Having been a fan of Dead Can Dance since only the year 2000, it is with sadness that I say I was unable to discover their musical style and lyrical aptitude as they originally delivered it to their fans: over the course of fifteen years. Disbanding, in the most literal sense of the word, in 1996, Dead Can Dance has left for us a twelve-album set, which includes their two final album releases as a box-set and best-of collection from the years. The chronological discography of these albums, as well as a track listing for each item, follows, and includes three solo albums released by Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard. Some of the albums are harder to get than others, some live and some studio-recorded, and some with tracks found on other albums, though most not.

The music of Dead Can Dance is often described as gothic, but as has been said many times, by many people, attempting to categorize the wide range of music provided by the band's two chief members, Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard, is an act of folly. To categorize is to stereotype, and to classify is to constrict. It's simple to say that some artists fit into the categories into which they fit: Dolly Parton was obviously a country singer; Miles Davis a jazz musician, and Britney Spears apparently only ever had one song, but it's not so simple to say that Dead Can Dance fits any particular category. Consistently throughout the years of its existence, DCD created its own genre and influenced the world of music around it. Though the music carries with it the inspiration from music throughout the world and has been called gothic, new-age, neo-classical, medieval and world, the only way to properly classify the music of Dead Can Dance is to say that it is in the genre of Dead Can Dance.

I was first introduced to Dead Can Dance in the springtime of the first year of the new millennium. I was, at the time, experiencing some personal discord and was trying to find a solid ground on which I could stand. The first few tracks I heard were from the live album Toward the Within, and it was an entirely stirring and different experience. The emotions the music helped me experience were powerful enough to have them remain my favorite performers to this day. One can't help but notice how strongly the voices of Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard compliment one another, and indeed one is forced to take note of the power of their voices in all of their albums as some songs contain no music whatsoever, a testament to the ability of their words and voices to carry the listener through. That isn't to say that the music they create is undeserving of regard: a wide range of instruments accompany most songs with emphasis on woodwinds and percussion. The music and the words are consistently harmonious and show the polished musical abilities of the songwriters.

There are only so many words to say before becoming repetitive, so the end-encouragement is to listen to the music yourself. Unknowingly, you have probably already heard either the music of Dead Can Dance or of Lisa Gerrard as a solo-artist: their music has been featured in films such as Baraka, El Nino de la Luna, The Insider, Gladiator, The 13th Warrior, Ali, Heat, and their music has been sampled by other artists such as Delerium, Paul Oakenfold, and Orkidea. First-time listeners are encouraged to first hear Toward the Within, a private concert in 1994 for which attendance was made available only by invitation. The performance was fortunately recorded by the presenters and released on CD and is a wonderfully well put together selection of music, containing some songs from previous albums, unreleased songs, covered songs, songs without words, songs without music, songs in English, songs not in English, and combinations of these, and is an ideal sampler as an introductory work for new listeners.

This discography is presently known to be complete. Omitted are some live bootlegs that are extremely rare and of low quality, which typically have songs already on another live or original albums.

Enjoy the music.

