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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, Rovi
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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If you like this dirty hippy then you support terrorists. He hasn't been relevant in 30+ yrs anyway. Get with the times you liberal hippies.
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Alabaster... Like I said.... You just sound like one angry human being. The world has enough hatred... You don't need to add to it... Start enjoying the music and words and maybe turn over a new leaf... And as we "hippies" say.... "Peace man!!!!!!!!"
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They have Cat inducted and not multi talented bands like Jethro Tull? It just proves that like so many other things it has to do with who is making money off the rights and not talent. Coupled with the fact Cat signed the rights to his songs over to a religious school that may be radicalizing young Muslims it really makes the messages in his songs incredibly hypocritical .

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Why is he in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame when he is just folk? They should have Bon Jovi, The Moody Blues, The Smiths, and other worthy bands who are actually rock. They induct artists who are purely folk, pop, or rap but neglect the true rockers.
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Those are some pretty twisted thoughts alabaster. I hope your just being a troll and that you don't actually believe what you wrote. Either way, I'm sure Cat's conflicted messages are right up your sewer. Maybe when you get older and wiser you'll understand some of the concepts in the preceding posts. Shalom
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alabastervil l i s 0
i dont listen to crap stevens, i dont care if he wishes death to all of us, i hate all of us as well, people are scum and we all perish in the end just the same, i hate him because he is a stinky rotten hippie. devouror of nothing to do with soap, i can only imagine what he smells like, massive BO id think. peace is over rated and never achieved so by all means let us hate, its the only honest emotion left to us. embrace it as it has already embraced you.
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It just so sad that went from a peace and love hippie to a justifier of a fanatical religious death warrant on a fellow poet. I find myself starting enjoy one of Cat's wonderful early songs and realize I might be funding murders inspired by the religious school he founded. I know that his hard core fans don't want to hear this, but having grown up with these songs and knowing the hippie spirit I just can't reconcile the two. Shalom
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Cat Stevens' Father and Son reminds me of Harry Chapin's Cats Cradle. Karma is a b***h. Both are great songs.
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I love this man's music. Back in the early'70s his music inspired me to beg for my first guitar....a Yamaha classical acoustic. I had his beautiful face plastered on my bedroom walls. I'd sit, listen to him, staring at his face, and dreamed he was my husband :) When I heard he'd converted to Islam it didn't surprise me. If you knew anything about him, you knew that he was always searching for a "religion" that would match his desire for "world peace" and harmony to match his haunting melodies. W
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Brad whomever you are I might not be a fanatic, but I LOVE old CAT STEVENS music & it reminds me of much better days & my mom...
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And don't tell me to calm down....& keep the peace...
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You are ignorant! Like the other guy said...."Nuf f Said " Have a nice life...
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I guess free speech doesn't apply to me eh chery? Calm down and listen to the music of Cat Stevens. Never mind that he justified a religious death warrant. Shalom
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If you don't like him don't listen..But leave others alone. And my spelling is fine. College grad a**hole! Don't start with me Jack!
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Jack don't start with me.. I just want to listen to good music...Dram a free
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Grrrr spell check sux....lol. So does hate speech.
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Your preaching to the converted chert. Even hate speech like Cat's is protected. And guess what? What have typed is protected to. Shalom
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You know what? Jack whoever you are...Those who judge will be judged...Eve r y one is entitled to their own opinion! It's called freedom of speech in America!
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Brad, you've made it painfully obvious that you will love Cat Stevens no matter what he does or has done. The very definition of a fanatic. Also, I have nothing against peaceful Muslims only against those that kill or justify killing others>>like Cat did. Shalom
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Love old cat Stevens music. Reminds me of better & simpler days...
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Because all Muslims are terrorists right? I love Cat Stevens! Nuff said.
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As I said before, there is no doubt that Cat is a talented Musician. But our listening to it sends money to who and what? Are we helping to fund murders? Shalom
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How people perceive cat Stevens music and the man himself today isint exactly fair to cat.consider i n g the war with Muslim terrorists today surely put the whole religion into question since the extremists use Allah as their scapegoat.I' m sure he didn't for see the future events unfolding as they are today.that being said the sounds he put out back then are still comforting soothing and mellow listing enjoyment to me.come back and sock it to them cat.
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Since Cat may be using money he makes from these songs we are listening to to help fund a religious school he founded and that school might be radicalizing young Muslims so that they join terrorist groups like Hamas and Dash, it is VERY important that we get the word out about NOT supporting his music. Shalom
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Don't want to hear it!!
