Dead Can Dance formed in Melbourne, Australia, in August 1981 with Paul Erikson on bass guitar, Lisa Gerrard (ex-Microfilm) on vocals, Simon Monroe (Marching Girls) on drums and Brendan Perry (Marching Girls) on vocals and guitar. Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry were also a domestic couple and they left Monroe in Australia when they and Paul Erikson moved to London in May 1982, where they signed with alternative rock label 4AD Records. With the duo, the initial United Kingdom line-up were James Pinker, Paul Erikson and Peter Ulrich.
Dead Can Dance (sometimes referred to as DCD) were an ethereal neoclassical world music duo which formed in Melbourne, Australia, in August 1981. Its mainstays were Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry. The band relocated to London in May 1982 and disbanded in 1998, but reunited temporarily for a world tour in 2005. Their 1996 album Spiritchaser reached No. 1 on the Billboard Top World Music Albums Chart. Australian music historian Ian McFarlane described Dead Can Dance as having an ambient style of world music that "constructed soundscapes of mesmerising grandeur and solemn beauty... with African polyrhythms, Gaelic folk, Gregorian chants, Middle Eastern mantras and art-rock".