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PostSubject: Dead Can Dance   Dead Can Dance Icon_minitimeSun Mar 06, 2011 3:44 pm

Dead Can Dance
Brendan Perry
Lisa Gerrard

Dead Can Dance Deadcandance

This is the ‘in’ thing to do yeah? Grab a band, and review their discography and hope everyone lavishes praise on them like you do. Thought this would become a pet project when I can’t be bothered finding some obscure album to review. Either way, within this thread I plan to navigate my way through Dead Can Dance’s discography, as well as some live/bootleg releases and possibly Perry’s and Gerrard’s work after the band disbanded. ‘A Passage In Time’ is both a song of theirs, as well as the name for their first official compilation album.
In 1981 an aspiring Melbournian quartet of musicians, Brendan Perry, Lisa Gerrard, Simon Monroe and Paul Erikson, joined together to form a band to be known as ‘Dead Can Dance’. Perry had previously replaced Marlon Hart as bassist/guitarist in an unsigned punk rock band ‘The Scavengers’ located in Auckland-New Zealand, taking over the vocal role in March, 1978. In 1979 the group migrated to Melbourne, Australia, and in 1980, they renamed themselves as ‘The Marching Girls’. They still failed to get a record contract, and in late 1980, Perry left the group, and it disbanded for all intensive purposes. Perry went on to experiment in electronic music for a short time before he announced his intentions in 1981, gathering former band buddy in Monroe, and adding vocalist Gerrard and Erikson. The group saw little promise in remaining in Melbourne, and decided to relocate to London, England, however, only Garrard and Perry made it across, Erikson and Monroe deciding to remain in Melbourne.

Whilst in London the now duo were signed onto 4AD, a popular label for underground musicians including Bauhaus, The Birthday Party, Cocteau Twins, This Mortal Coil and other alumni. The pair adopted a gothic rock style and sound in the early days, not uncommon in the era with The Cure/Joy Division/Clan of Xymox attacking the genre in similar ways, before branching out into various other genres such as classical, folk, medieval, electronic and world.

Their music stemmed from exciting and beautiful rhythm and percussion, poetic lyricism and the sublime vocals, the smooth and melancholic baritone voice that Perry had inherited and Gerrard’s powerful and breathtaking contralto vocals. The band was also ‘famous’ in a way for their amazing live performances, which not only emulated the intensity of the studio releases, but were also made up of a large percentage of unreleased material, meaning each show was unique beyond the performances. If you attended a Dead Can Dance concert, and were hoping for their most ‘widely acclaimed’ 4-5 tracks and the rest of their new album, you were going to be disappointed.

Dead Can Dance Dead+Can+Dance+Dreams+made+flesh

The pair disbanded and went their separate ways in 1998 when their ‘personal relationship’ turned sour, after 17 years, 7 studio albums and countless bootlegs and live recordings. Perry released his lone full album in 1999, ‘Eye of the Hunter’ and has since remained ion relative solitude in his Church-cum-home in Ireland, whilst Gerrard moved back to Australia, and has since released some solo work in ‘The Mirror Pool’ and ‘Silver Tree’, as well as many collaborations and soundtracks, including various collaborations with Pieter Bourke, Patrick Cassidy and Hans Zimmer.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the mystical journey, and I hope you at least appreciate the majestic performances, the morose lows and the awe-inspiring highs that define Dead Can Dance.

Dead Can Dance (1984)
Spleen and Ideal (1985)
Within the Realm of a Dying Sun (1987)
The Serpent's Egg (1988)
Aion (1990)
Into The Labyrinth (1993)
Spiritchaser (1996)

Best of Dead Can Dance... Part 1
Best of Dead Can Dance... Part 2

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