Tabatha Jory

"Goth" is a subculture often misunderstood by the public. From its humble beginnings in the heels of post punk through to the present, it's adopted several music genres of music along the way, such as darkwave, industrial and gothic metal, but those have their very own dedicated scenes too. Gothic rock, on the other hand, virtually created the gothic subculture singlehandedly and in turn, goths continue to reshape and evolve the music.

This list covers gothic rock from its humble beginnings to present day and serves as a starting point for anyone interested in this dark, passionate music which has continued around four decades. From the bands that defined the genre to those redefining it now, Industrial radio: The History, The Heresy is your one way ticket to the dark side.

Note: I will not include groups whose important music genres are deathrock, coldwave, darkwave or post-punk (with few exceptions) because these aren't gothic rock, even though their genres may be related.

1978, England. The original punk movement had become a stale parody of itself, was held dead and post punk quickly took its place: an artistic, forward-thinking contrast to the former's crass and often harmful approach, fueled by punk, funk, disco, krautrock, dub and reggae. But something else was taking shape under England's gloomy skies. A new breed of baleful, mysterious and often morose music started to emerge, fueled by romanticism, theatricality along with a fascination with all things taboo, cryptic and morose.

In the beginning, it was referred to as "favorable punk", but when music journalists started throwing around the "gothic" label, it merely stuck for some reason. Maybe it was the dark lyrical content, or the spooky imagery, but it fit like a glove. When it comes to origin of the word "gothic" as a style of music, it was used by David Bowie to describe his 1974 album "Diamond Dogs" and in 1979, Joy Division was referred to by an interviewer as "gothic in comparison to the pop mainstream". Their supervisor Martin Hannett afterwards used "dancing music with gothic overtones" to advertise their postmortem record, Closer. Their are numerous other rumors of its origin, but as with the majority of music genres, music journalists only found it suitable to pigeonhole several acts with similar overtones.