  • Dead Can Dance (1984, 4AD Records)
    • The Fatal Impact
    • The Trial
    • Frontier
    • Fortune
    • Ocean
    • East of Eden
    • Threshold
    • A Passage in Time
    • Wild in the Woods
    • Musica Eterna
  • Spleen And Ideal (1985, 4AD Records)
    • De Profundis (out of the depths of sorrow)
    • Ascension
    • Circumradiant Dawn
    • The Cardinal Sin
    • Mesmerism
    • Enigma of the Absolute
    • Advent
    • Avatar
    • Indoctrination (a design for living)
  • Within The Realm Of A Dying Sun (1987, 4AD Records)
    • Anywhere Out Of The World
    • Windfall
    • In The Wake Of Adversity
    • Xavier
    • Dawn Of The Iconoclast
    • Cantara
    • Summoning Of The Muse
    • Persephone (the gathering of flowers)
  • The Serpent's Egg (1988, 4AD Records)
    • The Host Of Seraphim
    • Orbis De Ignis
    • Severance
    • The Writing On My Father's Hand
    • In The Kingdom Of The Blind The One-Eyed Are Kings
    • Chant Of The Paladin
    • Song Of Sophia
    • Echolalia
    • Mother Tongue
    • Ullyses
  • Aion (1990, 4AD Records)
    • The Arrival and the Reunion
    • Saltarello
    • Mephisto
    • The Song of the Sibyl
    • Fortune Presents Gifts not According to the Book
    • As the Bell Rings the Maypole Spins
    • The End of Words
    • Black Sun
    • Wilderness
    • The Promised Womb
    • The Garden of Zephirus
    • Radharc
  • A Passage In Time (1991, Rykodisc Records)
    • Saltarello
    • Song Of Sophia
    • Ullyses
    • Cantara
    • The Garden Of Zephirus
    • Enigma Of The Absolute
    • Wilderness
    • The Host Of Seraphim
    • Anywhere Out Of The World
    • The Writing On My Father's Hand
    • Severance
    • The Song Of The Sibyl
    • Fortune Presents Gifts Not According To The Book
    • In the Kingdom Of The Blind The One-eyed Are Kings
    • Bird
    • Spirit
  • Into the Labyrinth (1993, 4AD Records)
    • Yulunga (spirit dance)
    • The Ubiquitous Mr Lovegrove
    • The Wind That Shakes the Barley
    • The Carnival Is Over
    • Ariadne
    • Saldek
    • Toward The Within
    • Tell Me About The Forest (you once called home)
    • The Spider's Stratagem
    • Emmeleia
    • How Fortunate The Man With None
  • Toward the Within (1994, live performance also videotaped)
    • Rakim
    • Persian Love Song
    • Desert Song
    • Yulunga (spirit dance)
    • Piece For Solo Flute
    • The Wind That Shakes The Barley
    • I Am Stretched On Your Grave
    • I Can See Now
    • American Dreaming
    • Cantara
    • Oman
    • Song Of The Sibyl
    • Tristan
    • Sanvean
    • Don't Fade Away
  • Spiritchaser (1996)
    • Nierika
    • Song Of The Stars
    • Indus
    • Song Of The Dispossessed
    • DedicacĂ© Outò
    • The Snake And The Moon
    • Song Of The Nile
    • Devorzhum
  • The Mirror Pool (Lisa Gerrard, 1995)
    • Violina (The Last Embrace)
    • La Bas (Song of the Drowned)
    • Persian Love Song (The Silver Gun)
    • Sanvean (I Am Your Shadow)
    • The Rite
    • Ajhon
    • Glorafin
    • Majhnavea's Music Box
    • Largo
    • Werd
    • Laurelei
    • Celon
    • Venteles
    • Swans
    • Nilleshna
    • Gloradin
  • Duality (Lisa Gerrard & Pieter Bourke, 1998)
    • Shadow Magnet
    • Tempest
    • Forest Vale
    • The Comforter
    • Unfolding
    • Pilgrimage of Children
    • The Human Game
    • Circulation of Shadows
    • Sacrifice
    • Nadir
  • The Eye Of The Hunter (Brendan Perry, 1999)
    • Saturday's Child
    • Voyage Of Bran
    • Medusa
    • Sloth
    • I Must Have Been Blind
    • The Captive Heart
    • Death Will Be My Bride
    • Archangel
  • Dead Can Dance 1981-1998 <BOX SET> (2001)
    • Disc 1
      • Frontier (Demo)
      • Labour of Love (Radio)
      • Ocean (Demo)
      • Orion (Radio)
      • Threshold (Radio)
      • Carnival Of Light (Radio)
      • In Power We Entrust The Love Advocated
      • De Profundis (Out Of The Depths Of Sorrow)
      • Avatar
      • Enigma Of The Absolute
      • Summoning Of The Muse
      • Anywhere Out Of The World
      • Windfall
      • Cantara
      • In The Kingdom Of The Blind The One-Eyed Are Kings
      • Bird
      • The Protagonist
    • Disc 2
      • Severance
      • The Host Of Seraphim
      • Song Of Sophia
      • The Arrival & The Reunion
      • Black Sun
      • The Promised Womb
      • Saltarello
      • The Song Of The Sibyl
      • Spirit
      • Yulunga
      • The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove
      • Sloth (Radio)
      • Bylar
      • The Carnival Is Over
      • The Spider's Stratagem
      • The Wind That Shakes The Barley (radio)
      • How Fortunate The Man With None
    • Disc 3
      • I Can See Now
      • American Dreaming
      • Tristan
      • Sanvean
      • Rakim
      • Gloridean
      • Don't Fade Away
      • Niereka
      • Song Of The Nile
      • Sambataki
      • Indus
      • The Snake & The Moon (Edit)
      • The Lotus Eaters
  • Wake: Best of Dead Can Dance (2003)
    • Disc 1
      • Frontier (Demo)
      • Anywhere Out of the World
      • Enigma of the Absolute
      • Carnival of Light
      • In Power We Entrust the Love Advocated
      • Summoning of the Muse
      • Windfall
      • In the Kingdom of the Blind the One-Eyed Are Kings
      • Host of Seraphim
      • Bird
      • Cantara
      • Severance
      • Saltarello
      • Black Sun
    • Disc 2
      • Yulunga
      • Carnival Is Over
      • Lotus Eaters
      • Rakim
      • Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove
      • Sanvean
      • Song of the Nile
      • Spider's Stratagem
      • I Can See Now
      • American Dreaming
      • Nierika
      • How Fortunate the Man With None

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