Tea for Tillerman [Deluxe Edition]

Tea for Tillerman [Deluxe Edition]

by Yusuf (Cat Stevens)Cat Stevens


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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. [In 2008, Tea for the Tillerman appeared in a beautifully remastered edition containing a bonus disc with 11 tracks; and a booklet with brief essays by Yusuf Islam (Stevens' current name), producer Paul Samwell-Smith and guitarist Alun Davies, and complete lyrics and photos. The bonus material was written and recorded for the album. The disc opens with the original demo for "Wild World" with Stevens accompanying himself on acoustic guitar, perhaps the first recorded version of the track. This is followed by two selections -- "Longer Boats" and "Into White" -- taken from a solo concert at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. There's also a great 1969 piano demo of "Miles from Nowhere" that approaches the final album arrangement. The first time Stevens' wonderful studio/backing band appears is on "Hard Headed Woman," from a 1976 tour of Japan. The great Alun Davies, Stevens' right-hand mate on acoustic guitar is here, showing his dusky brilliance. The recording is solid but it's not perfect;, but it contains the drama and intimacy Stevens was capable of injecting his songs with in a live setting. Davies and Stevens' rapport on a stage is even more remarkable than it is in the studio, as a pair of performances from the Majikat Earth Tour in 1976 reveal. "Where Do the Children Play" is one of disc two's real highlights. The real rarities come near the end of the disc, though, with Stevens performing at Yusuf's Café in 2006 accompanied by Davies and a small band. Both songs "Father and Son" and "Wild World" have aged exceedingly well. Making this well worth the money for the update.] ~ William Ruhlmann & Thom Jurek

Product Details

Release Date: 11/04/2008
Label: Imports
UPC: 0602517870888
catalogNumber: 5036231
Rank: 28577

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Yusuf (Cat Stevens)   Primary Artist,Guitar,Piano,Keyboards,Vocals
Alun Davies   Guitar,Vocals
Wayne Hernandez   Vocals
Chico Batera   Percussion,Piano
Harvey Burns   Drums
Gerry Conway   Percussion,Drums
Bruce Lynch   Bass,Bass Guitar
Suzanne Lynch   Background Vocals
Perry Melius   Drums
Jean Roussel   Keyboards
John Ryan   Bass Guitar
Larry Steele   Percussion,Bass Guitar,Electric Guitar
John Themis   Guitar,Vocals
Mark Warner   Guitar
Anna Rugis   Background Vocals
Trevor Barry   Bass,Bass Guitar
John Rostein   Violin
John Gibbons   Vocals
Crispin Robinson   Percussion
Peter Bradley Adams   Keyboards
Peter Adams   Keyboards

Technical Credits

Yusuf (Cat Stevens)   Composer,Author,Artwork,Art Direction,Illustrations
Alun Davies   Liner Notes
Paddy Kingsland   Engineer
Del Newman   Arranger
Paul Samwell-Smith   Producer,Liner Notes
Nick Gomm   Engineer
Bernie Andrews   Producer,Audio Production
Calvin Massey   Composer

Customer Reviews

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Tea for the Tillerman 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
JonnyColman More than 1 year ago
Mere words are inadequate to describe the transcendent and spiritual nature of this recording.
Listen to it and let the music wash over you in the same soothing and calming way it has me.
Cat Stevens's songwriting and guitar playing along with the arrangements speak for themselves and don't need any help from me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
of my all time fave albums this is right up there, on a daily basis i will either listen to tea for the tillerman, the wall, or dark side of the moon the whole way through i cant get enough of it!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
All of the songs on this CD are excellent. This album truly reflects the time period in which it was created. If you buy it you won't be disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This album came out shortly before I was born but I heard this music when I was a little boy on the brand new FM band on the radio. The second CD of the set is totally awsome with Wild World at the Troubledour Night Club in Hollywood to Songs from His Yusef's Cafe DVD recordings. This is a must have for a Cat Stevens / Yusef Islam Fan.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have fond memories of this album from my childhood. My musical tastes are more along the lines of Swedish melodic death metal but one can never forget where they came from. My dad used to play this album on many car rides as well as albums such as Elton John's Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Mad Man Across The Water and The Beatles' Abby Road. I'd like to say that I have fairly ecclectic background musically and this album is one of the closest to my heart in that way. The highlight for me would have to be Father and Son. I love the way Stevens sings both views in different ways. Wild World is of course a popular one of his earlier works and a great song by itself. In it he appears to be singing about a girl but that girl could also represent so many other things to whomever listens to this wonderful piece of work.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I grew up listening to my father play this album's music on his guitar, and have a lot of emotions tied to it. Not only that, but add to it the beautiful poetry of Steven's lyrics, the soothing sound of his voice, and the catchy rythm- you've got yourself an awesome record!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This work by Cat Stevens is unsurpassed in it's collection of hit after hit and should be collected by anyone who knows and loves music. This collection of songs stands as a tribute to the mind and thoughts of a truly original thinker. This 8 track tape was played at parties through the night over and over when first released. A true masterpiece.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What more is there to say? This is absolutely one of the best albums ever. Yusuf Islam is so insightful and talented and the name change doesn't take that away from him. How can you not feel a little sadness for the singer when hearing Wild World? What a talent.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My mom is a Cat Steven's fan, and she bought this, and was listeing to it one morning. It woke me up, and I layed there listening to it! The first time I heard Sad Lisa and Wild World, I knew I had to have this album! It's incredible! Every song is a hit, but my favs are Sad Lisa, Wild World, and Where Do The Children Play. The album's sound quality is pretty good too. I RARELY listen to an album all the way through at one sitting, but this is one that I always listen to all the way through! Definitely some of Cat's best work! Just listen to this once, and I guarantee you'll be left wanting more!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
His use of melodies and fairy tale lines are greatly used and not over used. The overlooked "Into White" is a great melody. "Father and Son" is a great song about relationship building. Play it over and over again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a truly incredible album. This is essential to any Cat Stevens fan's collection. Anyone who has not heard Cat should listen to this and I garauntee that they will be hooked.
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