“Stirring, stunning stuff [from] an artist who remains idiosyncratic without being obtuse” – Rolling Stone
Released a year after Martin Scorsese’s controversy-laden film first hit the big screen in 1988, Passion tends to be regarded as a work in its own right rather than just being a movie soundtrack. It features additional music than was included in the film; this extra material was the result of Peter continuing to record and to resolve “unfinished ideas”, hence the later arrival of the record.
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 subsequent album that was released a few months later, Passion – Sources, while not featuring Peter as a musician, revealed the music, sources and inspiration that went into the soundtrack.
“This was one of the most important records for me – an opportunity as a writer to try to do a different sort of job than I usually do. The brief for The Last Temptation Of Christ was to create something that had references to that time and that part of the world, but that had its own character and was to be timeless in a way.
“After we finished mixing the film, there were some unfinished ideas that needed developing and I took some extra time to complete the 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 film’s working title – Passion.”