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Buddha and the Chocolate Box

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide
On Foreigner, his seventh album, Cat Stevens, living outside his native England for a year for tax reasons, recorded without his usual producer, Paul Samwell-Smith, and his usual second guitarist, Alun Davies. While the result was his fifth consecutive gold album and his fourth straight Top Ten hit, the record actually marked a small drop commercially and encountered critical resistance for the lengthy "Foreigner Suite" that took up all of Side 1. Eight months later, Buddha and the Chocolate Box found Stevens back in England and back with Samwell-Smith and 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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide
On Foreigner, his seventh album, Cat Stevens, living outside his native England for a year for tax reasons, recorded without his usual producer, Paul Samwell-Smith, and his usual second guitarist, Alun Davies. While the result was his fifth consecutive gold album and his fourth straight Top Ten hit, the record actually marked a small drop commercially and encountered critical resistance for the lengthy "Foreigner Suite" that took up all of Side 1. Eight months later, Buddha and the Chocolate Box found Stevens back in England and back with Samwell-Smith and 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 were deliberately trying to make an album like Teaser and the Firecat, his commercial and artistic apex. "Oh Very Young," for example, was identifiably the work of the man who had recorded "Moon Shadow" and "Morning Has Broken," rather than the author of "The Hurt" and "Sitting." It was a gentle, melodic ballad, full of fatherly advice, and the 25-year-old bachelor followed it with "Sun/C79," a fantasy of the future in which he described to a child how he had met its mother years before when he was a pop star and she attended one of his concerts. "I'm still having a good time," he concluded. 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 to his job added to the sense that the album was a conscious 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, in everything from the album title to the song "Jesus," 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 since "Morning Has Broken" two years before, and the album was held out of #1 only by the soundtrack to The Sting, logging more than twice as many weeks in the Top Ten as Foreigner and as many as Catch Bull at Four, even if it fell short of Teaser and the Firecat. 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. ~ William Ruhlmann

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/25/2000
  • Label: A&M
  • UPC: 731454688826
  • Catalog Number: 546888
  • Sales rank: 6,084

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Music (4:21)
  2. 2 Oh Very Young (2:36)
  3. 3 Sun/C79 (4:35)
  4. 4 Ghost Town (3:10)
  5. 5 Jesus (2:14)
  6. 6 Ready (3:18)
  7. 7 King of Trees (5:07)
  8. 8 A Bad Penny (3:21)
  9. 9 Home in the Sky (3:38)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Cat Stevens Primary Artist, Synthesizer, Guitar, Keyboards
Alun Davies Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Joy Vocals
Clifford Vocals, Choir, Chorus
Gerry Conway Drums, Vocals
Suzanne Cox Vocals
Danny Vocals
Roland Harker Banjo
Jimmy Vocals, Choir, Chorus
Judy Vocals, Choir, Chorus
Bruce Lynch Bass
Del Newman Strings
Rick McCollum Vocals
Jean Roussel Strings, Keyboards
Jim Ryan Guitar
Mark Warner Guitar
Barry Vocals
Brigette Vocals, Choir, Chorus
Jacqui Vocals, Choir, Chorus
Joanne Vocals, Choir, Chorus
Jean Rouselle Drums, Vocals
Sunny Vocals, Choir, Chorus
Ruby Vocals
Larry Vocals
Technical Credits
Cat Stevens Composer, Producer, Concept, Illustrations
John Wood Engineer
Victor Gamm Engineer
Ted Jensen Mastering
Del Newman Arranger, String Arrangements
Jean Roussel Arranger, String Arrangements
Paul Samwell-Smith Producer
Jean Rouselle String Arrangements
Vartan Art Direction
Roland Young Concept
Mathieu Bitton Reissue Package Design
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    i dig it, it's like far out

    this album is amazing the first time i heard it was on vinyl i was 14, i am now 17 and i have loved cat stevens ever since. it was like a breath of fresh air stevens style is very original and simple. i dig it. you should too.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews