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255 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 1, 1989
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Peter Gabriel ~ Passion: Music For The Last Tem

To call Peter Gabriel's Passion a pivotal recording in the development of the world music genre would be a significant understatement. What makes Passion so undeniably huge is, of course, its global reach but also its expert handling of what could've easily become polyglot babble. Vocalists Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Youssou N'Dour, and Baaba Mal bring strong Middle Eastern and African voicing to the project, and Balkan textures come via the ney flute and doudouk. But Gabriel is the glue, offering electronic ambient flows between the multiple streams. Gabriel also brings something even less tangible: an awesome visual imagination that takes often seamless sounds and makes them impress the listener with picturelike colors and phrasing. This is, however, far more than an ambient global mix. To be certain, the intertwined rhythms stand out but always do so both unto themselves and as brushstrokes on a larger canvas. Never mind that Passion helped launch North American careers for N'Dour and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, this is a stellar musical achievement by any standard. --Andrew Bartlett

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
See all 21 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 1, 1989)
  • Original Release Date: June 6, 1989
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Geffen Records
  • ASIN: B000000OR5
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (255 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #208,858 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

81 of 86 people found the following review helpful By Marc Ruby™ HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on March 11, 2004
Format: Audio CD
When Martin Scorsese directed the film version of Kazantsakis' The Last Temptation of Christ, Peter Gabriel was selected to do the score. Gabriel had already established credentials as an adventuresome composer who could respond to the dramatic nature of the film with a fitting score. What he produced was something far beyond Scorcese's expectations.
For those of you that haven't seen the film, it is a brooding look at not just the events leading up to Gethsemane, but also the interior experience of Jesus as he faced the challenges of his fate. The music feeds into and frames the events on the screen creating and atmosphere of tension that from which the viewer never quite escapes. With the film score complete Gabriel still felt he had more to do, and Passion is the polished result of taking the score and remaking it to stand alone.
Gabriel's approach was to use an entire panoply of North African and Asian rhythms and sounds. The countries represented are Turkey, Pakistan, India, Ivory Coast, Bahrain, Egypt, New Guinea, Morocco, Senegal and Ghana. Nor did Gabriel settle for second best. Prominent vocalists like Youssou N'Dour, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Baaba Maal combine with the likes of Hossam Ramzy and David Rhodes to produce effects ranging from toe-tapping to incredibly eerie.
This isn't easy listening music. It deals with a difficult subject and does it by building an interior effect. At times the rhythm and harmony are almost unnerving. Moments of peace are rare and precious. Something magic happen in Gabriel's hands and the whole is much more than a simple collection of world music parts. Thoroughly modern, yet full of its roots this is an album of unusual and brilliant insights.
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77 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Just Bill on October 4, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Like many reviewers, I first listened to Passion the year it was released...and I didn't find it all that good. At the time, to my ears, it was nothing earthshattering, important, or worthy of repeated listenings.
Oh, man, have my tastes changed!
Passion is not only brilliant, well-constructed music, it's also perfect music to play at the office, with my headphones on as I write. It inspires. It uplifts. It shocks. It moves. it invokes. It transports. It beckons. It mesmerizes.
I don't really remember the movie on which this soundtrack was based (although I saw The Last Temptation of Christ once or twice long ago), but I don't have to. This soundtrack stands on its own, and is a remarkable achievement in its own right.
The beauty -- and brilliance -- of Peter Gabriel's music (however you want to term it -- progressive rock, world music, eclectic music, experimental music, etc.) is that it never ceases to be compelling. Let's call this soundtrack "world music" for want of a better phrase. The world this music takes me to is the world of imagination, inside my mind, that I truly need to explore more often.
Passion deserves as much high praise as can be heaped upon it.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Erin K. Darling on October 22, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This is perhaps the most beautiful motion picture soundtrack I have ever heard - Middle Eastern rhythms & prominent African artists combine with Peter Gabriel's unique style and haunting voice to create...something truly extraordinary. There is a tangible storyline in the music alone...listening carefully, in a darkened or candle-lit room, one can experience a truly phenomenal sequence of thoughts, feelings, and inner quests, all without benefit of pharmaceuticals. A stream of pictures within sounds, a flow that's indescribable, takes the listener on an inner journey. Putting this CD in while sleeping always produces the most interesting, vivid, amazing dreams, too.
Even if you did not see the movie, or hated the movie, you may very well enjoy this soundtrack. Too, Christian faith is not a prerequisite - the music is primal, resonating within us on a level that takes us back to a much earlier time, when much of mankind lived in the deserts, and lived a different life. Meditation using this CD can bring on powerful results - and I suspect everyone will experience it in a very different manner. It's inspiring, and having it on during creative endeavors such as writing or painting is likely to produce incredible works.
This album is destined to become a classic of our time, something people a hundred years from now will look back upon as an honest-to-goodness musical phenomenon. I have a pretty broad taste in music, but this album may well just be my favorite, on certain days. It is perpetually in my top five, kept company by other albums such as "Sublime," "Garbage," and "Antichrist Superstar" (ironically enough.)
I would absolutely advise anyone to give this album a shot, and really open up their minds to the full experience. The resulting emotions and streams of consciousness are truly remarkable.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Tom Benton on December 2, 2006
Format: Audio CD
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.
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