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Stevens set his reflections to a mixture of musical styles that included traces of old English folk song, madrigals, and Greek folk music along with more typical rock stylings, all performed with the stop-and-start rhythms that added drama to his performances. One could enjoy "Sitting" and "Can't Keep It In" without worrying too much about the ruminations expressed in the lyrics, and many people did; the former was a modest hit in the U.S., the latter in the U.K.
Nevertheless, Catch Bull at Four was a more difficult listen than its three predecessors. Coming off the momentum of Teaser and the Firecat, which had contained three Top 40 hits, it roared up the charts, quickly hitting #1. But it actually stayed in the Top Ten fewer weeks than its predecessor and had a shorter run in the charts overall. After two years of quickly increasing popularity, Stevens had leveled off. Fans who had been stirred by his rhythmic tunes and charmed by his thoughtful lyrics were starting to lose interest in his quasi-religious yearnings, busy arrangements, and self-absorbed, melodramatic singing. His career still had a ways to go, but as of Catch Bull at Four, he had passed his peak. (The album was reissued as a remastered CD on July 25, 2000.) ~ William Ruhlmann
|Cat Stevens||Primary Artist, Organ, Synthesizer, Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Mandolin, Percussion, Piano, Drums, Electric Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Keyboards, Hammond Organ, Electric Piano, Vocals, Whistle (Instrument), Penny Whistle, spanish guitar, Electronic Mandolin|
|Alun Davies||Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Vocals, spanish guitar|
|Linda Lewis||Vocals, Background Vocals|
|Gerry Conway||Percussion, Drums, Vocals|
|Alan James||Bass, Vocals|
|Jean Roussel||Organ, Piano, Keyboards|
|C.S. Choir||Vocals, Background Vocals|
|Cat Stevens||Composer, Engineer, Cover Design|
|Junie Osaki||Reissue Design|
Posted May 18, 2009
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