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Thursday, August 12, 2004

Friend, Mark Joseph, co-produced the just-released TPOTC inspired CD that has tracks from an impressive list of A-list artists. Mark noted to me with wonder last Spring how almost miraculous it was to field the requests from so many top artists who wanted to contribute a song to the project. Kudos to you, Mark for getting it all together. Here's the press release...

The Passion Inspires CD Album Of Songs

Artists inspired by Mel Gibson's epic film The Passion of the Christ have
banded together for Passion of the Christ: Songs. The album features newly
recorded original songs sparked by the experience of seeing the film, and
features the diverse lineup which includes tracks by Steven Curtis Chapman,
MercyMe, Third Day, Kirk Franklin featuring Yolanda Adams, Charlotte
Church, former Creed singer Scott Stapp; Lauryn Hill; P.O.D.; Brad Paisley
& Sara Evans; Third Day - MxPx featuring Mark Hoppus and others.

The Passion of the Christ released February 25, 2004, creating a tsunami of
media and public interest before and after it hit theatres. To date the
drama is credited with over $370 million box office receipts in the United
States alone, and over $600 million worldwide.

Gibson welcomed the artists' support. "My kids think these guys are cool, so
they must be," joked Gibson. "It means a lot to me that this group of
artists dug my film and all wanted to contribute a song. The project came
about very organically. Some of the artists on the album saw early
screenings of the film and offered to create a song because they had been
so moved by it. When we got similar reactions from others, we knew we had
something special happening."

"We all threw ideas out on the table," said singer Steven Curtis Chapman of
the song he recorded with fellow artists Third Day and MercyMe. "As I
watched the movie, I began to think about all the different perspectives
that people might [have,] not only [looking] at the movie, but at the life
of Christ. I saw a martyr, a man laying his life down, a prisoner being
unjustly treated. Others might look at it and go, 'He's a fool. Why would
anybody do this?' The chorus and idea of the song is, 'When I look, what I
see is love.'"

Scott Stapp, who contributed his song "Relearn Love" shared, "Mel Gibson
again shows his genius as an artist and director. His passion for this film
is obvious from beginning to end. He took on a very controversial
historical event and, in my humble opinion, displayed it with extraordinary
artistry. All of us who have different faiths could use some tolerance for
one another. This film depicts a timeless story of betrayal, forgiveness
and eternal atonement. I am blessed to have the opportunity to contribute
Relearn Love to this project."

In an interview with Christianity Today, Stapp affirmed his Christian faith
and spoke of how the film had impacted him: "At first, I was saddened and
disheartened. I couldn't believe this is what Christ had to go through. I
knew the story, but I was seeing it through different eyes. It was not just
a Bible story that I had heard since I was four years old. It made sense to
my life as a man, and as a father and as a friend and as a son. I was
shocked that someone loved me so much that they would do this for me."

"This is the real deal-brutal, honest, touching," P.O.D. lead singer Sonny
Sandoval said of the two-hour film.

The San Diego band wrote and recorded its contribution "Amazing" after a
showing at Gibson's offices in November.

"This film made me check my own heart and my own faith," Sandoval
continued. "It's not the fairy tale story of Christ we're all used to
hearing. So, even before anybody wanted to be involved, in the heat of the
controversy, I wanted to give back and contribute to this. The only way for
us to truly give back and raise awareness is through our music."

Singer Lauryn Hill added, "The film was a visual representation of what
life is supposed to be for the people of God " a sinless man willingly gave
himself up so that others might be saved. I was inspired by the film and
proud to contribute a song to this collection.

The album will be marketed and promoted by Wind-up Records. Provident will
handle marketing and distribution in the CBA marketplace and BMG through
the secular market. The album will be released on August 31st, the same day
the films much anticipated DVD arrives at retail.