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New Masters [UK Bonus Tracks]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
New Masters is as uneven musically as its predecessor, Matthew & Son, was bold. Recorded after Cat Stevens had enjoyed a trio of hit singles of his own, and a pair of hits "Here Comes My Baby," "First Cut Is the Deepest" as a songwriter, but also after he'd started drinking regularly and the hits had stopped coming as easily. He had also broken with his producer, Mike Hurst, it was -- according to Andy Neill -- truly a lawyers' record, in the sense that attorneys were all over the studio during the recording, representing both sides of the dispute. And with the record label caught in the middle, the resulting album was allowed to die on the vine in 1967/1968 though Decca...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
New Masters is as uneven musically as its predecessor, Matthew & Son, was bold. Recorded after Cat Stevens had enjoyed a trio of hit singles of his own, and a pair of hits "Here Comes My Baby," "First Cut Is the Deepest" as a songwriter, but also after he'd started drinking regularly and the hits had stopped coming as easily. He had also broken with his producer, Mike Hurst, it was -- according to Andy Neill -- truly a lawyers' record, in the sense that attorneys were all over the studio during the recording, representing both sides of the dispute. And with the record label caught in the middle, the resulting album was allowed to die on the vine in 1967/1968 though Decca was able to sell it in profusion when it was reissued [especially in America] when Stevens re-emerged as a popular singer/songwriter in the early '70s. In a sense, it's more of the same as Matthew & Son but, intrinsically, not as interesting as a late 1967 release, as the earlier record was as an early 1967 release. The quirky, folky pop sound is there, on songs like "Kitty" and "Northern Wind." Some of it is highly derivative -- "The Laughing Apple" owing a bit to "Greenback Dollar," among other songs -- interspersed with pop balladry "Smash Your Heart" and whimsy "Moonstone," "Ceylon City", plus the author's version of his own pop-soul standard "The First Cut Is the Deepest." Much more interesting on this CD are the previously unanthologized singles and B-sides, starting with the Tchaikovsky-influenced "Here Comes My Wife," and the killer single "A Bad Night," which was too complex and abrupt in its changes to keep an audience's attention in 1967; the trippy, spacy "Lovely City When Do You Laugh," with its languid tone and ornate guitar; the pounding "It's a Supa Dupa Life"; and the late Deram sides, "Where Are You?" and "The View from the Top," which stand midway between Stevens' '60s pop sides and his '70s singer/songwriter work.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/23/2003
  • Label: Universal I.S.
  • UPC: 602498108222
  • Catalog Number: 9810822
  • Sales rank: 3,879

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Cat Stevens Primary Artist
Technical Credits
Cat Stevens Composer
Jimmy McHugh Composer
Mike Hurst Producer
Phil Dennys Director
Ivor Raymonde Director
Alan Tew Director
David Whittaker Director
Andy Neill Liner Notes
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