Passion

Peter Gabriel

Released 05 June 1989

  1. The Feeling Begins
  2. Gethsemane
  3. Of These, Hope
  4. Lazarus Raised
  5. Of These, Hope (Reprise)
  6. In Doubt
  7. A Different Drum
  8. Zaar
  9. Troubled
  10. Open
  11. Before Night Falls
  12. With This Love
  13. Sandstorm
  14. Stigmata
  15. Passion
  16. With This Love (Choir)
  17. Wall Of Breath
  18. The Promise Of Shadows
  19. Disturbed
  20. It Is Accomplished
  21. Bread And Wine

Liner notes

I have put together two albums around the music of The Last Temptation of Christ. This album is my work; the other, Passion Sources, represent a selection of some of the traditional music, sources of inspiration and location recordings. I was excited to be asked to work on the music. When I first discussed the project with Martin Scorsese in 1983, I wanted to find out how he was intending to film this controversial novel. He wanted to present the struggle between the humanity and divinity of Christ in a powerful and original way, and I was convinced by his commitment to the spiritual content and message. He is an excellent and very musical director and working with him has been a great experience.

After we finished mixing the film there were some unfinished ideas that needed developing and I took some extra time to complete this record. There are several pieces that were not able to be included in the film and I felt the record should be able to stand as a separate body of work. I chose the working title for the film— Passion.

We recorded some of the finest singers and soloists in the field of world music and set the score on a backdrop of traditional North African rhythms and sounds. It was a wonderful experience working with such different and idiosyncratic musicians. They came from Pakistan, Turkey, India, Ivory Coast, Bahrain, Egypt, New Guinea, Morocco, Senegal and Ghana. For many of them working with this material was something quite new and they were very enthusiastic. The soundtrack is full of the spirit of their performances.

Words by Peter Gabriel

Peter Gabriel looks back on the making of the album
“In my research for Passion, many people mentioned the wonderful resources of the National Sound Archive and in particular introduced me to Lucy Duran, who both understood what I was hoping to achieve and made lots of great suggestions. Scorsese had asked for a new type of score that was neither ancient nor modern, that was not a pastiche but had clear references to the region, traditions and atmospheres, but was in itself a living thing.” Peter Gabriel

Built on a foundation of Middle Eastern and North African rhythms and melodies, Passion is unsurprisingly Peter’s most spiritual work, no more so than when the alternately ascending voices of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Youssou N’Dour and himself interweave on the title track. Nusrat and Youssou are far from the only notable guests; the cross-continental gathering of musicians also includes Senegalese griot Baaba Maal, jazz drummer Bill Cobham and avant-garde trumpeter Jon Hassell among many others.

The very first release on Peter’s just-launched Real World label, Passion provided some instant success for the new enterprise when it was awarded a Grammy. A companion album, Passion Sources, was released simultaneously and whilst not featuring Peter as a musician, revealed the music, sources and inspiration that went into the soundtrack.

Listen

Reviews

  • The album's best tracks are ambiguous, operating in the gap between anguish and serenity...the feel is edgy, of music whistling and banging in the dark...weird and wonderful Q Magazine (UK)
  • Gabriel has a knack for brewing powerfully significant climaxes from seemingly inconsequential notions. He definitely makes that magic work here. The Philadelphia Inquirer (USA)
  • soundscapes conjured up here showed how an informed Western approach to what we call World Music could transform rather than trivialise African and Asian rhythmic and harmonic ideas. The Sunday Times (UK)
  • Unequivocally, this is Peter Gabriel's finest hour. A 21-track masterpiece that allowed him to clarify his many diverse interests into one almighty statement. Sound On Sound (UK)
  • Passion Sources

    Various Artists

    Released 05 June 1989

    Whilst recording for his 1989 album Passion, Peter Gabriel worked with many international musicians. Some recorded at Real World Studios, some on the film’s location in North Africa, and others were sought out from past archives. Passion Sources gives us scope to hear more from these musicians in their own right.
  • Big Blue Ball

    Various Artists

    Released 28 July 2008

    Almost eighteen years in the making, Big Blue Ball grew from three extraordinary Recording Weeks at Real World Studios in the summers of 1991, 1992 and 1995. With Peter Gabriel and Karl Wallinger at the helm, the album features a huge cast of performers with a global reach.

More content

Protected: Rioghnach gets grumpy in the studio for The Breath’s latest video

A heated day in the studio inspired The Breath's new track, 'Trip The Switch'.

Geoffrey Oryema, 1953-2018

One of Real World's most loved musicians, Uganda-born Geoffrey Oryema, has died at the age of 65.

Live: Les Amazones d’Afrique at Brighton Festival

Les Amazones d'Afrique deliver a rousing, energetic set in the Dome as part of Brighton Festival.

The Real World Recording Week

Music journalist Johnny Black chronicles the famous Real World Recording Week 1991.