24206-2 Passion
Produced by Peter Gabriel
Released on June 5, 1989
UK CHART POSITION #29 . . . US CHART POSITION #60 . . .
GRAMMY FOR BEST NEW AGE PERFORMANCE (1990)
Find it at GEMM
24206-2 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

K RONOMYTH 8.0: THE HOLY CROSS-CULTURE. It would be tempting to see this as a mere soundtrack, but what Peter Gabriel has created with Passion is a “separate body of work” (his words) that intrepidly explores the new field of world ambient music. Like a lot of ambient music, Passion was underwhelming at first; then I slipped on the headphones and was immersed, transported, enrapt for an hour. Gabriel’s affinity for exotic textures dates back to his earliest recordings with Robert Fripp (“Exposure,” “Here Comes The Flood”). An interest in third-world elements appeared on his third album and flowered on his fourth, albeit always modernized. Passion is an extension of those interests and yet also a radical retreat from electronic music toward organic, instrumental soundscapes at once ancient and alien. Similar (and superior) to Brian Eno’s Music For Films, Gabriel creates moving, breathing miniatures that exist richly in a space and then disappear like a mirage. The difference between the two works is Gabriel’s decision to use ancient instruments with a minimum of modern effects. The mix of Middle Eastern and African instruments, combined with post-modern treatments, creates an otherworldly ambiance with a distinctly authentic third-world vibe (“The Feeling Begins,” “Zaar”). Eno’s third-world experiments (My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, Possible Musics) were sterile by comparison because they isolated the source from the creation. In Passion, creation is the source, collaboration is the compass. Gabriel is often the ghost in the machine, adding spectral keyboard, percussion and voice, only occasionally shaping the music in his familiar idiom (“A Different Drum,” “It Is Accomplished”). It is in the slow summoning of sound, the calm passages coupled with the arid buzz of string and skin, that Passion weaves its spell. The Englishman briefly emerges (“With This Love,” “Bread And Wine”), only to be subsumed again by this new world of rediscovered antiquity around him, and we follow willingly swallowed.

24206-2 back sleeve
24206-2 back sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. THE FEELING BEGINS    4:00
  2. GETHSEMANE    1:23
  3. OF THESE, HOPE    4:05
  4. LAZARUS RAISED    0:36
  5. OF THESE, HOPE - REPRISE    1:06
  6. IN DOUBT    2:07
  7. A DIFFERENT DRUM    6:05
  8. ZAAR    4:44
  9. TROUBLED    2:46
  10. OPEN    (Peter Gabriel/Shankar)    3:18
  11. BEFORE NIGHT FALLS    2:16
  12. WITH THIS LOVE    3:36
  13. SANDSTORM    2:55
  14. STIGMATA    (Peter Gabriel/Mahmoud Tabrizi Zadeh)    2:24
  15. PASSION    7:36
  16. WITH THIS LOVE - CHOIR    3:19
  17. WALL OF BREATH    2:25
  18. THE PROMISE OF SHADOWS    2:12
  19. DISTURBED    3:07
  20. IT IS ACCOMPLISHED    3:30
  21. BREAD AND WINE    2:23

    All compositions by Peter Gabriel unless noted

CREDITS

PETER GABRIEL -- synthesizers, shakers, skins, surdu, flute samples, flute, voices, bass, percussion, flute whistle, Prophet 5, Piano Akai S900, Audioframe, Fairlight samples, vocals, Emulator, piano, doholla, Roland D-50, contrabass, mixing
SHANKAR -- double violin, vocals
Said Mohammad Aly -- percussion loop (19)
Antranik Askarian -- Armenian doudouk (1)
Mustafa Abdel Aziz -- arghul drone, percussion loop
David Bottrill -- drone mix, tambourine, distorted slide, engineer, mixing
Robin Canter -- oboe, coranglais (12,16)
Bill Cobham -- drums & percussion, drumkit, tambourine
Djalma Correa -- Brazilian percussion (15)
Massamba Dlop -- talking drum (3)
Nathan East -- bass (8,20)
Manny Elias -- octabans, surdu, skins (1)
Kudsi Erguner -- Turkish ney flute (11,17)
Richard Evans -- choir recording, tin whistle (16,21)
Fatala -- additional percussion, percussion loop-three bars, African percussion
Jon Hassell -- trumpet (15)
Vatche Housepian -- Aremian doudouk (1)
Manu Katché -- additional percussion (13)
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan -- Qawwali voice (15)
Baaba Maal -- vocals (5)
Musicians Du Nil -- arghul (17)
Youssou N'Dour -- voice (7,15)
players unknown -- Kurdish duduk and tenbur (4)
Hossam Ramzy -- finger cymbals, tabla, dufs, tambourines, triangle, surdu, mazhar
David Rhodes -- guitar, ebow guitar, Steinberger guitar
Doudou N'Daiye Rose -- percussion loop-four bars (7)
David Sancious -- backing vocals, Akai S900, synthesizer arrangement, Hammond organ
Julian Wilkins -- choirboy (15)
Mahmoud Tabrizi Zadeh -- kementhché
Julian Grater -- front cover drawing
James Bell/Science Photo Library -- back cover photograph
Mouat @ Assorted Images -- design

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK/GER June 5, 1989 Real World 2LP/CD RWLP/RWCD-1 picture sleeve
US June 5, 1989 Geffen 2LP/CD/CS 24206-1/2/M5G 24206 picture sleeve
BRA 1989 Virgin 2LP 4270131 picture sleeve
JPN 1989 Virgin CD VD-32212 promo
US 2002 Classic Records 2LP PGLP-08 gatefold cover, audiophile
UK 2002 Virgin CD RWCDX-1 digital remaster
UK 2003 Virgin CD SARWCD-1 SACD remaster

 

THE LAST WORD

"One of the most important records for me was the Passion record, which was an opportunity really to try, as a writer, to do a whole different sort of job than I usually do." -- Peter Gabriel interview for Passion remastered promo clip.

 

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