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Oh yeah Cat taught at and founded an entire school that tries to justify things like religious death warrants. Thank you for correcting me on how far astray Cat Stevens has gone from his early peace and love songs. Your proving my point for me. Shalom
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I do not approve of ANY religious fanatics that think they have the right to kill you because you do not believe as they do. Also, in general, the people who take the time to make these posts do so because they think there is something special to write about. So, obviously Cat is not just another musician to you too. Shalom
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btw Jack. Yusef does not teach at the Islamia primary school. He helped found it back in 1983 but is not a teacher. He is not the mouth piece of fanatics as you put it. He is a singer songwriter who happens to be one of a billion and a half members of a religion you obviously do not approve of. You are basing your opinion on a quote from 26 years ago.
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I only noticed what a disappointme n t his personal life choices are to certain people in these comments, never mentioned you in particular jack. I find THAT extremely funny. I love his music and find his personal life about as important as all the other artists I listen to.
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By the way, it's obvious you weren't even reading everything I wrote on these posts. You only saw what you wanted to see. Why did you assume I was religious? I find that extremely funny. :)
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I know the difference. It is why I always said "fanatic", which is what Cat Stevens supported in his justificatio n of the fatwa death sentence. He still teaches these very ideas at his school. If you read the WHOLE link you shared you'll see he is still rationalizin g the fatwa and the reasons for it as well as other ideas he shares with the FANATIC Muslims. Shalom
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I was never a supporter of the fatwa , but people don't want to hear that.

Read more: http://www.r o l l i n g s t o n e . c o m / m u s i c / f e a t u r e s / y u s u f - i s l a m s - g o l d e n - y e a r s - c a t - s t e v e n s - o n - i s l a m - a n d - h i s - r e t u r n - t o - m u s i c - 2 0 1 5 0 1 1 3 # i x z z 3 c s 7 2 b 8 g 7
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You are rehashing an opinion the man gave 26 years ago. There are Muslims and radical Muslims do you know the difference?
There are over 1.57 Billion Muslim worshippers worldwide. Do you believe they are all terrorists? Grow up and educate yourselves. Christian supporters killed over 20 million victims in the Holy land and Arab/Turkish areas alone during the Catholic Crusades. Hitler was Catholic. The Son of Sam and Jeffery Dahmer were both Born again Christians. Thank God I'm an Atheist.
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Everyone is allowed on opinion even if YOU don't agree with it. There is love enough for us all. Relax and enjoy the music.
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When Cat Stevens tried to justify the Muslim death sentence ("fatwa") that fanatics put on fellow poet Salmon Rushdie, he was also announcing the death of the Cat Stevens we thought we knew and loved. Being told that Cat didn't really believe in the beautiful songs he wrote and sung is bound to upset and disappoint his fans.
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Justifying another's death sentence isn't being judgmental?? ? ? Because that's exactly what Cat Stevens did and still does. Yes he is a talented musician. He also happens to be the mouth piece of hate filled Muslim fanatics. The irony is these fanatics are also anti-music, anti woman's rights and anti personal freedoms. If they had their way we wouldn't even be allowed to write these posts.
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kentstater
Judge not Idiots? Isn't calling someone you don't know being judgmental?
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Cat Stevens is no doubt a terrorist sympathizer as are moast muslims. You can call me any liberal slure you like but they believe everything in the coran.While moast wont act on it they have a hard time truly condeming what the terrorists do after all it is what Mohamed has said what allah wants.Even the super liberal has a show on HBO cant think of name calls it connective tissue and he's right common sense witch many seem to lack.Just ask yourself wear are the muslim protests against terrorism
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If there ever was a person who deserved the label "charlatan" it's this man. Cat, I doubt you'll ever read any of these posts by devoted fans, but if do, I truly hope that someday you'll become the person you pretended to be. Sorry for the rant die hard fans, but he has disappointed so many in such a really horrible way.
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Your talking about a man that tried to justify a death sentence on a fellow poet (see "Satanic Verses"). He actually gave a interview excusing the death sentence given by Muslim fanatics. Just because he is a talented musician doesn't automaticall y make him a good person. Wake up Cat fans and smell the hatred he endorses.
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I am so happy to have found him here. I had all his records and lost them. I am in heaven!!!
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This is only few song of cat Stevens songs I do like and this one is one of them I like. Wide World
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Exactly
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Who are any of us to judge what is right? Judge not! Idiots. Love the man and his music.
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Shut up and listen!
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Believe what you will ... As long as you do not hurt people or force you beliefs on people... Live and let live... Most of all ~~~lets just hear some great music people~~~~
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I can.
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I cannot listen to this man, any longer.
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Why can't people just be people now a days?? If you speak your mind and someone does not agree with it WHO CARES!!! I have a better chance of seeing Bigfoot then Jesus himself. If the man is now Muslim are you not getting your sleep. The R/R hall of fame is a joke!! Just wait until the "Don't worry be happy" guy gets in. If you enjoy Cat Stevens ENJOY him. Because let's face it, as Kansas said... ALL WE ARE IS DUST IN THE WIND!!! Sorry if I offended some, I will still sleep like a baby!!!!
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You will always b CAT STEVENS to me...
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