Editors’ Notes After nearly a decade of experimenting with the standard rock instrumentation of guitar, bass, and drums—first in punk bands, and then in the context of Dead Can Dance—Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry abandoned rock altogether on 1987’s Within the Realm of a Dying Sun. Armed only with synthesizers, a small chamber ensemble, and a book on scoring, the duo came up with a form of music almost totally unrelated to anything else in the pop world at that time. A reimagining of Celtic, pagan, and Gothic traditions, the songs play like rituals for open-air landscapes more than recorded pop songs. While it’s impressive that Gerrard and Perry (both in their mid-20s) essentially taught themselves how to score to make this album, its deepest power comes primarily from Gerrard’s vocals, which are like an orchestra unto themselves. This is the first album on which fans got a taste of her full range, from a low, mournful moan to the jarring operatic notes of her upper register. She manifests like lightning through a bank of storm clouds.

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