Catch Bull At Four (50th Anniversary Remaster) Cat Stevens, Yusuf
Label: UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)
Subgenre: Folk Rock
Artist: Cat Stevens, Yusuf
Album including Album cover
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- 1Sitting (50th Anniversary Remaster)03:11
- 2The Boy With A Moon And Star On His Head (50th Anniversary Remaster)05:57
- 3Angelsea (50th Anniversary Remaster)04:30
- 4Silent Sunlight (50th Anniversary Remaster)02:59
- 5Can't Keep It In (50th Anniversary Remaster)02:58
- 618th Avenue (Kansas City Nightmare) (50th Anniversary Remaster)04:21
- 7Freezing Steel (50th Anniversary Remaster)03:40
- 8O' Caritas (50th Anniversary Remaster)03:41
- 9Sweet Scarlet (50th Anniversary Remaster)03:49
- 10Ruins (50th Anniversary Remaster)04:24
Info for Catch Bull At Four (50th Anniversary Remaster)
Catch Bull At Four is a masterpiece of artistic creativity that saw Cat Stevens at the peak of his powers taking his insightful and introspective songwriting into a bold new direction. He was beginning to lean into his love of R&B, Soul, and even musical theatre with stunning results. Sonically, the album is bigger than the previous three records, introducing a broader array of instrumentation, backing vocals, and lush, multi-layered arrangements. Cat’s trademark impassioned vocals and percussive guitar style is combined with the sound of a new fuller backing band featuring Gerry Conway on drums, Jean Roussel on keys, and Alan James on bass, alongside the ever present force of Alun Davies on guitar. This heavier musical ensemble allowed the artist to inject a new level of drama into his work as is displayed on songs such as ‘Can’t Keep It In’, ‘18th Avenue (Kansas City Nightmare)’ and ‘Freezing Steel’. Even tracks such as the much loved ‘Sitting’ and ‘Angelsea’, that bare the hallmarks of songs from the Tillerman and Teaser albums, have a previously unheard intensity that is deeply hypnotic and entirely compelling.
“Contrary to the spiritual nature and theme of the album, Catch Bull At Four went straight to number one and became one of my biggest commercial accomplishments. It was scary! I feared it would divert me from my spiritual goals.” (Yusuf / Cat Stevens)
Although Catch Bull At Four represents a progression beyond the classic Cat Stevens acoustic sound, thematically it is unmistakably a continuation of his earlier work. ‘O Caritas’ and ‘Ruins’ are both rooted in the prescient environmental and societal concerns found throughout his previous albums stretching back into the late 1960s. Similarly, ‘Sweet Scarlet’ and ‘Silent Sunlight’ emanate from the same sensitivity that informed many of his most beloved songs and that had already garnered so much profound devotion from legions of fans worldwide. And yet it is ‘Boy With The Moon And Star On His Head’, arguably the album’s crown jewel, that at once seems the most familiar song while simultaneously breaking new ground in terms of timeless folk storytelling. The song’s mystical narrative of a man’s transgression on his wedding day that results in a blessed child that grows into a wise sage who is revered by people from far and wide, feels as though it belongs in a collection of the world’s greatest epic poems or among the sagas and legends of a time now lost to history. This song, perhaps above all others, is a testament to Cat Stevens’ deep and transcendent spiritual awareness. Magnificently arranged layers of meaning and beguiling symbolism unfold to speak of the deeply personal while also casting comment upon fundamentals of the wider human experience.
Catch Bull At Four is a landmark album on the artistic journey of Yusuf / Cat Stevens. The record’s confident development beyond the safety of his tried, tested and much loved acoustic sound speaks volumes of Cat’s spirit of adventure and his willingness to forge assertively into the unknown. The album is bold, exciting and brimming with an intense passion for knowledge and experience. Catch Bull At Four documents growth in all areas of Cat Stevens’ being, from his profound songwriting gifts to his commitment to spiritual seeking and yet at its core it is built upon immovable foundations of peace, kindness and humility. As we look back at this amazing achievement from five decades ago perhaps it is now that we understand most clearly that Yusuf / Cat Stevens is indeed the album’s central character, the boy with a moon and star upon his head, and Catch Bull At Four shows that his message has remained constant and true on every step of his path.
