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Dead Can Dance

Dead Can Dance combine elements of European folk music -- particularly music from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance -- with ambient pop and worldbeat flourishes. Their songs are of lost beauty, regret and sorrow, inspiration and nobility, and of the everlasting human goal of attaining a meaningful existence.

Over the course of their career, Dead Can Dance have featured a multitude of members, but two musicians have remained at the core of the band -- guitarist Brendan Perry and vocalist Lisa Gerrard. Perry had previously been the lead vocalist and bassist for the Australian-based punk band the Scavengers, a group that was never able to land a recording contract. In 1979, the band changed its name to the Marching Girls, but still wasn't able to sign a contract. The following year, Perry left the group and began experimenting with electronic music, particularly tape loops and rhythms. In 1981, Perry formed Dead Can Dance with Lisa Gerrard, Paul Erikson, and Simon Monroe. By 1982, Perry and Gerrard decided to relocate to London; Erikson and Monroe decided to stay in Australia.

Within a year, Dead Can Dance had signed a record deal with 4AD. In the spring of 1984, they released their eponymous debut album, comprised of songs the pair had written in the previous four years. By the end of the year, the group had contributed two tracks to It'll End in Tears, the first album by This Mortal Coil, and had released an EP called Garden of the Arcane Delights. In 1985, Dead Can Dance released their second album, Spleen and Ideal. The album helped build their European cult following, peaking at number two on the U.K. indie charts.

For the next two years, Dead Can Dance were relatively quiet, releasing only two new songs in 1986, both which appeared on the 4AD compilation Lonely Is an Eyesore. Within the Realm of a Dying Sun, the group's third album, appeared in 1986. In 1988, the band released its fourth album, The Serpent's Egg, and wrote the score for the Agustí Villaronga film El Niño de la Luna, which also featured Lisa Gerrard in her acting debut.

Aion, Dead Can Dance's fifth album, was released in 1990. Also in 1990, the group toured America for the first time, earning rave reviews. The following year, the group was involved in various festivals and theatrical productions. In 1991, the compilation A Passage in Time was released on Rykodisc, making it the first American release of Dead Can Dance music. Early in 1993, the group provided the score to Baraka and contributed songs to Sahara Blue. In the fall of 1993, they released Into the Labyrinth, which became their first proper studio album to receive an American release. Into the Labyrinth was a cult success throughout the U.S. and Europe. It was followed by another American and European tour, which was documented on the 1994 album and film Toward the Within. In 1995, Lisa Gerrard released her debut solo album, The Mirror Pool.

In the summer of 1996, Dead Can Dance released Spiritchaser and embarked on an international tour. The duo officially disbanded in 1999; Gerrard continued working as a solo artist and composed music for films such as Heat, The Insider, and Gladiator. Perry also established a solo career, issuing Eye of the Hunter in 2000. In 2001, Rhino released the band's first comprehensive box set, Dead Can Dance 1981-1998. Rumors of their reunion also began to swirl around this time; however, Gerrard's solo career remained steadfast. Her work with composer Patrick Cassidy, Immortal Memory, followed in 2004. Several months later, Gerrard and Perry made it official and reunited for a world tour. Dates in North America and Europe followed in 2005, while Rhino once more recognized the duo with a greatest-hits collection. Memento: The Very Best of Dead Can Dance appeared in October 2005. The band embarked on a world tour in August 2012 in support of the release of a brand-new studio album, Anastasis. The tour was documented on the 2013 release In Concert. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine & Vladimir Bogdanov
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: In Concert

1. Children Of The Sun (Live)

2. Anabasis (Live)

3. Rakim (Live)

4. Kiko (Live)

6. Sanvean (Live)

7. Nierika (Live)

8. All In Good Time (Live)

9. Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove (Live)

