Cat Stevens- where to begin?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Keith V, Sep 14, 2021 at 8:45 AM.

  1. Keith V

    Keith V Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Jersey City, NJ
    Synth keyboards? I like when artists use them when they “aren’t supposed to”.
     
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  2. Mr-Beagle

    Mr-Beagle God's agnostic

    Location:
    Great ? Britain
    Yes, that's the term I was looking for!
     
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  3. TheDailyBuzzherd

    TheDailyBuzzherd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Northeast USA

    Ooops, you’re right. To fix.
     
  4. folkfreak

    folkfreak The cold blooded penguin

    Location:
    Germany

    I LOVE this track. Far ahead of it's time


    And yes, I love Numbers, Izitso and Back to earth. No way they are boring.
    I understand why someone who loves the early work of CS doesn't like these, but boring ? No....
     
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  5. TheDailyBuzzherd

    TheDailyBuzzherd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Northeast USA
    Cat gone Deodato! Interesting …
     
  6. Keith V

    Keith V Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Jersey City, NJ
    Wow. Cool.
     
  7. folkfreak

    folkfreak The cold blooded penguin

    Location:
    Germany
    I don't know, why I love this little unremarkable track so much.
    I am very emotional when it comes to music and this track can bring me to tears, literally

     
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  8. Mr-Beagle

    Mr-Beagle God's agnostic

    Location:
    Great ? Britain
    One of the things I find fascinating is the transition from the demo to the finished song. I'm always pleased by what Cat chose to include and what to leave out.
     
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  9. Mr-Beagle

    Mr-Beagle God's agnostic

    Location:
    Great ? Britain
    I have a soft spot for Randy, whoever he or she was. I tried asking Team Yusuf but never received a reply :cry:
     
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  10. folkfreak

    folkfreak The cold blooded penguin

    Location:
    Germany
    What song do you mean ? Sadly I didn't buy the Deluxe Editions as I was forced to buy useless Vinyl to get the digital version and I don't support those practices. Would love to hear demos and stuff...
     
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  11. Dhreview16

    Dhreview16 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London UK
    It’s not as good (and could hardly be expected to be), but Catch Bull at Four is the obvious place to go after Tea for The Tillerman, and Teaser and the Firecat. Very good rather than excellent.
     
  12. Mr-Beagle

    Mr-Beagle God's agnostic

    Location:
    Great ? Britain
    Yes, the deluxe versions and a certain bootleg of demos and unreleased songs.
     
  13. Craigman1959

    Craigman1959 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Alabama, USA
    You have to have the compilations to get all the non-album stuff, such as:

     
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  14. Fitter Stoke

    Fitter Stoke Forum Resident

    What he said, though you should go for Mona Bone Jakon in the first instance, which I see as something of a holy trinity with Tillerman and Teaser. The albums after that get progressively patchy IMO.
     
  15. folkfreak

    folkfreak The cold blooded penguin

    Location:
    Germany
    When I think more of it, Numbers is my absolute Cat Stevens favorite.
    Back in the late 80's early 90's, long before that album was available on CD I let a company make me a custom CD-R from my used record. Back in the days, and I was still a schoolboy then, such a CD-R cost me about 150-200$. That was quite an investment. And that album has that great gatefold cover together with that wonderful brochure/booklet with the illustrated story. And my grandma did sew me a silken slot/jacket that I glued to an unused part of the inner gatefold to put that precious disc in.... I was very proud of that construct....
    Now that my grandma is no longer with us I am sad that I don't have it anymore. Should have kept it, but when the MFSL box set with Cat's later work was finally released and included the whole booklets of the original albums I gave it away...
     
  16. abzach

    abzach Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sweden
    Catch Bull At Four - his peak, IMO.
     
  17. folkfreak

    folkfreak The cold blooded penguin

    Location:
    Germany
    I loved the album mainly because of that track that was a complete earworm for me... and Fairport members like Simon Nicol and Dave Mattacks appeared on those later album albums in addition to Gerry Conway who was with Cat much earlier.
     
