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Cat Stevens

Cat Stevens, born Steven Demetre Georgiou, was the son of a Swedish mother and a Greek father who ran a restaurant in London. He became interested in folk music and rock & roll in his teens while attending Hammersmith College and in 1965 began performing under the name Steve Adams. Mike Hurst, a former member of the folk-pop group the Springfields, who had become a record producer, heard him and took him into a recording studio to cut his composition "I Love My Dog." This demo caused Decca Records to sign him under the name Cat Stevens and assign him to its newly formed Deram subsidiary. "I Love My Dog" reached the British charts in October 1966, peaking in the Top 40. Stevens' next single, "Matthew & Son," entered the charts in January 1967 and just missed getting to number one (in America, it grazed the bottom of the charts). It was another self-written effort, and Stevens' reputation as a writer was further enhanced by the success of his song "Here Comes My Baby," which was recorded by the Tremeloes and entered the British charts in February, reaching the Top Five. (In America, it peaked just outside the Top Ten.)

Stevens' third single, "I'm Gonna Get Me a Gun," entered the British charts in March and reached the Top Ten, preceded by his debut album, Matthew & Son, also a Top Ten entry. In May, P.P. Arnold got into the British charts with Stevens' composition "The First Cut Is the Deepest," peaking in the Top 20. (Ten years later, Rod Stewart topped the U.K. charts and reached the U.S. Top 20 with his revival of the song. Sheryl Crow revived it for an American Top 20 hit in 2003.) Stevens' fourth single, "A Bad Night," was in the charts in August, peaking in the Top 20. That was a disappointment, considering his recent success, and his next records did even worse: "Kitty," his fifth single, barely made the charts in December, while New Masters, his second album, didn't chart at all. Even worse, in March 1968, Stevens contracted tuberculosis and was hospitalized for three months. He spent a year recuperating. After the failure of an intended comeback single, "Where Are You," released in July 1969, he parted ways with Deram.

Disillusioned by his experience in the music business, Stevens began writing more personal, introspective material. He signed a new contract with Island Records and released his third album, Mona Bone Jakon, in April 1970. Drawn from the album, the single "Lady D'Arbanville" was issued in June 1970 and became his third Top Ten hit in the U.K., causing Mona Bone Jakon to chart modestly in July. Stevens' talent as a songwriter for others had not deserted him; in August, Jimmy Cliff entered the British charts with his composition "Wild World," reaching the Top Ten. With a backlog of material, Stevens had a second Island album, Tea for the Tillerman, out in November; it made the U.K. Top 20. In America, where his Island recordings were licensed to A&M Records, Mona Bone Jakon had not charted, but Tea for the Tillerman marked his American LP chart debut in February 1971, followed shortly by the single release of his own recording of "Wild World," which appeared on the album; it peaked in the Top 20. With that, Stevens suddenly became a major star in the U.S. Tea for the Tillerman reached the Top Ten and went gold; Mona Bone Jakon finally reached the charts (it was belatedly certified gold in 1976); and Deram reissued Matthew & Son and New Masters as a two-LP set, which also charted. Stevens was hailed as one of the most important figures in the currently popular folk-rock singer/songwriter trend, along with James Taylor, Carole King, and others.

In June 1971, Stevens released a new single, "Moon Shadow," which made the Top 40 in the U.S. and the U.K. This was followed in September by "Peace Train," which hit the pop Top Five and reached number one in the easy listening charts in the U.S., just in advance of Stevens' fifth album, Teaser and the Firecat. An immediate gold-record seller, the LP just missed the top of the U.S. charts and hit the Top Five in the U.K. In addition to "Moon Shadow" and "Peace Train," it contained "Morning Has Broken," an adaptation of a hymn, which became Stevens' second consecutive easy listening number one and reached the pop Top Ten on both sides of the Atlantic. Meanwhile, Deram compiled another collection of juvenilia, Very Young and Early Songs, which peaked in the U.S. Top 100 in early 1972, as did a belated American release of the single "Where Are You."

Stevens contributed new and old songs to the film Harold and Maude, a black comedy that became a cult success after its release in 1972, though no soundtrack album was released. (The previously unreleased songs from the film finally turned up on his album Footsteps in the Dark: Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 in 1984.) He also toured and worked on his sixth album, Catch Bull at Four. A slightly harder-rocking effort, the LP, released in October 1972, represented Stevens' commercial peak: it hit number one in the U.S. and just missed duplicating that feat in the U.K., earning gold-record status immediately. Different singles from the album were released in the two countries, in the U.S. "Sitting" and in the U.K. "Can't Keep It In"; both reached the Top 20.