10. Song To The Siren (Live)

11. Return Of The She-King (Live)

x

Track List: Anastasis

1. Children Of The Sun

2. Anabasis

3. Agape

4. Amnesia

5. Kiko

6. Opium

7. Return Of The She-King

8. All In Good Time

x

Track List: Memento

1. Nierika

3. Cantara

4. The Carnival Is Over

5. Ariadne

6. Enigma Of The Absolute

7. The Lotus Eaters

8. In The Kingdom Of The Blind The One-Eyed Are Kings

9. Sanvean

11. The Song Of The Sibyl

14. The Host Of Seraphim

x

Track List: Into The Labyrinth

1. Yulunga (Spirit Dance)

2. The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove

4. The Carnival Is Over

5. Ariadne

9. The Spider's Stratagem

11. How Fortunate The Man With None

x

Track List: A Passage In Time

1. Saltarello

2. Song of Sophia

3. Ullyses

4. Cantara

5. The Garden of Zephirus

6. Enigma of the Absolute

7. Wilderness

8. The Host of Seraphim

9. Anywhere out of the World

10. The Writing on my Fathers Hand

11. Severance

12. The Song of the Sybil

13. Fortune Presents Gifts not According to the Book

14. In the Kingdom of the Blind The One-Eyed are Kings

15. Bird

16. Spirit

x

Track List: Aion

x

Track List: The Serpent's Egg

1. The Host Of Seraphim

3. Severance

4. The Writing On My Father's Hand

5. In The Kingdom Of The Blind The One-Eyed Are Kings

10. Ullyses

x

Track List: Dead Can Dance

1. The Fatal Impact

2. The Trial

3. Frontier

4. Fortune

5. Ocean

6. East of Eden

7. Threshold

8. A Passage in Time

9. Wild in the Woods

10. Musica Eternal

11. Carnival of Light

12. In Power We Entrust the Love Advocated

13. The Arcane

14. Flowers of the Sea

x

Track List: Within The Realm Of A Dying Sun

1. Anywhere Out Of The World

2. Windfall

6. Cantara

7. Summoning Of The Muse

8. Persephone (The Gathering Of Flowers)

Comments

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gpatton
Shakes the soul, moves the heart, tantalizes thought..... . a n d one thought is that they were gone....Dead . . . . . . Say it's not true
Report as inappropriate
U know Cantara? no? well
U hv to wait till about 2:20 in, then it takes off
A lively, exotic, compelling Mideast flavored treat
If this doesn't bring life to your soul you're stone cold dead
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Anywhere Out of the World is dark wave music at its best.
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You wouldn't expect that they are actually great live. I saw them touring Aeon at a theater on the UCLA campus with what was basically a chamber orchestra. Lisa Gerrard is absolutely amazing. She sang beautifully while playing a hammered dulcimer
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I heard the haunting sound of a woman in painful loss. I heard these same voice I listened to in the theme of the movie GLADIATOR. I loved the movie, but more than that I loved the music. Listened over and over, found her name in the credits. I AM HEARING refrain from movie ON PONDEROSA MUSIC RIGHT NOW. I've added a new station and enjoying all the mystical music she recorded.

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lisa gerrard's vocals are (forgive the pun) utterly brilliant. she can sing anything and without lyrics can emote such genuine emotion and touch everyone's soul who is blessed to hear her sing.
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Best happy music ever:
We watch the life force fade away
And that's the price we shall have to pay
Once you are dead
How could the children have known
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No other vocalist on this planet has the ability to stop me in my tracks just with the sound of their voice. Lisa Gerrard is the human equivalent of Metatron.
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Lisa Gerrard sounds exactly as angels must sound in heaven. She is amazing!
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leighbster75
This song wus in The Legend of the Guardians:Th e Owls of Ga'Hoole!!!! !
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This gives me deep chills.Her voice is unparalleled . M u c h love for this song.
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My DCD favs: Kiko, Cantara, Anabasis
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Thanks Becky Ak for the signpost!
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Shape shifting music ...ancient humanity arising through today's DNA....amazi n g trip.
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Soul nourshing, healing and emotionally thought provoking on so many levels. It would be amazing to have the opportunity to see them perform live.
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this song always makes me want to put on a black dress and black lipstick and peacock feathers. then i ahem haw spit and smoke a pack of cigarettes and drink six beers and grow a beard whut? nevermind
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The carnival is over....bril l i a n t ! ! !
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Omg! Other worldly
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This was the best song in the world
Report as inappropriate

I
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gio.stanzani
you are a lucky one!
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After years of listening to their music I had the great opportunity to see them live in Chicago outside at Millennium Park. A truly memorable experience and one of the best concerts I have seen to date. They project such feeling and strength in their music. Nice to know they are still creating.
Report as inappropriate
It brings me great joy to know that these people are on the Planet at this time.
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krj972
Just picked up Anastasis, incredible album. Not really surprising I guess. Brendan and Lisa, we need more!
Report as inappropriate
LISA WILL U SING A SONG. Just a few lyrics really. DONDE ESTA MI MAMA from a funny play I wrote about Mama with Alzheimer's hanging with me her silly fun crazy a** son, Emmanuel!
Tag line: JUST BECAUSE THEY've lost their memories. Doesn't mean u can't create new ones!
Report as inappropriate
They truly stand alone
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Chalazon, it IS the voice of the Goddess, isn't it? Well, fine, with that God in the background, too, I suppose, but you and I both know that the Goddess has the power!
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Great song!
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Then there's Dead can Dance...
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Id love to see these guys at least once in my lifetime lol
Report as inappropriate
NYC show was one to remember :)
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krj972
Right you are wintersun and his solo work is excellent as well. Love the album Ark.
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yes! I LOVIN this! wot a superb groove goin on! brilliant!
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Brendan isn't just a guitarist, he's a lead vocalist too!
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brilliant! haunting and magical.
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What a unique treat.
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Wow, this is SO beautiful I just start crying! I discovered this band back in the 80's (I think) but I've heard so little of what they did, I'll really have to get the rest!
Report as inappropriate
We need more of this. Less of today's "we'll call anything music."
Report as inappropriate
fredythefox
This is exactly what I was looking for ✯✯✯♛✯✯✯
Report as inappropriate
poeticfyre
Wildly haunting...S p i r i t Moving
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This is the voice of the Goddess....
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loved this song since I heard it in the movie the mist
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Love these artist. Both Brendan and Lisa are in a world of music above many others. I was first introduced to DcD in Arizona at a head shop called happy trails almost 20 years ago! That day I purchase every cd they made. Now 20 years later I still listen on my I phone and continue to appreciate these artists!
Report as inappropriate
Endurance as in Perseverance . As in Existance...
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Dead can Dance as Long as Life can Endure...
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krj972
DCD is in a class of their own. In a world were so much music is nothing but noise pollution it is nice to treat the ears and the mind to such fantastic sounds.
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1970bevo
Such a short biography for such an important and impactful group that has influenced many bands and people globally.
Report as inappropriate
Try listening to this in the Middle East. You will leave your body and float above the planet. Mind blowing.
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I concur totally @parkavenueb l u e s . . . a guy a bus stop changed my life with this music.
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parkavenuebl u e s
Attaining a meaningful existence(as stated in the liner notes) is listening gathering,an d absorbing all the beauty of DCD.
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