Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Cat Stevens 8: Greatest Hits

Due to his success in the ‘70s, Cat Stevens’ original label took plenty of advantage of the material he recorded in the ‘60s, repackaging the same two albums in different configurations and even daring to put a more contemporary photo on the cover along with a false claim that the contents delivered his “best”. He wouldn’t have been able to stop them anyway, but could certainly claim Greatest Hits as the title for an album dedicated to his more recent, and indeed, best work.
Greatest Hits is not presented chronologically, and neatly transitions from the simpler acoustic material to the more electric arrangements and back again. Some of the new transitions work quite well—for instance, “Father & Son” to “Sitting” to “Morning Has Broken”. Original copies came with a poster featuring a July-through-June calendar of sorts, with lyrics appearing where dates would be, suggesting some kind of framework. Most of his singles are here—“Peace Train” in its early-faded edit—including the non-album cover of Sam Cooke’s “Another Saturday Night” and the “new” exclusive “Two Fine People”.
For an introduction to Cat Stevens—or at least the one who dominated the airwaves and turntables in the early ‘70s—the curious would be well served by Greatest Hits. And then they’d end up grabbing Tea For The Tillerman and Teaser And The Firecat anyway. It’s since been surpassed by later compilations, which we’ll get to eventually and in context.

Cat Stevens Greatest Hits (1975)—

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