By 1973, Stevens was again beginning to show signs of the strain of being a pop star, even if he didn't become physically ill. For tax reasons, he left the U.K. for a year and moved to Brazil, but he donated the money he would have paid in taxes to charity. He performed less often and stopped granting interviews. In June, he released a new single, "The Hurt," which made the U.S. Top 40. It was followed in August by his seventh album, Foreigner, an ambitious effort that featured an entire LP side given over to a musical suite. The record was another massive commercial success, peaking inside the Top Five in the U.S. and U.K. and going gold instantly. His major appearance for the year was a 90-minute performance on the American TV show In Concert in November.

Stevens issued his eighth album, Buddha and the Chocolate Box, in March 1974, preceded by the single "Oh Very Young," a Top Ten hit. As usual, the album made the U.S. and U.K. Top Five and went gold upon release. In July, Stevens released an independent summer single, a revival of Sam Cooke's "Another Saturday Night," and it made the U.S. Top Ten and the U.K. Top 20. In November, A&M extracted "Ready" from Buddha and the Chocolate Box and released it as a single that made the Top 40. Stevens' Greatest Hits LP was released in June 1975 and predictably was a big success, eventually selling over three million copies in the U.S. alone. "Two Fine People," a new song featured on it, reached the American Top 40. Stevens had his ninth regular album release, Numbers, ready by November. As if in acknowledgment that his greatest hits were now behind him, the album only made the Top 20 in the U.S., though it was certified gold within a couple of months, did not generate a Top 40 single, and missed the charts entirely in the U.K. Stevens took 18 months to deliver his tenth album, Izitso, in May 1977. It restored some of his commercial clout, hitting the U.S. Top Ten and being certified gold in a month, while reaching the U.K. Top 20, and the single "(Remember the Days of The) Old School Yard" made the Top 40 in America and charted in Great Britain.

On December 23, 1977, Stevens formally became a Muslim and adopted the name Yusuf Islam. Notwithstanding this change, there was an 11th and final Cat Stevens album, Back to Earth, released in December 1978; it sold modestly. With that, Yusuf Islam announced his retirement from the pop music business. He entered into an arranged marriage that eventually produced five children, auctioned off his possessions, and founded a Muslim school near London. He was not widely heard from for another ten years, until he made news at the end of the '80s by commenting on the Ayatollah Khomeini's fatwa against novelist Salman Rushdie for writing the book The Satanic Verses. Islam later explained he was not calling for Rushdie's death but that he was defining Islamic law in the same way a Bible student would "quote the legal punishment of a person who commits blasphemy in the Bible." Still, "classic rock" radio stations discontinued playing him as a result, and 10,000 Maniacs, who had covered "Peace Train" on their In My Tribe album in 1987, had it removed from the record.

In 1990, the compilation album The Very Best of Cat Stevens reached the U.K. Top Five. A different album with the same title charted in the U.S. in the spring of 2000, as Yusuf Islam undertook a promotional tour in connection with the reissues of remastered versions of his Cat Stevens albums. Then, in 2006, nearly 30 years after the final Cat Stevens studio album, he released a new studio effort, An Other Cup, under the name Yusuf. In early 2009 he collaborated with "fifth Beatle" Klaus Voormann for a cover version of George Harrison's "The Day the World Gets 'Round." All proceeds from the song were donated to a charity to help the children of war-torn Gaza. Later that same year he released the album Roadsinger. Yusuf toured often during the years after its release, and in 2010 he appeared at "The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear," an event hosted in Washington, D.C. by American satirists Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert; Yusuf sang "Peace Train" as a counterpoint to Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train," while both were topped by the O'Jays' performance of "Love Train." The year 2012 saw the premiere of Moonshadow, a stage musical built around Cat Stevens' best-known songs, which opened in Melbourne, Australia. In April 2014, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In October of that same year, a third album under the Yusuf name appeared, entitled Tell 'Em I'm Gone. The album, produced by Rick Rubin and featuring guitar work from Richard Thompson, saw Yusuf returning to the early blues and R&B that had inspired him as a young man. ~ William Ruhlmann
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Box Set

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Track List: If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out (Radio Single)

Comments

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Hey guys great day at the time of the best of days of our lives . Tc
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Omg! I just read where Cheryl stated that ALL her posts were upbeat and positive! HAHAHAA! Good one Cheryl! Up until now I didn't think she had a sense of humor....lma o . Shalom
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I hardly play any of his songs because I know where the money goes (please read previous posts) and I do not want that on my conscious. However, the mix of songs that go with the station are awesome. Pretty ironic eh....lol. Shalom
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I have to agree with pm brown. They play more James Taylor (who is an excellent singer & songwriter), but I want to hear Cat specifically . I already have stations for my other good music.....
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Cheryl, as usual you've lied again and responded to my posts...lol. . w h i c h are based on facts rather then the trollish desire to attack anyone who doesn't feel as you do. I only wish people to know that he uses the money from these songs to fund an Islamic school HE founded (please read previous posts) and justified a religious death warrant on a fellow poet. Shalom




