The Vinyl 180 label announced the release of the first of two Dead Can Dance box sets on November 2, this one being titled “DCD 1.” Vinyl 180 produces new vinyl editions of classic 80’s post-punk albums, remastered from original analogue tapes and pressed onto 180g heavyweight vinyl to capture the warmth and depth of sound that currently only vinyl can offer… just as they were meant to be heard. All releases are packaged in deluxe gatefold sleeves on heavyweight cardboard stock. The titles are distributed domestically through ADA.
“DCD1” features a newly designed BLACK box containing the debut DCD album, the “Garden Of The Arcane Delights” EP, the follow up album, “Spleen & Ideal” and for the very first time on vinyl the bands first John Peel Session from 1983.
A true cult act in every sense of the word, Dead Can Dance is 4AD’s biggest selling act.
In 1980, Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard, both of Anglo-Irish extraction, met in Melbourne, Australia. In 1982, they moved to London and the next year sign to 4AD. In March ‘84, they released their first album, a collection of the songs they have written over the previous four years. It is simply entitled “Dead Can Dance.”
The album artwork, a ritual mask from New Guinea, attempted to provide a visual reinterpretation of the meaning of the name “Dead Can Dance.” The mask, though once a living part of a tree is dead; nevertheless it has, through the artistry of its maker, been imbued with a life force of its own.
To understand why they chose the name, think of the transformation of inanimacy to animacy. Think of the processes concerning life from death and death into life. So many people missed the inherent symbolism, and assumed that they must be “morbid gothic types,” a mistake they deplored and deplore…
In late 1984 — as well as contributing two songs, “Dreams Made Flesh” and “Wave Become Wings,” to the first This Mortal Coil album, “It’ll End In Tears” — Dead Can Dance recorded a 12” EP, “Garden Of The Arcane Delights.”
The themes of the EP’s central song, “The Arcane,” were illustrated by the Brendan Perry drawing which appeared on the sleeve:
…The naked blindfolded figure, representing primal man deprived of perception, stands, within the confines of a garden (the world) containing a fountain and trees laden with fruit. His right arm stretches out – the grasping for knowledge – towards a fruit-bearing tree, its trunk encircled by a snake. In the garden wall – the wall between freedom and confinement – are two gateways: the dualistic notion of choice.
It is a Blakean universe in which mankind can only redeem itself, can only rid itself of blindness, through the correct interpretation of signs and events that permeate the fabric of nature’s laws. The primarily experimental structure of their second album, “Spleen and Ideal,” released at the beginning of 1986, dispelled any notion that the band deserved the post-Gothic label slapped on them by the music press.
“Spleen and Ideal” defined a new richness of unification between voice and music, lyrics and structure that suggested a concrete sense of the aural ideal the band were striving for.
The title of this album was taken from a piece of poetry from the 18th Century romantic poet, Baudelaire, and was chosen for the fact that it evoked the conflict between sinning flesh (spleen) and the struggle to realize the ideal.
Brendan summed it up by saying, “By nature of the lyrical sense, the tone, there was a two facetted aspect of a piece of music that celebrated the ideal, and also songs about the pain of relationships, and there danger and pitfalls, I felt that interlinked with the cover design, the symbolism and the overall feeling of these two aspects, it was right, because ‘Spleen and Ideal’ suggests a kind of mechanism, an interplay in human relationships and the world. Spleen being that aspect which robs the ideal of its efficacy and power to achieve that.’
The fourth disc of the set features, for the very first time on vinyl, the band’s first session for the late great BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel. John Peel’s diversity of choices of bands for his radio show sessions was part of his show’s huge appeal and John being a big admirer of Dead Can Dance was one of the first DJ’s to give the band exposure on national radio.
Recorded at BBC Maida Vale Studio 4 in London and broadcast on 28th November 1983 the line-up included: Brendan Perry on guitar vocals and percussion; Lisa Gerrard on vocals; James Pinker on percussion; and Peter Ulrich on drums. The four tracks recorded were “Instrumental,” “Labour of Love,” “Ocean” and “Threshold.”
The second session DCD recorded for the BBC will be included in the second DCD Boxed Set which will be released next year.
In 2009 Vinyl 180 worked with 4AD and Beggars Banquet labels, producing new super high quality versions of albums from Bauhaus, Cocteau Twins, The Cult, Gary Numan, Dead Can Dance, and DCD’s Lisa Gerrard. Earlier this Summer Vinyl 180 issued a special Gary Numan re-issue, a box set containing Replicas and The Pleasure Principle as well as a brand new release of the self titled debut album from Tubeway Army and a bonus disc, The Plan.
TRACK LISTINGS FOR THE LPs INCLUDED IN THE SET:
Dead Can Dance
1. The Fatal Impact
2. The Trial
6. East of Eden
8. A Passage In Time
9. Wild In The Woods
10. Musica Eternal
Spleen & Ideal
De Profundis (Out Of The Depths Of Sorrow)
3. Circumradiant Dawn
4. The Cardinal Sin
6. Enigma Of The Absolute
9. Indoctrination (A Design For Living)
Garden Of The Arcane Delights
1. Carnival Of Light
2. In Power We Entrust The
3. The Arcane
4. Flowers Of The Sea
John Peel Session 19-11-83
2. Labour of Love
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