The cool kids liked reggae and soul, Roxy and Bowie but back then in the early 70s there were a lot of people – those that carried albums under their arms – that loved Cat Stevens. I remember the kids at school that loved Cat Stevens – I remember their names. They were the good kids, the clever kids, the earnest kids. In their army and air force great coats. These boys loved Cat Stevens. Bar the odd song I didn’t really care about Cat.
However hindsight, calming down, getting old or whatever I can now listen to those Cat Stevens and think – you know what – Cat Stevens was rather fucking good. Like Rod and Elton he had an incredible run of form and amongst the many albums that he released Tea for the Tillerman, Teaser and the Firecat and Catch Bull at Four are quite, quite magnificent.
This is a singer-songwriter at the very top of his game. Of course some of it is pretentious bollocks but that is all part of the charm. It is skilful, intricate, melodic, thoughtful and at times quite, quite charming.
Cat/Yusuf take a bow. One of the UK’s finest…