“Time Has Got Nothing to Do with It”
Peter Murphy’s Love Hysteria album is another with close associations with Pam. She made me a mix tape early on in our relationship that began with Donovan’s “Hurdy Gurdy Man” (genius song!) and included the likes of Alphaville’s “Forever Young”, Real Life’s “Send Me an Angel”, and a one-two punch of “Dragnet Drag” and “Indigo Eyes” from Murphy.
(“Dragnet Drag” side note: I originally thought Murphy was singing “World-proof world” instead of “Whirlpools whirl” the first time I heard the song, and even though I’ve known the proper lyrics for decades, there is still a part of me that stubbornly maintains my reading of it would be just as appropriate.)
Like a lot of my punk attitude, my love of this music was unlocked by Pam but grew into something wholly my own. I devoured the entire Bauhaus genealogy: the original band, Dali’s Car, Tones on Tail, Love and Rockets, and all the other side and solo projects. Murphy’s first three solo albums (1986’s Should the World Fail to Fall Apart, 1988’s Love Hysteria, 1990’s Deep) were paramount to the expansion of my musical appreciation, and I love them equally to this day.
As much as I loved those two tracks Pam put on the mix tape, it was the quiet romance of “Time Has Got Nothing to Do with It” that really spoke to me. Love Hysteria was the first album with Murphy’s new backing band, the Hundred Men, and they positively shine on this love song. After a minute-and-a-half of subtle keyboards and ringing bells, Murphy’s rich vocals usher in a solid rhythm section, and the song evolves from delicate to muscular without ever feeling overwhelming.
Murphy’s lyrics here are understated, instead playing to a feeling more than any specific or overt emotion. While Love Hysteria is solid from beginning to end, “Time Has Got Nothing to Do with It” is the point at which Murphy truly finds his voice and steps from the looming shadows of his idols (Bowie and Iggy Pop) and his past (Bauhaus).