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pmbrown1948
You hardly play any Cat Stevens music. WHY??
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or my attention. Maybe you can get someone else you can tell your tales of delusion to...I want good music & peace in my life, so I will not even read anymore from "Jack" "Mr shalom"
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I hope you have a lot of fun putting people down because you don't deserve my time..
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I'm not too worried about what people will take from my posts. Hopefully they will be more informed about where the money from listening to Cat Steven's songs goes (see previous posts). And unlike certain internet trolls on here I didn't regress to that sad state (and it was VERY tempting.... l o l ) . Shalom
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I had mentioned how I love old Cat Stevens music! It brings back good memories...I t reminds me of better times..I have to defend myself & bring to everyone's attention that I Asked for the negatvities to stop, but someone wouldn't do it! I would love to hear positive feedback. I'm not the troubled one hear & yes, I Still Love Cat Stevens music...I guess you haven't read my old posts, so please keep the peace?! Thank you
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If anyone read my posts they were all positive & upbeat
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Stop it, Please u both know not for this!!!!! Right wrong, still to late!!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
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By the way, have you noticed how many 60s protest songs are played if you push Cat Stevens Radio on Pandora..... t h e r e is a reason for that, and sending our money to an Islamic school by listening to Cat Stevens is about as far away from that 60s spirit as you can get. Shalom
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Continued ..radical Islam. The only time Cat spoke up was to add credence to a religious death warrant on a fellow poet. Shalom
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The rebellious sixties was all about caring. Unlike Cat Stevens, that caring never left me. That's why I'll never shut up when it comes to a charlatan like Cat Stevens. That Islamic school that his songs help pay for helped to create the generation that is destroying precious antiquities, beheading any culture different from theirs, and has caused the greatest forced migration of people since WWII. That's what "not caring" leads to. (See earlier posts) Where are the Muslim demonstratio n s against
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Cheryl and Jack. Shut up already. My opinion of Cat Stevens was and sill is that he was a beautiful creative songwriter and singer. His songs contributed greatly in shaping my development as a young man. And I don't care a lick about what or who he chose to become. Neither should you.
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Cheryl, is this your fourth or fifth "last post" trolling other people posting about Cat Stevens? I've lost count..lol. Your just as inconsistent as Cat Steven starting an Islamic school and justifying a religious death warrant on a fellow poet from funds from his peace and love songs. Many of us are getting a bit embarrassed for you. Stop trying to make this personal and stay on topic. Shalom
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I asked you not to make this personal..Yo u have nothing better to do than call me names?? You don't know me & thank god for small favors..
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And we have decided you are an ignorant a** hole...Don't bother me anymore. Find someone else argue with!!
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Well Cheryl, we've established you are inconsistent , in denial, can't tell the truth, and more concerned with trolling other people then talking about the charlatan Cat Stevens (see previous posts). While Cat is a talented musician, the funds from his songs got to a Islamic school he founded which may have the opposite effect on its pupils then the themes of his songs. From your actions and posts Cat would be very proud of you. lol Shalom
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I told you not to start with me..I am peaceful (hippie)? You don't knows me, so don't make this personal...I can handle myself, so leave it alone & wait for someone else you can badmouth!
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You have issues...
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These are posts about Cat Stevens Cheryl, so of course I'm going to make my posts relevant to him (and not just trolling another person). So stop pretending your a peaceful hippie (like your hero the charlatan Cat Stevens) and start posting more on topic subjects. Some day radical Islam may come knocking on your door and just like Hitler in WWII it will be too late because up until then it didn't effect you personally. Shalom
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Wow your right once again, but it was no question about Cat Stevens, it was about you & why you even bother listening to the muslim?! This will be my last comment to you & your hatred....Do n ' t bother texting me back, cause god don't like ugly either...Oh yeah, almost forgot, "Have a nice life"
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(Continued) they won't hurt you. Hitler s and the radical Muslims thrive in that kind of environment. So go ahead and lie again and wish me a nice life while I wait for your next attempt at getting in the last word...lol. Shalom
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Cheryl, do you not even read or remember your own posts? Read six posts down where your post begins "Let me ask you Jack". I'm pretty sure that's a question. And since it's quite obvious that your in deep denial about a great many things, proving to you that Cat Stevens is a dangerous is a waste of all our time. Since you also stated that you care what anybody does as long as it does not effect you personally you fit well into the classic stereo type that where you will love anybody as long as t
