To callPassiona pivotal recording in the development of world music would be a significant understatement. What makesPassionso undeniably important is its global reach and expert handling of what could've easily become polyglot babble. VocalistsNusrat … see full wiki
Peter Gabriel has come a long way in his musical career. He was the lead vocalist for the prog-rock band Genesis from 1969-1974, during which time the group released some of the finest rock albums ever recorded. Since releasing his first solo album in 1977, Gabriel has never ceased experimenting, determined not to settle on one sole sound. It was on PASSION, however, that Gabriel's musical journey finally reaches its peak.
PASSION is the "soundtrack" to Martin Scorsese's controversial epic THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST, released in 1988 to mixed reviews. The one thing that reviewers could agree on was that Peter Gabriel's score for the film was magnificent. Gabriel held off releasing his score simultaneously with the film; instead, he did a wonderful thing: he went back to the studio and expanded his original material, thus ensuring that PASSION would work as well as an album as it would as a soundtrack.
It certainly does. In fact, PASSION works so well on its own that many of its avid fans haven't even seen THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST. That's because, in my opinion, THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST is a very good film - but PASSION is a masterpiece. In these circumstances, "masterpiece" seems like far too weak an adjective to apply to this album, and none of the countless other adjectives seem powerful enough either. Let me say this: PASSION IS music. This is as good as music gets. This is the very definition of music. If you give PASSION, an album that sounds vastly different from the music we westerners are used to and nothing like any of Gabriel's other recordings, a chance, you will experience the most powerful album I have ever heard.
PASSION is THE landmark world music album. Peter Gabriel, a long-time fan of middle eastern music, decided to base his music for Scorsese's film around the music of the eiddle east, resulting in a highly-unusual listening experience for westerners. Gabriel recruited some of the finest musicians in the world for this album, and also thoroughly researched middle eastern music, as well as the songs that are said to have existed around the time of Jesus. With all this, the album should sound like a traditional work, but Gabriel himself plays numerous modern instruments, giving certain songs some extra power and creating a dreamily ambient feeling throughout most of the album. The result is one of the most timeless musical works ever recorded.
There's something about the album that really speaks to your soul. It leaves you feeling open, exposed, a feeling that's more than a little unsettling at first, but upon listening further, you come to embrace this openness. PASSION truly touches you, and certain tracks even elevate you. My favorite tracks from the album are "A Different Drum" and "It Is Accomplished", the two most powerful pieces of music I have ever heard.
It's no easy feat describing PASSION. I can only urge you, strongly, to purchase it and give it a few listens. I guarantee you have never experienced anything like it. It's utterly incredible that the soundtrack to THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST could wind up so absolutely magnificent as this, but it did. Peter Gabriel is a musical genius, and PASSION remains by far his finest achievement. It is, without a doubt, the peak of musical achievement.