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Seven Albums, By Cat Stevens

Hall of Famer

Hall of Famer

In tribute to Imans ability to see Cat live at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony,  I spent an entire day listening to his catalog. I then went on to provide you a nice consumer guide to most of the discography.  No muss, no fuss, just the facts.

Izitso 1977

A clever name and a fun cover but what the hell shrooms was our Cat on when he whipped this up.I blame the t-shirt sweater vest, they must have been bleak times.  “Killin’ Times” actually, which is one of the few tunes that didn’t make me furrow my brow. “Kypros”, Dogs and Donuts… I mean what?  Let alone the absurdly heavy electronica.  He was experimenting and it was places no one should ever venture in to.  “Sweet Jamaica”?  Grade: Meh

Numbers 1975

Well it sure as hell appears as if Cat wants to sink into obscurity with the children’s chorus and instrumental labors. I do mean labors for you literally have toil through it in hopes there is light on the horizon.  Cat is lyric and voice…he begins this LP forgetting that and ya can’t help but hold faith things will improve.  Let’s face it kids.. this one is a total dog. Grade: Ewww

Buddah and The Chocolate Box  1974

This is it my dear the crown jewel.   The third in the Holy Trinity of Cat.  There are so many fabulous songs on this that it’s not worth naming them.  Just play the entire thing over and over.  You’ll never tire of it- you’ll find a lyric to stab you in the gut in every tune and you will be a better person for having heard it.  No lie, this could potentially be the life changing stuff you need to hear to survive.  Grade WOOT!

Foreigner  1973

Gets a bit to organ heavy.  Literally.  At times it sounds like progressive rock with glimpses of church music. But people listen!  “The Hurt” is on this album, and that could well be the spot where Cat discovered he should sing more often and give those instrumentals a break.  I think this is some sort of rock experimental thing with one winner.  I suppose the Cat historians have a big explanation but hey man, I’m just a fan I call it as I hear it. Grade: ehh

Catch A Bull At Four  1972

All my life I wonder whuttup with this album title.  The best thing is O’Caritas which lets you sorta babble like the Swedish Chef ala Pee Wee Herman, but it’s Greek so calm down.  This album is the must have anchor to your Cat collection.  Though there are others which I will refer to eventually as the holy trinity of his work. CABAF, contains a delightful range of sounds from screamers like “Can’t Keep It In” to “Sitting”, a little something for any mood.  And that sassy Greek one too.  Grade; YUS!

Teaser and The Firecat  1971

The second in the Trinity.  When you start with a tune like “The Wind” you’re headed in the right direction.  Less plugged in  more acoustic and more heartfelt Cat takes on the role of near cult leader. Lyrical perfection and his voice is pure flannel.  I swear this album kicks me in the heart every time I hear it- and that’s often, it’s a wonder I’m still alive.  If you haven’t pounded the living daylights out of your steering wheel singing ‘Changed IV” you haven’t lived “MUCH BETTAH!”.  Grade HOLLAH!

Mona Bone Jakon  1970

What the hell that title and how funny it starts off with a plinky love song to D’arbanville.  That’s pretty sassy.  ” I Think I See The Light” is one of my all time favorite songs so I can let that one  bar band vibe have a pass.  Seriously when Cat drops his voice to that low grumble I could scream.  The intro is brilliant, piano stellar.. class tune. “Katmandu” is another  winner.  This album was picked clean for the soundtrack to Harold and Maude thus making it my all time favorite.  Grade BRAVO!


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