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First of all I don't recall ever asking you any questions, you just put it out there for all to enjoy..secon d of all, I really don't think a** is swearing...I know some awsome swearing that I don't have to use cause I am a lady...In the future, I will just bypass your wonderful comments..LI V E , LAUGH, & LOVE! Don't start with me again Jack! just leave me alone...Enjo y yourself & the hate that radiates from you!!
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What. Is going on. Is. Cat. Steven. A. Sucide. Bomber. Let. Me. Stop. Listening
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As tempting as it is to answer your swearing and insults with more of the same Cheryl, I'll say only this.....sto p asking questions you don't want to hear the answers to. Now hopefully you'll be truthful and stop asking them. Shalom
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I knew you would have a smart a** response...s o , I'm not even gonna feed into your ignorance... O n c e again, have a nice life...
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If you want sanitized and censured feedback Cheryl, Iran and Saudi Arabia might be a better place to read posts on Cat Stevens. Luckily this is still the United States where we have freedom of speech (like you yourself said in a earlier post). Shalom
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Hate is far too strong of a word for how I feel about Cat Stevens. What is dangerous about people like him is that he is helping to fund a religious school he founded with music that professes a philosophy that is the opposite of what might be taught there. This is exemplified by when he chimed in on the religious death warrant on a fellow poet. We might be fooled into helping to fund Radical Islam! Hate? No, disgust would be a better word. Shalom
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Let me ask you Jack, if I may? Why do you even listen to his music if you hate him so much? I have read all the posts & there is not one positive thing you have to say..why don't you start your own website "The I hate Cat Stevens" page..Maybe then I can read some good feedback....
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Well Jack, I'm very familiar with this era of music also. I can't blame the man for walking away from fame the way the industry is & was..I might not agree with all the decisions he's made, but until he does something that affects me, I will still continue to enjoy the old Cat Stevens music & remember the good old days! ..That's what is wrong with the world, too much hate & not enough love.
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Nothing to be impressed by. I just am very familiar with this era's music and the supposed philosophy behind it. Something Cat completely fooled us about. No one likes to be misled. What a horrible charlatan he turned out to be (see previous posts). Shalom
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Wow..How impressive (a Dj) I don't have that on my resume, I'm a fan of good music...That ' s all & that's good enough for me!
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I used to be DJ Cheryl. It's one of the reasons why legions of his fans and I feel so horribly betrayed by Cat Stevens (see previous posts). Shalom
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Wow..First thing I have to agree with Jack! Cats in the cradle is by Harry Chapin...Goo d song, though..
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That's Harry Chapin I think. Great song. Shalom
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I have been looking for a song that Mr. Stevens did and I have not been able to find it. Cats in The Cradle is the name of the song. That song reminds me about my son. It brings me to tears but they are good ones...lol
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Radical Islam is real and has much in common with the Nazis of WWII Germany. The world was in denial then too and look what happened. Read previous posts. Cat has made his sympathies clear and it isn't with moderate or liberal Muslims. I love his early music but unfortunatel y listening to it funds a Islamic school Cat founded. The irony is truly horrific.
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Most people in the Western Hemisphere are influenced by this "Manifest Destiny " religious world view that teaches Isam is a religion that wages war on Christianity , nothing is further from the truth. I believe Bro. Cat Stevens is a God-fearing believer who probably thinks about Christians as much as they think about him. Allah Hu Anbar!!! ��
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Sounds like a bunch of apologetic, sympathizing liberals on here. You are what's wrong with America.
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When he chimed in on that "Fatwah"(see previous posts) he was lending his name and attention to fanatic/radi c a l Muslims not the peace loving ones. Couple that with the fact his songs are helping to fund a religious school he founded that has the potential to radicalize young Muslims. Cat is the opposite of what his early songs preached. Shalom
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How did he get into the Hall of Fame but not more worthy artists like Dick Dale or Lou Rawls?
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For those that are still in denial about Cat's involvement in the "Fatwah" (basically granting automatic entrance to heaven for any Muslim who manages to kill Rushdie), ask yourself why he even had to chime in at all if he wasn't trying to justify this horrific death sentence. Shalom
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That's such a strange thing to say when Cat disappointed so many by judging a fellow poet to a death sentence. We are disgusted because HE was so horrifically judgmental. Shalom
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these comments floor, me !!! shame on all of you !!! he who judges lest he be, judged !!!
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alabaster bend over and crack a smile brea !!! tired of seeing your b.s. comments about hppies !!! the world needs more of them !!!
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P E A C E !!!
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