November 23 – Another Classic from Cat Stevens

11/23/70: Cat Stevens – Tea for the Tillerman

Cat Stevens released his fourth studio album on this day 50 years ago. Tea for the Tillerman was his second release that year, with Mono Bone Jakon released the previous April. The album was recorded over three months in the middle of 1970, with Father and Son and Wild World issued as singles, the latter reaching #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 while becoming an enduring classic. Wild World has also been covered by a number of artists. Just two months ago, Stevens/Yusuf released a new version of the album titled Tea for the Tillerman 2.

Yusuf/Cat Stevens Talks Revisiting 1960s Catalog for New Album - Rolling  Stone

Five of the songs on the album were featured on the 1972 soundtrack to the movie Harold and Maude (not all the songs issued on the soundtrack were in the film), the other half originating on Mona Bone Jakon. The album has garnered classic status in the world of music critics despite the typical “someone pee’d in my Cornflakes” contemporary take by Robert Christgau, who found it monotonous at the time. To me, this album represents the second in a trilogy of fantastic albums, with Teaser and the Firecat following in 1971.

Cat Stevens - Wild World - Live BBC TV Studios - 1970 - YouTube

Stevens may have had his internal struggles with the limelight, but you wouldn’t know it simply by listening to these songs. The album is the epitome of what was good about the singer/songwriter era. They are songs that transcend the years. If they were relatable in 1970, then they can touch nerves in 2020. I certainly don’t limit myself on when I listen to Tea for the Tillerman, but I think of it as Sunday morning music. And if it’s raining, all the better.

Tracklist

Side One:

  1. Where Do the Children Play?
  2. Hard Headed Woman
  3. Wild World
  4. Sad Lisa
  5. Miles from Nowhere

Side Two:

  1. But I Might Die Tonight
  2. Longer Boats
  3. Into White
  4. On the Road to Find Out
  5. Father and Son
  6. Tea for the Tillerman

-Stephen

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea_for_the_Tillerman

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea_for_the_Tillerman_2

4 thoughts on “November 23 – Another Classic from Cat Stevens”

  1. The first song of his I heard was Wild World. It was at an end of the year school party, covered by some local band. SO this would have been 1971. When I got home from school, there was a Columbia House Records mailer that featured Tea For The Tillerman. My mom actually allowed me to buy it! I’ve been hooked on his music ever since.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great LP…this was my first Cat Stevens album…the second one was his Greatest Hits.
    I bought this one because of Wild World but then liked the rest.

    Liked by 1 person

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