Both of Anglo-Irish descent, Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry met in Melbourne, Australia in 1980 (the duo worked in a Lebanese restaurant together in East Prahran, washing dishes to save money to go to London).
Spiritchaser (1996) was Dead Can Dance’s unforgettable swan song. The album presented the sound of a lost culture, where ethereal singing, overlapping harmonies, and trance-like tempos served to calm, relax, and enchant.
Exotic instrumentation abounded, but nothing seemed out of place – not even a borrowed melody from The Beatles‘ Within You Without You.
Instead of tricking out Rock & Roll traditions in a new all-black wardrobe, this intoxicating band offered a different point of entry into the world of Goth.
Here was the ethereal, the feminised, the tribal and the anciently mysterious – just the thing for girls and boys who liked to wander about in velvet pretending they had a pre-Raphaelite case of TB!
4AD eventually released all nine Dead Can Dance albums on CD – remastered by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab (MoFi) – with replica LP sleeves.
Beautifully presented in a velvet-covered box, each album included additional booklets with lyrics, album labels and extra images.
Gerrard and Perry’s punk roots shone through on such tracks as A Passage In Time, but Musica Eternal and Ocean put them on the same dreamy, delinquent shores as The Cocteau Twins.
Lisa Gerrard went on to work on the film scores for Ali, Mission: Impossible 2 and Gladiator. Perry and Gerrard came together again in 2005 for a live reunion.
Keyboards, vocals, arrangements