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  18. linklinc

    linklinc Forum Resident

    "Teaser & The Firecat" & "Tea For The Tillerman" really do feel like, by very very far/head & shoulders, his two greatest achievements. Similar to Carole King with "Tapestry" (she is one of the greatest songwriters ever, dozens of brilliant songs, but as far as solo albums go... "Tapestry" towers above the rest).

    Of the earlier albums I guess "Catch Bull At Four" and "Buddha & The Chocolate Box" might be my choices for the next best place(s) to stop. "Foreigner" & "Mona Bone Jakon" are the other earlier ones, but his trio of later efforts are still good & overlooked.

    "Numbers", "Izitso" & "Back To Earth" are all solid efforts with truly fine moments & are certainly very underrated.

    The very early (1967) albums have some fine songs too & are fun, but quite different- "Matthew & Son" and "New Masters".

    I love lots of Cat and Tea & Teaser are wonderful, but, for me, nothing else reaches those heights.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2021 at 12:01 PM
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  19. Lynd8

    Lynd8 Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York
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  20. Armjim

    Armjim Music is indeed a gift from Heaven

    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    Any of those early to mid 70's albums make for supreme listening. I really enjoy Catch Bull At Four and Foreigner. My first Cat Stevens purchase was the single Sitting, but my first Cat Stevens album was Buddha & the Chocolate Box. I then went backwards from there before going forward.
     
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  21. Emil Zatopek

    Emil Zatopek Forum Resident

    Location:
    Almost there
    This "recent" track is so good I'd find a place for it in Tea or Teaser.

     
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  22. Mickey2

    Mickey2 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bronx, NY, USA
    For me, since I was there at the time, I got turned on to Teaser first, with songs Father & Son and Wild World being played on FM radio. Then I caught an awesome performance by the man and Alun Davies on PBS and was hooked.

    I bought and enjoyed the album immensely and was even more impressed with Teaser & The Firecat when it came out.

    However, sorry to say, his subsequent releases began to lose me. For one thing, the simple and superb productions were being replaced with more elaborate affairs. Also, his singing was transforming into a gravelly style that didn’t appeal to me and seemed to defy the gentle nature of those records I loved.

    Instead, I went back in his catalog in an attempt to remedy that, and got Mona Bone Jakon, with its similar Stevens cover art. Yes, it shared the early simplicity, but didn’t quite meet the other two with as many really great songs, although it had a few.
     
  23. kwadguy

    kwadguy Senior Member

    Location:
    Cambridge, MA
    The two albums in the '60s/'70s (original career) Cat Stevens discography that I'd label "proceed with caution" are Foreigner and Numbers. While the "core four" (Mona/Tea/Teaster/Bull) tower over the rest, if you are sold on Cat after those and want more, there is good stuff to be found on secondary albums like Izitzo, Back to Earth, and Buddha. And the Decca material from the late '60s is very charming in its way, too, although far different from the later stuff. The albums that Stevens has produced since returning to the mainstream are all decent and will stylistically appeal to fans of the '70s work. The best of these are Roadsinger and The Laughing Apple, and while I hesitate to say they're essential, they are solid.

    Foreigner and Numbers are the toughest listens in the entire Cat Stevens discography (excluding the religious albums).

    The 4CD box set that A&M put out in the early 2000s, On the Road to Find Out, is an excellent overview of his entire first era career, including a full disc of the first phase (Decca) stuff and very well-chosen highlights from the rest of his career up to that point, plus some rarities.
     
  24. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven

    I do think that Cat made among the most beautiful introspective music ever.
     
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  25. Jack Lord

    Jack Lord Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    I would recommend the movie, "Harold & Maude." Great cult classic and Cat does the soundtrack. He even has a cameo, but you gotta look hard to see him.
     
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