DVD] -- The Cult
  12. Cities In Dust [DVD] -- Siouxie & the Banshees


Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 19, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B000GIWS4M
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,537 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I am completely pleased to see something like this come out in the year 2006. For those who are just discovering gothic rock, and for us seasoned veterans, this collection is exceptional. I do have some bones with it...AFI is a good band but hardly goth. And where are bands like Inkubus Sukkubus? Die Laughing? Switchblade Symphony? Big Electric Cat? The Shroud? Ofra Haza? And they certainly could have picked a better Neubauten song!! But I digress...this is a great collection. The DVD rocks, the music rocks. Check it out for yourself.
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Format: Audio CD
Well, No matter what the last person said ... I think it's a great compilation ... Great songs, great music vids. Could have had more Sisters on it though.... But over all there is nothing wrong with the selection. If you are new to Gothic music.... I mean REAL Gothic Rock... not NuGoth, Scary-Trans, Darkmetal, Black Polka, Doom-yodelling or any of the other weak spin-offs of the `90's and 2000's... than this Little Black box of "inner-morbid-heartaches and boo-hoo's" is as great a place to start as any.

5 skeletal thumbs up.
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Format: Audio CD
I really love this box set. I grew up in the age of goth was around for it's birth. Of course at the time I never considered myself a goth in anyway and I wouldn't have looked the part either. But the music is another thing altogether and I truly loved the music that became known as GOTH. This is great example of some great songs from the goth age and well represented across the genre and through time. Although I owned most of these songs already, either on CD or Vinyl, there were some gems in the mix that I didn't have. I also liked the DVD, which features some videos for songs that didn't make it onto the music CD's themselves. My friends and I had a great laugh as well when we read the instructions on how to dance goth. As funny as it read, it was dead on with my memory of how "goths" danced at the clubs I visited in my youth and maybe, just maybe, it rubbed off on how I danced at the time as well. All in all a Life Less Lived is a great box set for those who love goth or for those who wish to get a definitive initiation into the goth music genre.
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Format: Audio CD
The liner for this compilation pretty much sums it up. Goth music was created in the UK by people who watched the late night creature feature and who read Shelly, Stoker,etc. Some of these artists were romantics and some wanted to be like Alice Cooper (Nik Fiend).

This is a great introduction to what truly defined the Goth music movement and how it intertwined with Punk, New Wave, and EBM. However, I must argue that AFI really is not goth and never will be. Plus, while Flesh for Lulu was technically concidered a Goth band, "Ï Go Crazy" is not a Goth song. I would have eliminated AFI and used "Reptile" by The Church.
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Format: Audio CD
Three stars because I mostly enjoyed what was on here - and found more than a few tracks that I never heard before and enjoyed a lot - but not five stars because there's not nearly enough music.

I would have much preferred a fourth disc of music to a DVD. And the DVD only has twelve videos - maybe an hour long, if that. A DVD can easly hold, what? 2 1/2 to 3 hours of material? There's a LOT of wasted space there.

The first two discs are good. (I don't understand the need to include an Ian Astbury (Southern Death Cult, Death Cult, The Cult) track on each of the three discs, but other than that, good stuff.) Kudos for NOT including "Bela Lugosi's Dead", which we've all heard waaaaay too many times.

This set was worth it for me because of bands and songs I had never heard before. Revelations for me were Nick Cave and The Birthday Party, Alien Sex fiend, The Mission UK, The Creatures, The Cranes, Fields of the Nephilim, and (surprisingly for me) Echo and the Bunnymen. These bands are probably old news for you long-time Goths out there (I can hear you snickering!!) , but I didn't get out much back then. Poor me.

I bought this expecting to find bands and songs I hadn't heard before, and the third disc had too much familiar (and as many here have pointed out, arguably non-gothic) material. The Misfits I've listened to since high school (too long ago). Ministry and Skinny Puppy, I got those when they came out.

And the only bum tracks for me were on the third disc - The Virgin Prunes I didn't like at all and Throbbing Gristle is just completely annoying. So the third disc was, for me, largely useless.

If you're a brand new Goth, this is a good place to start in your quest to get into some new/old music.
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Format: Audio CD
A very good compilation that includes crossover bands like Joy Division, The The Cure, The Cult and other "big name" goths like Sisters of Mercy, Dead Can Dance, Bauhaus & Nick Cave. Compares favorably to Cleopatra's "Gothic Rock vols. I & II," which was the last comprehensive effort I have seen to really represent the Goth movement, but didn't include any of those bands. The Gothic Box also drifts into Industrial (Ministry, Skinny Puppy, Killing Joke), and includes some more obscure entries, too. Very highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Though this box set is called "Goth," it's no visit to the Batcave! It is however a nice compilation of the darker side of the 80's. From the more well known and popular artists like Joy Division, Siouxsie, Eho & the Bunnymen and Gene Loves Jezabel to the lesser well known acts like 45 Grave, Southern Death Cult (later became the Cult) and the Fields of Nephilim, this box set is more of a pop comp of great acts that can be classified as Goth but not solely such.

Make no mistake, the box set comes with a wonderful booklet about Goth culture and even in it's "Porducer's Notes", Liz Goodman tells you The Gothic Box is not meant to be any kind of quintessential but merely a general introduction.

You wont find rare b-sides or forgotten tracks from these "Goth" artists, but what you will find are the more popular faire--and that's OK! This Goth Box is really"Goth" for the non-Goth.

What is unique about this compilation is the included DVD. It contains live and produced music videos from Bauhaus, The Cure, Echo & The Bunnymen, the JAMC, Ministry, The Cult, Siouxsie, the Fields of Nephilim, the Mission UK, Nick Cave and even Love & Rockets. It's this DVD that makes this compilation worth the investment.

For people into this genre of music (however you classify it), most of us have to rely on highly compressed youtube videos or having to purchase several compilation DVDS to get all these artists. For the first time in a long time, you can listen and watch several of these lost bands all on one DVD.
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