Cat Stevens Matthew & Sons (LP Re-Issue)
Having grown up above his parent’s cafe in the heart of London’s West End, Cat Stevens emerged from the folk club scene to release his debut album, Matthew & Son, in 1967 on the newly established Deram label, a subsidiary of Decca. It reached number 7 in the UK charts and supported by the singles ‘I Love My Dog” and ‘‘Matthew & Son” – the latter reaching number 2 in the UK charts – elevated him to the status of a teen idol. Simultaneously, Cat’s songs were being recorded by other artists such as The Tremoloes who had a hit with “Here Comes My Baby”, also in 1967, which helped to establish his reputation as a truly gifted songwriter.
To capitalise on Cat’s swift rise to stardom Deram rushed out a second album in the same year, New Masters. However, some artistic differences had begun to emerge between between Cat, who was starting to yearn for a simple acoustic sound and more artistic control over his career, and producer Mike Hurst, who wanted to push Cat as a pop crooner and who favoured the more lavish orchestral arrangements that characterise on the first two albums. New Masters features ‘The First Cut is the Deepest’ which was a hit for P.P. Arnold in 1967 and would go on to become one of the seminal heartbreak songs of all time with notable covers by Rod Stewart, Sheryl Crow, and Keith Hampshire.
Cat contracted Tuberculosis early in 1968 bringing the first stage of his career to an abrupt halt. During his convalescence he read a book called “The Secret Path” which helped him to embark upon a journey of spiritual self discovery that would go on to define his life and career. He emerged from the illness with the steely determination to resist the forces that were trying to control him, to follow his own artistic instincts, and do music his way.
Matthew & SonI Love My DogHere Comes My BabyBring Another Bottle BabyPortobello RoadI've Found A LoveI See A RoadSide B
Baby Get Your Head Screwed OnGrannyWhen I Speak To The FlowersThe TrampCome On And DanceHummingbirdLady