Music for the Masses is the sixth studio album by Depeche Mode. It was released by Mute Records on 28 September 1987. The album became the band's highest-charting in the US upon its release, reaching #35 on the Billboard 200. It also contained more hit singles than any of their previous releases. While there was no extremely popular single from the album ("People Are People" from Some Great Reward reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100), the three singles that were released all made it onto the Hot 100, a feat that hadn't been achieved by any Depeche Mode single after those from Some Great Reward. Moreover, all three singles achieved modest success on the chart.
Jordi Savall's exemplary performance of Handel's Water Music and Music for the Royal Fireworks is among the finest available on disc: refined and precise, but very big, with blood-stirring grandeur. This is just the kind of extroverted, rousing presentation that best highlights the music's open-air ceremonial function. Savall's Le Concert des Nations is essentially a chamber orchestra with double or triple winds, but the sound he elicits from the group is majestic and surprisingly powerful. The playing is crisp and the rhythmic articulation bracing, but the sound is never brash. In fact, more often than not it is seductively sensual, a heady integration of precision and supple, shapely phrasing. Handel left no authoritative edition of the score of Water Music and it has traditionally been divided into three suites, but Savall reorders the material into two suites, a decision that makes more sense in terms of key relationships and that sounds entirely satisfying.
Beequeen is a duo from Nijmegen, Netherlands, formed by Frans de Waard and Freek Kinkelaar. They have been making music together since 1988. This is a reissue of an album that was originally released in a limited run on the now-defunct Isomorphic Records in 1996. For this edition, a previously unreleased 13-minute bonus track from the original sessions has been appended to the album. Music For the Head Ballet is possibly Beequeen's most ambient work to date: a series of quietly abstract, lengthy organ drones that amass slowly over time, gradually revealing their denseness and complexity.
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…