We already thought we were original and ambitious, but we even surprised ourselves that day.David J Haskins / Bauhaus interview, Big Ups, 2018
The song was recorded 'live in studio' as part of a six-hour session, their first as a band. The 2018 reissue includes previously-unreleased material from the same session, including the songs "Some Faces", "Bite My Hip" and "Harry".
"Bela Lugosi's Dead" was released as a 12" single in August 1979 through Small Wonder.
The dark romanticism of 'Bela' was very appealing at that time in Britain. Coming out of punk, which addressed political discord and disenfranchised youth, where do you go after that? You create a place where you want to be. To transcend the mundane.David J Haskins / Bauhaus interview, Big Ups, 2018
The cover design is taken from a scene in D.W. Griffith's 1926 picture The Sorrows of Satan: