Cat Stevens – Numbers (1975)

FrontCover1Numbers is the ninth studio album, and the first concept album by singer/songwriter Cat Stevens released in November 1975.

The album Numbers, subtitled “A Pythagorean Theory Tale,” was based on a fictional planet in a far-off galaxy named Polygor. The album included a booklet with excerpts from a planned book of the same name written by Chris Bryant and Allan Scott. The booklet features pen-and-ink illustrations drawn by Stevens.

The concept of the album is a fantastic spiritual musical which is set on the planet Polygor. In the story there is a castle with a number machine. This machine exists to fulfill the sole purpose of the planet – to disperse numbers to the rest of the universe: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 (but notably not 0). The nine inhabitants of Polygor, the Polygons, are Monad, Dupey, Trezlar, Cubis, Qizlo, Hexidor, Septo, Octav, and Novim. As the last lines of the book say, they “followed a life of routine that had existed for as long as any could remember. … It was, therefore, all the more shocking when on an ordinary day things first started to go wrong.” The change takes the form of Jzero, who comes from nowhere as a slave and eventually confuses everybody with his simple truth.

Cat Stevens01

Upon its initial release in late 1975 both fans and critics were confused by the concept and the lack of the sort of “catchy” music that they had been used to from Stevens, and although the album eventually achieved gold status, it sold far less than his previous four albums and was considered a critical failure. At one point A&M Records (his American record label) contemplated terminating his contract, but he still had two albums left to make for them. Stevens continued to be bitter about the process of fame and the pressures to make money for his label, and distanced himself from participating in promotion for the album.


Confronted with an ultimatum from the label along the lines of “make a pop record or else,” he set out to make one of the more expensive records of his career, 1977’s Izitso, which yielded several hits. The success of Izitso showed the label that he was still hit-worthy, but Stevens was now in process of embracing the faith of Islam, and after supplying the album Back to Earth, he opted out of the music business altogether, changed his name to Yusuf Islam, and devoted himself to the Islamic faith, education, and humanitarian work. But he would officially return to pop music with the release of An Other Cup in 2006. (by wikipedia)


Subtitled “A Pythagorean Theory Tale,” Numbers was a concept album relating to a faraway galaxy, a planet called Polygor, a palace, and its people, the Polygons. So one learned from the album’s accompanying booklet. The songs presumably told the tale, but as with so many concept albums, listening to Numbers was like hearing a Broadway cast album without having seen the show — something seemed to be going on, but it was hard to tell what. The setting did allow Cat Stevens to indulge his affection for Middle Ages madrigal music, and individual songs, notably the singles-chart entry “Banapple Gas,” were appealing. The lyrics were full of references to home, God, and “the truth,” which gave the whole a vaguely spiritual tone, though the key word here is “vague.” Stevens fans may have been somewhat put off by the fear that Numbers was a kind of musical math class — though it went gold, the album was the first in his last seven to peak below the Top Ten. (by William Ruhlmann)


Gerry Conway (drums, vocals)
Alun Davies (guitar, vocals)
Bruce Lynch (bass)
Jean Roussel (keyboards, synthesizer, vocals, vibraphone)
Cat Stevens (guitar, vocals, piano. synthesizer)
Chico Batera (percussion, waterphone)
Gordie Fleming (accordion)
Simon Nicol (guitar, percussion, waterphone)
David Sanborn (saxophone)
background vocals:
Barbara Massey – Carl Hall – Tasha Thomas – Art Garfunkel – Lewis Furey – Melba Joyce – Carmen Twillie – Brenda Russell – Vennette Gloud – Suzanne Lynch – Anna Peacock – Vincent Beck – vocals
Magic Children of Ottawa (background vocals)


01. Whistlestar 3.47
02. Novim’s Nightmare 3.53
03. Majik Of Majiks 4.32
04. Drywood 4.57
05. Banapple Gas 3.10
06. Land o’ Freelove & Goodbye 2.49
07. Jzero 3.48
08. Home 4.13
09. Monad’s Anthem 2.17

All songs written by Cat Stevens



And this is a waterphone:

More from Cat Stevens:


Cat Stevens – Foreigner (1973)

FrontCover1.JPGForeigner is the seventh studio album released by English singer-songwriter, Cat Stevens in July 1973. In addition to the minor hit “The Hurt”, which received a moderate amount of airplay, Foreigner also included such songs as “100 I Dream” and the 18-minute-long “Foreigner Suite”, which took up the entirety of side one.

It is the first album written and produced solely by Stevens.

At the pinnacle of Stevens’ success with four consecutive platinum and gold albums: Mona Bone Jakon, Tea for the Tillerman, Teaser and the Firecat, and Catch Bull at Four, Stevens had a dedicated audience and fan base who wanted more. However, he himself thought his music too predictable, leaving him in a creative rut. He decided to write and produce his next album himself, surprising many others, given that Alun Davies, his close friend and first guitar in his backing band, and his producer, Paul Samwell-Smith in particular, were instrumental in assisting Stevens to form the definitive signature sound that had brought Stevens to the height of his stardom. Seeking an alternative, he focused on the kinds of music that had begun to inspire him, which he heard on the radio: R&B music.

Bands that moved him included The Blue Notes and Stevie Wonder. Stevens came to realise that the music that he had always loved originated not as rock and roll, but what he had been introduced to as “black music”. Lead Belly instantly came to mind, who had been one of his favourites. In his mind, he’d learned about “black music” almost through the back door, while also being moved toward both musicals and acoustic folk music. In deciding to drop all the musical influences in his band, he hoped to foster those early soulful sounds himself. In an interview with Circus Magazine, Stevens said: “If black music was happening, I decided to just get down to it. And because I was a stranger in the world of black sounds, I called the album Foreigner.”


Stevens additionally named the album Foreigner, because he took up residency in Brazil as a tax exile. He recorded Foreigner in Jamaica. On 9 November 1973, Stevens performed the song on ABC’s In Concert, a 90-minute program they named the Moon & Star, including the full 18-minute “Foreigner Suite” without commercial interruption.

Although Foreigner sold well, with the album reaching No. 3 on both sides of the Atlantic, it was not favourably reviewed, and its release was not followed by a tour.

In 2009, Stevens (now known as Yusuf Islam) entered into legal proceedings alongside Joe Satriani in a lawsuit (filed in 2004 by Satriani) against the band Coldplay, alleging that they had (at least unintentionally) plagiarised respective works by both artists (“If I Could Fly” by Satriani and Stevens’ “Foreigner Suite”) for the melody to Coldplay’s “Viva


Inlet illustration by Cat Stevens

la Vida” from their Grammy Award winning album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends. Yusuf added that he has forgiven Coldplay and would love to sit down and have a cup of tea with them. The section that resembles “Viva la Vida” begins at about 14:30 until the end of the 18-minute song.

Likewise, the same song segment may have unintentionally been sourced for “Hold Me until the Morning Comes,” a 1983 song from Paul Anka and Peter Cetera. (by wikipedia)


Between 1970 and 1972, Cat Stevens recorded four albums in the same manner, using the same producer and many of the same musicians, painting the album covers, and assigning the records ponderous titles. Things changed with his next album, Foreigner. The recording itself had been produced by Stevens, and while a couple of Stevens’ usual backup musicians had been retained, New York session musicians appeared, and second guitarist Alun Davies was gone. With him went the acoustic guitar interplay that had been the core of Stevens’ sound, replaced by more elaborate keyboard-based arrangements complete with strings, brass, and a female vocal trio featuring Patti Austin. It’s easy to look at the 18-plus minute “Foreigner Suite” that took up the first side and accuse Stevens of excess and indulgence. What should be kept in mind, however, is that his peers in 1973 were acts like Jethro Tull and Yes, who in turn were taking their cue from the Beatles’ Abbey Road and the Who’s Tommy.


The single “The Hurt” from all over the world … 

Call Foreigner ambitious, then, rather than indulgent. Actually, the suite is full of compelling melodic sections and typically emotive singing that could have made for an album side’s worth of terrific four-minute Cat Stevens songs, if only he had composed them that way. As it is, the suite is a collection of tantalizing fragments. But the album’s second side, featuring the Top 40 hit “The Hurt,” demonstrates that, even in the four-minute range, his songwriting and arranging were becoming overly busy. On the whole, Foreigner marked a slight fall-off in quality from Catch Bull at Four, which itself had marked a slight fall-off from Teaser and the Firecat. The decline seemed more extreme, though, because Foreigner clearly was intended to be better than its predecessors. That’s the risk of ambition. (by William Ruhlmann)


Paul Martinez (bass)
Bernard Purdie (drums, percussion)
Jean Roussel (keyboards)
Cat Stevens (vocals, guitar, keyboards, synthesizer, clavinet)
Phil Upchurch (guitar)
Gerry Conway (drums, percussion on 01.)
Herbie Flowers (bass on 03.)
Tower Of Power (horns)
background vocals:
Patti Austin – Barbara Massey – Tasha Thomas


01. Foreigner Suite 18,21
02. The Hurt 4.20
03. How Many Times 4.30
04. Later 4.46
05. 100 I Dream 4.11

All songs written by Cat Stevens




Cat Stevens – Buddha And The Chocolate Box (1974)

FrontCover1.jpgBuddha and the Chocolate Box is the eighth studio album by Cat Stevens. The title came to Stevens when he was travelling to a gig on a plane with a Buddha in one hand and a box of chocolates in the other. He pondered that if he were to die in the plane these would be the last objects with him, and he would be caught between the spiritual and the material. The album leans towards the spiritual path, and is an indication of the direction his life would follow. (by wikipedia)

While Foreigner was Cat Stevens’ fifth consecutive gold album and his fourth straight Top Ten hit, it actually marked a small drop commercially and encountered critical resistance for the lengthy suite that took up all of side one. Eight months later, Buddha and the Chocolate Box found Stevens back in England and back with producer Paul Samwell-Smith and second guitarist Alun Davies. It also marked a return to the simpler style of earlier albums. No song ran much over five minutes, the arrangements were sparer and featured more acoustic guitar, and the lyrics did not take off into discursive ruminations about the state of the universe.


It was very much as if Stevens was deliberately trying to make an album like Teaser and the Firecat, his commercial and artistic apex. Having begun the album with an ode to “Music” and its potential for reforming the world, he ended with “Home in the Sky,” in which he sang, “Music is a lady that I still love.” Such statements of renewed commitment added to the sense that the album was consciously crafted as an attempted second wind for the singer, who had been recording and performing at a torrid pace since returning to the music business full-time four years before. But that was not to say that he had abandoned the spiritual nature of his creative quest, and the songs were, as usual, littered with religious imagery. Stevens’ fans responded warmly to Buddha and the Chocolate Box’s stylistic return to form. “Oh Very Young” became his first Top Ten hit in two years, and the album was held out of number one only by The Sting. The album’s tone, however, suggested that Stevens was once again wearying of being a pop star, even as he delivered a record that maintained that status. (by William Ruhlman)


Gerry Conway (drums, vocals, percussion)
Alun Davies (guitar, vocals)
Bruce Lynch (bass)
Jean Roussel (strings, keyboards)
Cat Stevens (vocals, synthesizer, guitar, keyboards)
Roland Harker (banjo)
Del Newman (strings)
Jim Ryan (guitar)
Mark Warner (guitar)
background vocals:
Joanne – Judy – Sunny – Ruby – Barry – Joy – Brigette – Suzanne – Jacqui – Clifford – Danny – Rick – Jimmy – Larry – Suzanne Cox


01. Music 4.21
02. Oh Very Young 2.37
03. Sun/C79 4.36
04. Ghost Town 3.11
05. Jesus 2.14
06. Ready 3.19
07. King Of Trees 5.07
08. A Bad Penny 3.22
09. Home In The Sky  m3.38

All songs written by Cat Stevens




Cat Stevens – Catch Bull At Four (1972)

FrontCover1.jpgCatch Bull at Four is the sixth studio album by Cat Stevens. In the United States it spent three weeks at number one on Billboard’s album chart. The title is taken from one of the Ten Bulls of Zen.

The song “Sitting” was released as a single in 1973, reaching 16 on the Hot 100 Charts. It’s a song about meditation, and the apprehensions that may result from the experiences involving self-realization.


Catch Bull at Four was well received both commercially and critically. Rolling Stone was satisfied with the “gorgeous melody and orchestration”, while simultaneously disappointed by the lack of a single track comparable to “Morning Has Broken” from Teaser and the Firecat. (by wikipedia)

Catch Bull at Four began with a statement of purpose, “Sitting,” in which Cat Stevens tried to talk himself into believing that he hadn’t stalled, beginning to worry that he might be falling behind schedule or even going in circles. It may be that Stevens’ recent experiences had contributed to his sense that he was running out of time. Though he was CatStevens01never a directly confessional writer, one got the sense that his disaffection with the life of a pop star was reasserting itself. And while he was touring unhappily around the world, the world was still going to hell in a handbasket. Yet Stevens was still motivated by his urge to help mankind mend its ways. Love provided some comfort, but for the most part, the singer who had seemed so excited on his last album now sounded apprehensive. Stevens set his reflections to a mixture of musical styles that included traces of old English folk songs, madrigals, and Greek folk music along with more typical rock stylings, all performed with the stop-and-start rhythms that added drama to his performances. Nevertheless, Catch Bull at Four was a more difficult listen than its three predecessors. Coming off the momentum of Teaser and the Firecat, it roared up the charts to number one, but stayed in the Top Ten fewer weeks than its predecessor. Fans who had been stirred by Stevens’ rhythmic tunes and charmed by his thoughtful lyrics were starting to lose interest in his quasi-religious yearnings, busy arrangements, and self-absorbed, melodramatic singing. His career still had a ways to go, but as of Catch Bull at Four, he had passed his peak. (by William Ruhlmann)


Gerry Conway (drums, percussion, background vocals)
Alun Davies (guitar, background vocals)
Alan James (bass, background vocals)
Jean Roussel (keyboards)
Cat Stevens (vocals, guitar, keyboards, mandolin, synthesizer, pennywhistle, drums, percussion)
C.S. Choir (background vocals on 06. + 07.)
Lauren Cooper (backgound vocals on 03.)
Linda Lewis (backgound vocals on 03.)
Jeremy Taylor (guitar on 07.)
Andreas Toumazis – bouzouki on 07.)


01. Sitting (Stevens) 3.16
02. Boy with A Moon & Star On His Head (Stevens) 5.58
03. Angelsea (Stevens) 4.31
04. Silent Sunlight (Stevens) 3.01
04. Can’t Keep It In (Stevens) 3.00
05. 18th Avenue (Kansas City Nightmare) (Stevens) 4.24
06. Freezing Steel (Stevens) 3.39
07. O Caritas (Toumazis/Taylor/Stevens)
08. Sweet Scarlet (Stevens) 3.47
09. Ruins (Stevens) 4.17



More Cat Stevens:


And here you´ll find a rare Cat Stevens songbook from 1971


Cat Stevens – Songbook (1971)

FrontCoverYusuf Islam (born Steven Demetre Georgiou; 21 July 1948), commonly known by his former stage name Cat Stevens, is a British singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. His 1967 debut album reached the top 10 in the UK, and the album’s title song “Matthew and Son” charted at number 2 on the UK Singles Chart. Stevens’ albums Tea for the Tillerman (1970) and Teaser and the Firecat (1971) were both certified triple platinum in the US by the RIAA. His musical style consists of folk, pop, rock, and Islamic music.

His 1972 album Catch Bull at Four spent three weeks at number one on the Billboard 200, and fifteen weeks at number one in the Australian ARIA Charts. He earned two ASCAP songwriting awards in 2005 and 2006 for “The First Cut Is the Deepest”, and the song has been a hit for four artists.[8] His other hit songs include “Father and Son”, “Wild World”, “Peace Train”, “Moonshadow”, and “Morning Has Broken”. In 2007 he received the Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Song Collection from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors.

