25 years ago, Peter Gabriel unleashed one of the defining albums of the ’80s, the quintuple-platinum-selling SO. The album contains hits like “Sledge Hammer,” which holds the record for the most played video on MTV, the poignant Kate Bush vehicle “Don’t Give Up,” and “In Your Eyes,” familiar to many for it’s iconic placement in the movie Say Anything. This limited edition deluxe box set comprises the remastered So album, the 2CD Live in Athens 1987 album, and a So DNA CD – which gives a unique insight into the writing and recording of So, experienced via a track by track evolutionary process leading you from the early moments when rhythms, melodies and lyrical ideas were discovered through the various stages of song development and recording. Also included are two previously unreleased DVD’s : Live in Athens 1987, directed by Michael Chapman, with executive producer Martin Scorsese.
Considering the slow trickle of completed albums he has released since becoming a superstar in 1986 – just two albums of songs with vocals, paired with two albums of soundtracks and two live records – deliberate is expected from Peter Gabriel, so the slow, hushed crawl of Scratch My Back is no shock. What may be a shock is that Gabriel chose to follow 2002’s Up with a covers album but, like all of his work, this 2010 record is highly conceptual no matter how minimal the end result may be.
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 Gabriel (ex-Genesis) 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…
Passion is in actuality Peter Gabriel's soundtrack to the Martin Scorsese film The Last Temptation of Christ, retitled as a result of legal barriers; regardless of its name, however, there's no mistaking the record's stirring power. Like much of Gabriel's solo work, the album is a product of his continuing fascination with world music, which he employs here to create an exceptionally beautiful and atmospheric tapestry of sound perfectly evocative of the film's resonant spiritual drama; inspired by field recordings collected in areas as diverse as Turkey, Senegal, and Egypt, Passion achieves a cumulative effect clearly Middle Eastern in origin, yet its brilliant fusion of ancient and modern musics ultimately transcends both geography and time. Remarkably dramatic, even visual, it is not only Gabriel's best film work but deserving of serious consideration as his finest music of any kind; equally worthwhile is Passion – Sources, which assembles the original native recordings which served as his creative launching pad.