PETER GABRIEL Passion (1989) & JOHN DEBNEY The Passion Of The Christ (2004)

PETER GABRIEL – Passion (1989)
JOHN DEBNEY – The Passion Of The Christ (2004)
Jesus, These Are Good Soundtracks

Despite the criticism leveled at director Mel Gibson, The Passion Of The Christ is the most fearless telling of the Passion Play ever filmed. No movie stars, filmed in subtitled Latin, Hebrew and ancient Aramaic languages, and two bloody hours of Jesus getting the bejesus beat out of him (with an R rating, no less), all should have added up to a disaster at the box office. Give Gibson his props for having the nuts to put up 30 million of his own dollars to write & direct a movie that might have ended his directing career. That same chutzpah characterized the film’s soundtrack, co-produced by Mel. Composer John Debneythe lightweight behind such score filler as Elf, The Hot Chick and Liar, Liar – shouldn’t have been allowed anywhere near the set, much less entrusted with underscoring The Greatest Story Ever Told, yet somehow the pair responded with this, Oscar nominated gem – a spacey, unsettling, often neo-psychedelic swirl of Mid-East ethnicity. The grieving, wailing choruses are haunting and the darkly moving rhythms are deftly nuanced, quietly surreal, a mystical whole.

But… credit where credit might be due. It’s possible Debney received some of his divine inspiration from Peter Gabriel’s majestic 1989 score for Martin Scorsese’s, The Last Temptation Of Christ, one of the first times indigenous regional music was used with such effect for the backdrop of the Nazarene’s life and death. It was groundbreaking, being rooted in the culture’s ethnic stew of Hebrew niguns, Middle Eastern snake-charming melodies and regional atmospherics, but was naturally, in Gabriel’s hands, more rhythmic, driving and percussion heavy. It was also unique for its revelation that there’s more power to be unearthed in the music of ancient cultures than in any Hollywood orchestral concoction. As it stands, you’ll likely never hear another bombastic, Roman-ized fanfare introducing the Saviour ever again… and we have these two prominent scores to thank for that. Amazon has Passion (reissued in 2010), and Passion Of The Christ (for a penny). 

The Olive Garden/Night Sky (1:57)
Bearing The Cross (3:43)
Jesus Arrested (4:37)
Peter Denies Jesus (1:59)
The Stoning (2:25)
Song Of Complaint (1:33)
Simon Is Dismissed (2:25)
Flagellation/Dark Choir/Disciples (5:54)
Mary Goes To Jesus (2:47)
Peaceful But Primitive/Procession (3:36)
Crucifixion (7:38)
Raising The Cross (2:13)
It Is Done (3:37)
Jesus Is Carried Down (4:40)
Resurrection (5:04)

PASSION (Peter Gabriel)
The Feeling Begins
Gethsemane (1:26)
Of These, Hope (3:55)
Lazarus Raised (1:26)
Of These, Hope (Reprise) (2:44)
In Doubt (1:33)
A Different Drum (4:40)
Zaar (4:53)
Troubled (2:55)
Open (3:27)
Before Night Falls (2:20)
With This Love (3:39)
Sandstorm (3:02)
Stigmata (2:28)
Passion (7:38)
With This Love (Choir) (3:21)
Wall Of Breath (2:29)
The Promise Of Shadows (2:13)
Disturbed (3:36)
It Is Accomplished (2:56)
Bread And Wine (2:19)



  • 1
    Capt. Willard
    December 1, 2009 - 17:11 | Permalink

    Search HERE

  • 2
    December 2, 2009 - 07:31 | Permalink

    Thanx Willard/
    I have never heard the Passion of The Christ s/t and you ahve sold me. I am however a big fan of the Gabriel effort, wonderful stuff esp the trax that feature Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. I will post the Passion sources as well as an extras boot that I found somewhere at (Son of) later today.

  • 3
    Bombshelter Slim
    December 2, 2009 - 17:09 | Permalink

    Jesus, you're right Willard

  • 4
    December 2, 2009 - 17:56 | Permalink

    Online from time to time are alternate versions of the songs from the Passion soundtrack (Last Temptation of Christ). I don't have a link, but I think one could be found pretty easily.

    Ace K.

  • 5
    January 7, 2010 - 22:42 | Permalink

    There was a companion CD that came out the same time as the "Passion" soundtrack entitled "Passion Sources" that was a really excellent collection of Middle Eastern music.

  • 6
    Capt. Willard
    January 7, 2010 - 22:56 | Permalink

    Yeah, I don't have that one and was looking for it before I posted this. Just couldn't find one. Thanks for commenting.

  • 7
    January 8, 2010 - 01:50 | Permalink

    HERE you go Capt.

  • 8
    Capt. Willard
    January 8, 2010 - 13:58 | Permalink

    Many thanks Mona.

  • 9
    November 24, 2011 - 10:17 | Permalink

    Hey W, I have both the companion disc to Passion and a boot of other outtakes as well. Let me know if you’d like.

    • 10
      November 24, 2011 - 10:27 | Permalink

      Thanks Reggie. Mona has the Passion Sources disc linked above. I’ll pass on the boot (unless it comes with spare time), but thanks for offering.

  • 11
    November 24, 2011 - 10:50 | Permalink

    Not a problem, always happy when the opportunity to share presents itself.

    • 12
      November 24, 2011 - 10:56 | Permalink

      Thanks buddy. Feel free to share whatever you’d like here.

  • 13
    Colin H from Cambridge, Canada
    November 24, 2011 - 14:35 | Permalink

    The Gabriel soundtrack brings back alot of odd memories for me… a favorite mood music pick of asst’d ladies who stayed over at my place circa 89. I love Zaar. Saw the film in a theatre with folks picketing outside, and between trying to pick up someone sitting next to me who turned out to be my drummer’s new girlfriend, kept thinking, “Man, this music sounds like Peter Gabriel”…

    • 14
      November 24, 2011 - 14:52 | Permalink

      They picketed… all because Jesus was depicted as using his imagination, or having a hallucination, before coming back to reality and doing his God-given job. But, make a movie where the guy gets beaten to a pulp, for hours, and they line up around the block to see it… twice. Mel knew something the rest of us didn’t.

    • 15
      November 24, 2011 - 16:31 | Permalink

      Pick up music?

  • 16
    Colin H from Cambridge, Canada
    November 27, 2011 - 12:52 | Permalink

    Without edging too far into TMI territory, they’d already been sucessfully picked up by the time this music was being chosen.

  • 17
    Colin H from Cambridge, Canada
    November 27, 2011 - 12:56 | Permalink

    I recall one lady going to the CD stacks and coming back with this. I told her how much I liked Peter Gabriel. “I can’t stand him, normally”, she replied, “but this is a great album to _blank_ to”.

    • 18
      November 27, 2011 - 17:17 | Permalink

      I need to start hanging with you, buddy.

  • 19
    March 10, 2013 - 14:26 | Permalink

    Do you have a link for passion:Sources? Many thanks for this incredible blog!

  • 21
    July 19, 2013 - 15:13 | Permalink

    Hola Captain – the link for ‘Passion’ is down at the moment – cheers!

    • 22
      July 19, 2013 - 21:21 | Permalink

      New links up, thanks.

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