In December 1977, Stevens converted to Islam, and he adopted the name Yusuf Islam the following year. In 1979, he auctioned all of his guitars for charity and left his musical career in order to devote himself to educational and philanthropic causes in the Muslim community. He was embroiled in a long-running controversy regarding comments which he made in 1989 about the death fatwa on author Salman Rushdie. He has received two honorary doctorates and awards for promoting peace from two organisations founded by Mikhail Gorbachev.


In 2006, he returned to pop music – releasing his first album of new pop songs in 28 years, titled An Other Cup. With that release and subsequent ones, he dropped the surname “Islam” from the album cover art – using the stage name Yusuf as a mononym. In 2009, he released the album Roadsinger, and in 2014, he released the album Tell ‘Em I’m Gone, and began his first US tour since 1978. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014. His second North American tour since his resurgence, featuring 12 shows in intimate venues, began on 12 September 2016 (by wikipedia)

And here´s a rare songbook from his early days ,,. including all song from his albums “Mona Bone Jakon” and “Tea For The Tillerman”.:








One of my favorite Cat Stevens song






I got this very rare item from a serious record collector … I will call him Mister Sleeve … thanks a lot !

Cat Stevens – Saturnight (Live In Tokyo) (1974)

frontcover1This is probably one of the rarest albums Cat Stevens ever recorded:

When it comes to charity albums from the ’70s, one thinks of The Concert For Bangladesh (1971) and then The Music For UNICEF Concert: A Gift Of Song (1979). But in 1974, Cat Stevens released Saturnight (Live In Tokyo) on vinyl and only in Japan.

In 2009 sherrill50 posted the following note at the Steve Hoffman Forum: “In 1974, Cat Stevens and his band recorded a live show in Tokyo which A&M Records issued the same year on LP as ‘Saturnight’ – but ONLY in Japan. Sort of the holy grail for Cat’s fans, this has (as far as I know) never been issued on CD, anywhere. Renny pointed out (as I’d also heard) that Cat Stevens, now Yusuf Islam, had a serious dislike for the performance and, as a result, it would probably never be issued.”


My love for Cat Stevens isn’t what it used to be but I still enjoy his classic albums Tea for the Tillerman and Teaser and the Firecat once in a while. Most of my favourite songs made it onto this live release in a dignified quality, in contrast to the later Majikat live album which was overstuffed with ladies’ choirs and other grotesqueries. In addition to being a not ungifted acoustic guitarist and pianist, Cat has got a warm, gentle voice that somehow reminds me of oak wood. His songs are elegant and uncomplicated, and most of you will probably have heard one of them somewhere. The best ones among them are usually a tad autumnal (Wild World, My Lady d’Arbanville) if not plain sad, like Father and Son and Oh Very Young, though sometimes also hopeful like Peace Train. Ah, the nostalgia. (by


Alternate frontcovers

Gerry Conway (drums, percussion, background vocals)
Jim Cregan (guitar)
Alun Davies (guitar, background vocals)
Bruce Lynch (bass)
Suzanne Lynch (background vocals)
Anna Peacock (background vocals)
Jean Roussel (keyboards)
Larry Steele (guitar, percussion, background vocals)
Cat Stevens (vocals, guitar, synthesizer, percussion)

01. Wild World (Stevens) 3.03
02. Oh Very Young ((Stevens) 2.28
03. Sitting (Stevens) 3:14
04. Where Do the Children Play (Stevens) 3:52
05. Lady d’Arbanville (Stevens) 3:47
06. Another Saturday Night (Cooke) 2.35
07. Hard Headed Woman (Stevens) 3:54
08. Peace Train (Stevens) 3:58
09. Father And Son (Stevens) 3:41
10. King Of Trees (Stevens) 3:28
11. Bad Penny (Stevens) 3:21
12. Bitterblue (Stevens) 3:12.



