Peter Gabriel is famous for taking his time in releasing studio albums – six years between SO and 1992’s US, 10 years between US and 2002’s UP, and eight years between UP and 2010’s covers concept album, SCRATCH MY BACK. But every one of these albums was more than worth the wait, all exceptional in their own way.
But, just because there was a gap between these albums doesn’t mean Peter Gabriel wasn’t busy. For example, inbetween SO and US, Peter started his long association with Amnesty International and participated in all 28 of Amnesty’s Human Rights Concerts (a series of concerts that ran between 1986 and 1998), and of which also included the likes of U2, Sting, Bruce Springsteen, The Hooters, Joan Armatrading, Tracy Chapman and Sinéad O’Connor. Peter would perform at six Amnesty concert events in 1986 and another 20 in 1988, as well as the Secret Policeman’s Ball benefit shows.
In addition to his work with Amnesty International, Peter Gabriel did actually release a brilliant film score between SO and US, for the 1988 Martin Scorsese film, THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST…but unlike most film soundtrack or scores, he didn’t release it right away.
Of the delay in releasing the film score, Peter Gabriel said, “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 places the were not able to be included 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.”
On this album, you’ll find music represented from many parts of the world, and musicians to match, hailing from the likes of Turkey, India (L. Shankar, Manny Elias), Egypt (Hossam Ramzy), Morocco, Senegal (Youssou N’Dour, Baaba Maal), Pakistan (Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan) and many more. Several of these artists would appear on Peter Gabriel’s next album, 1992’s US, and later on their own compilation released by Peter’s label, Real World Records, the 1993 companion album, PLUS FROM US.
PASSION (Music From THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST) was released as a 2-album set (and on one CD and cassette) on June 5, 1989, nearly 10 months after the release of the film itself. PASSION was well-received everywhere, being certified Gold here in the U.S., as well as receiving a Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Score – Motion Picture and winning a Grammy Award in 1990 for Best New Age Album, Peter’s first Grammy Award. It has been long-regarded as a landmark album for the popularity of the World music genre.
I have long-regarded this album as one of the most moving and beautiful bodies of music I have ever heard, and my passion for PASSION will stay with me forever. If you are moved by today’s “song of the day,” “The Feeling Begins” (which is the album opener for PASSION) as much as I was the first time I heard it, I encourage you to continue that feeling and listen to the entire album. The PASSION will stay with you too…