Cat Stevens, lead and backing vocals, Grand piano, Fender Rhodes electric piano, Wurlitzer electric piano, RMI Electra piano, Böhm Diamond organ, synthesizer, Spanish guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, electric mandolin, pennywhistle, drums, percussion
Alun Davies, acoustic guitar, Spanish guitar, backing vocals
Jeremy Taylor, Spanish guitar
Andreas Toumazis, bouzouki on "O Caritas"
Alan James, bass, backing vocals
Jean Roussel, piano, Hammond organ, Electric piano
Gerry Conway, drums, percussion, backing vocals
C.S. Choir, backing vocals on "Freezing Steel" and "O Caritas"
Linda Lewis, backing vocals on "Angelsea"
Lauren Cooper, backing vocals on "Angelsea"
Del Newman, string arrangements
Cat Stevens (Yusuf)
“The childlike imagery of the Sixties and Seventies were the daydreams of a generation which believed in Peace and Love; looking back, those are still principles I go by. Today, with the constant drumming of war, we need those principles more than ever before. There are still many people who appreciate my past ephemeral stages and the lessons they represent. The fact that a new generation listens to my records and appreciates them today shows me that there's still something in them worthy to ponder." – YUSUF ISLAM, 2005
Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, has created some of the most spiritual and reflective music to come out of the 1960’s and 70’s. Timeless musing of the pain and pleasure of discovering what life is about during the volatility of youth. His musical legacy and chart successes along life’s way unquestioningly defined his role as one of the most sensitive '70s singer-songwriters, influencing generations of musicians ever since.
Born Steven Georgiou in London, Cat Stevens began his career in the early 1960’s. Discovered as a teenager in 1966, Cat Stevens demonstrated a rare talent for creating hit songs such as “The First Cut is the Deepest” and “Here Comes My Baby,” both of which became Top Ten singles. His debut album, Matthew and Son, released in 1967, spawned another Top Ten hit in the UK with the title track. Over the next few years, Cat Stevens would release eight consecutive gold albums.
The release of Cat Stevens fourth album, Tea for the Tillerman, heralded the heartrending nature of his quest for ‘big’ answers to life and marked his US crossover success with the Top 20 hit “Wild World” and the classic “Father and Son.” Solidifying his position as a master singer/songwriter, Cat Stevens released, Teaser And The Firecat in 1971, which featured the Top 5 singles “Moon Shadow” and “Peace Train.” Catch Bull at Four, released in 1972, and Buddha and the Chocolate Box, released in 1974, and in 1975, Cat Stevens Greatest Hits sold over 3 million copies in the US alone. Cat Stevens also contributed songs to the cult comedy film Harold and Maude in 1972.
After many years of heartfelt, metaphysical exploration, Cat Stevens discovered Islam, just before the religion began to draw the political headlines on the world’s stage. He had been spiritually moved, following his study of an English translation of the Qur’an, and in 1977 he became a Muslim. Subsequently adopting a new name after reading the Qur’anic story of Joseph (the son of Jacob), he became Yusuf Islam. Then, to the surprise of millions of admirers, he haply bowed out and withdrew from the spotlight.
A devoted family man, he has continuously been working for charitable causes especially in the field of children and education. In a historic event, he achieved equality for Muslim families in the U.K. by founding the first government-funded Primary school for Muslim pupils alongside long established existing schools for Christians and Jewish communities.
Most of his royalties have generously been donated to various children’s causes - including his charity Small Kindness - which has helped thousands of orphans and destitute families in the Balkans of Europe.
September 2000 saw the release of The Very Best Of Cat Stevens marking his first gold record in more than 20 years. In 2001, the Cat Stevens Box Set was released from which he donated the royalties to the September 11th Fund and Small Kindness.
Today, Yusuf Islam is arguably one of the world’s most famous converts to Islam. He has been awarded the ‘World Social Award’ for his humanitarian relief work. Previous recipients of this award include Pope John Paul II, Steven Spielberg, and Sir Paul McCartney. More recently, in November 2004, he was honored with the ‘Man for Peace’ award by a committee of Nobel peace laureates and this year will receive an honorary doctorate for his work in education in the UK.
This album contains no booklet.