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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

Comments

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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.
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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!
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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!
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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
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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!
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We need more of this. Less of today's "we'll call anything music."
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fredythefox
This is exactly what I was looking for ✯✯✯♛✯✯✯
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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!
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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.
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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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jcsnyder7
I miss this band so much. Lisa Gerrard is dazzling, and when I hear her on a movie soundtrack, I freeze and take her in.
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wow, the first paragraph of this bio is inspired. thanks.
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I try to turn as many people on to this music as I can ... younger generations are culturally deprived .
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Let's travel thru time and leap towards the future inter dimensional spaces .... Focus our core energy.....
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mandagrrl
This is the voice of God...
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I enjoyed them for years though their recording ,but sort of disapoinded last year in fox trap VA
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lesleyhawk
Did anyone see them in NYC in 1993? It was an incredible show. Lisa Gerrard was channeling from another world. Almost shamanistic.
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Their Music is what Music should sound like, they are the Best!
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A guy at a bus stop changed my life with this music.
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The Beacon Theatre built by Rockefeller with near perfect acoustics. August 30th, it was amazing. CD quality doesn't do their live performance justice. Again, it was amazing and worth the wait.
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Just saw them in Austin at Austin City Limits...was worth the 20 year wait!
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saw dcd at verizon hall in phila last night. absolutely captivating. the acoustics there are astounding. L & B's vocals are still top notch. so glad i finally got to see them live. try to get to a show if you can. you will be beyond enlightened.
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Kurt...saw them too...amazin g as always!!!
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Just saw DCD in San Diego, and they were as great as ever ! Long live Dead Can Dance....... . . . . . . . . . . . .
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Wow, I just bought my tickets for San Diego show. Can't wait , and I am pumped !
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I too got hooked on DCD the first time I heard them back in the late 80's now if pandora would play some Masters of Chant
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cmullenweg
They're touring again - I'm seeing them in September!
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I met one of the guys from 4AD records and he gave me back stage passes to a DCD show. I don't know if I could put it into words how incredible that night was ............ . . . . . .
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I got hooked to Lisa Gerrard the first time I watched the movie Gladiator. I find it moving, spiritual. I now use it when I meditate. Would anyone direct me to some more of her vocalization s ?
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Been close on twenty years since I was introduced to DCD.Aion was the album.Still love them;can't imagine not loving them..'not bad'? Oh well,to each their own.I prefer DCD.Vas have a similar sound,includ i n g vocal stylings,but I like them too.The singer,Azam Ali,has done a lot of solo work and I like her stuff.
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