New Wind-Up Imprint Launches With 'Passion'

Wind-up Records will launch a new imprint with the Aug. 31 release of "The Passion of the Christ: Songs," an album of original tunes from artists inspired by the movie.

Wind-up Records will launch a new imprint with the Aug. 31 release of "The Passion of the Christ: Songs," an album of original tunes from artists inspired by the movie. In addition to "Passion," the new Lost Keyword Records will issue records that do not fit on rock-oriented Wind-up.

"A keyword is something that's important," Wind-up president Steve Lerner says. "We're trying to do something important with 'Passion' and this imprint, and this seemed a great way to launch it."

No other Lost Keyword releases are slated yet, but Lerner expects more to come. "We wanted an imprint for a special project if it became available and as we look for Christian artists who are adult contemporary or maybe different," he says.

"Passion" arrives the same day as "The Passion of the Christ" DVD. Among the acts on the project are former Creed lead singer Scott Stapp, Lauryn Hill, Charlotte Church, Big Dismal and P.O.D.

It also includes pairings created specifically for the project, such as Brad Paisley and Sara Evans; MxPx with Blink-182's Mark Hoppus; Steven Curtis Chapman with Third Day's Mac Powell and Mercy Me's Bart Millard; Kirk Franklin and Yolanda Adams; and BeBe Winans and Angie Stone.

The "Passion" set doubles as the coming-out party for Stapp's solo career. His debut album will be released in late 2004 or early 2005. Stapp's "Relearn Love" is the first mainstream single from the project. The song started as a love song to Stapp's young son but grew to mean more after he saw "Passion."

"I was just at a point in my life where the only true love I felt I could feel was for my child. It felt lonely, and it felt hard. I'd been divorced and the band went through our struggles and our separate ways," Stapp tells Billboard in his first interview about the project.

"About the same time, I heard about the movie, and I tied the movie into the overall song after I saw it. It just fit where I was emotionally and musically and reminded me that it's all about true love and sacrifice and that I'm not ever alone in this world."

Chapman, Powell and Millard also felt inspired by the movie.

"We all threw ideas out on the table," Chapman says. "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.'"

Stapp helped bring the project to Wind-up after Mel Gibson's Icon Productions screened the film for him and asked him to consider writing a song for the CD.

"I called my label and said, 'Is there going to be a problem with me doing this?'" Stapp recalls. "At first [Wind-up chairman/CEO] Alan Meltzer said he didn't think it was a very good idea, but I kept talking to him about it. Wind-up got the soundtrack probably three weeks after I saw the film."

Gibson signed off on every artist on the project and provided Wind-Up with a list of acts for whom Icon screened the movie. Icon will give its proceeds from the album to the Malibu Foundation for Youth and Families.

Here is the track list for "The Passion of the Christ: Songs":

"I See Love," Third Day/Steven Curtis Chapman/Mercy Me
"Relearn Love," Scott Stapp
"Truly Amazing," P.O.D.
"New Again," Brad Paisley and Sara Evans
"Rainy Day," Big Dismal
"The Passion," Lauryn Hill
"How Many Lashes," Kirk Franklin featuring Yolanda Adams
"The Empire," MxPx featuring Mark Hoppus
"Finding My Own Way," Charlotte Church
"Miracle of Love," BeBe Winans and Angie Stone
"To Give Love," Dan Lavery
"Reason I Live," Big Dismal