Long before its black velvet and pale skin fashions crept into American malls, Goth music represented an underground movement led by fans who favored songs that tapped into the antisocial energy of punk but celebrated dark introspection, tempestuous atmospherics and visual panache. Rhino brings together influential bands that rarely or never participate in Gothic music compilations to create a fascinating cross-section of all matters pertaining to Goth with "A Life Less Lived: The Gothic Box"his four-disc boxed set-three CDs and one DVD-will be available September 19.

In support of the release, MTV2 will be airing a special episode of Subterranean on September 17th that will take a look at the history of Goth and play videos from new artists like The Editors and AFI to classic videos from the artists featured on the box set.

With 53 songs and 12 videos originally released between 1978 and 1998, this boxed set provides a uniquely comprehensive listen into the largest underground scene in the world. Or as the collection's producer, Liz Goodman, explains in the extensive liner notes, the box showcases "the essential hit bands from a scene that arguably never had hits."

A Life Less Lived builds on songs by Goth's cornerstone bands-including "Dead Souls" by Joy Division, "She's In Parties" by Bauhaus, "Spellbound" by Siouxsie & the Banshees, "Charlotte Sometimes" by The Cure and "Temple Of Love" by the Sisters Of Mercy. While many of the genre's progenitors reject the Goth label, their trailblazing music nonetheless led the way for the legion of bands that followed.

Over three discs, this diverse collection also explores Goth in all its mutations including: the unrepentant theatrics of Specimen; the anthemic mythologies created by Fields Of The Nephilim; the ethereal shimmer of Cocteau Twins and Dead Can Dance; the twisted blues and haunted lyrics of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds; the inspired lunacy of Alien Sex Fiend; the proto-industrial clatter of Throbbing Gristle; and modern Goths AFI. A Life Less Lived also includes music from Echo & The Bunnymen, The March Violets, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, Flesh For Lulu, and Virgin Prunes plus a trio of songs that follow The Southern Death Cult as it evolved into Death Cult and finally The Cult.

The DVD contains more than an hour of Goth music videos including Bauhaus' "Bela Lugosi's Dead," The Cure's "Lullaby," The Jesus And Mary Chain's "Head On," Ministry's "Stigmata" along with clips from The Sisters Of Mercy, Echo & The Bunnymen, Fields Of The Nephilim, The Mission (U.K.) and more.

The deluxe packaging features a track-by-track listing penned by Dave Thompson, author of the Goth history The Dark Reign Of Gothic Rock, as well as humorous how-to essays about dancing and clubbing Goth. The liner notes also contain an enlightening exploration of the word Goth by members of Bauhaus, The Damned, Love And Rockets, The Mission (U.K.) and Ogre of Skinny Puppy, who says, "I've always found the term to be much more of a 'label' to categorize, instead of remaining true to its origin or more romantic, historical relevance. Seemingly lost in the mists of time, the forever shape-shifting meanings of certain words give little to the authenticity or spirit."

A Life Less Lived: The Gothic Box: Track Listing:

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" - Siouxsie & 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 (U.K.)
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 Musquito" - Clan Of Xymox
15. "Incubus Succubus II" - Xmal Deutschland
16. "Starblood" - Cranes
17. "Ardera Sempre" - Miranda Sex Garden
18. "Blood Bitch" - Cocteau Twins
19. "The Arcane" - Dead Can Dance

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

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

Check out streams from "The Gothic Box" right here:

Rhino Party Player | Real Audio | Windows Lo | Windows Hi

(Streaming audio and/or video links may expire without notice)