Cat Stevens – Tea For The Tillerman (1970)

FrontCover1Tea for the Tillerman is the fourth studio album by the singer-songwriter Cat Stevens. This album, Stevens’ second during 1970, includes many of Stevens’ best-known songs including “Where Do the Children Play?”, “Hard Headed Woman”, “Wild World”, “Sad Lisa”, “Into White”, and “Father and Son”. Four of the tracks (“Where Do the Children Play?”, “On the Road to Find Out”, “Tea for the Tillerman”, and “Miles from Nowhere”) were featured in the Hal Ashby and Colin Higgins’ black comedy film Harold and Maude, in 1971. The track “But I Might Die Tonight” was featured in the film Deep End directed by Jerzy Skolimowski in 1970. Stevens, a former art student, created the artwork featured on the record’s cover. “Tea for the Tillerman” was also used over the end credits for the BBC TV show Extras. “Miles From Nowhere” also appeared in the A-Team episode, “Alive at Five” while Templeton Peck is running away.

With “Wild World” as an advance single, this was the album that brought Stevens worldwide fame.[citation needed] The album itself charted into the top 10 in the United States, where he had previously had few listeners.

In a contemporary review for The Village Voice, music critic Robert Christgau gave the album a “B–” and found the music monotonous and lacking the “dry delicacy” Stevens exhibited on Mona Bone Jakon (1970). Rolling Stone magazine’s Ben Gerson said that Stevens’ songs effortlessly resonate beyond their artfully simple lyrics and hooks, despite his occasional overuse of dynamics “for dramatic effect.”

On 18 November 2003, Rolling Stone included this album in its 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list at number 206.[5] In 2006, the album was included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[6] In 2007, the album was included in the list of “The Definitive 200 Albums of All Time”, released by The National Association of Recording Merchandisers and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.(by wikipedia)

Cat Stevens 1972

Cat Stevens, (centre, in long sleeve shirt), and his nine-man band at the Singapore airport, where he stopped over on the way to perform in Tokyo in 1972.

Mona Bone Jakon only began Cat Stevens’ comeback. Seven months later, he returned with Tea for the Tillerman, an album in the same chamber-group style, employing the same musicians and producer, but with a far more confident tone. Mona Bone Jakon had been full of references to death, but Tea for the Tillerman was not about dying; it was about living in the modern world while rejecting it in favor of spiritual fulfillment. It began with a statement of purpose, “Where Do the Children Play?,” in which Stevens questioned the value of technology and progress. “Wild World” found the singer being dumped by a girl, but making the novel suggestion that she should stay with him because she was incapable of handling things without him. “Sad Lisa” might have been about the same girl after she tried and failed to make her way; now, she seemed depressed to the point of psychosis. The rest of the album veered between two themes: the conflict between the young and the old, and religion as an answer to life’s questions. Tea for the Tillerman was the story of a young man’s search for spiritual meaning in a soulless class society he found abhorrent. He hadn’t yet reached his destination, but he was confident he was going in the right direction, traveling at his own, unhurried pace. The album’s rejection of contemporary life and its yearning for something more struck a chord with listeners in an era in which traditional verities had been shaken. It didn’t hurt, of course, that Stevens had lost none of his ability to craft a catchy pop melody; the album may have been full of angst, but it wasn’t hard to sing along to. As a result, Tea for the Tillerman became a big seller and, for the second time in four years, its creator became a pop star.(by William Ruhlmann)


Harvey Burns (drums)
Alun Davies (guitar, background vocals)
John Rostein (violin)
John Ryan (bass)
Cat Stevens (guitar, keyboards, vocals


01. Where Do The Children Play? 3.51
02. Hard Headed Woman 3.47
03. Wild World 3.18
04. Sad Lisa 3.40
05. Miles From Nowhere 3.32
06. But I Might Die Tonight 1.52
07. Longer Boats 3.11
08. Into White 3.24
09. On The Road To Find Out 5.07
10. Father And Son 3.38
11. Tea For The Tillerman 1.00

All songs written by Cat Stevens