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On the Road to Find Out

On the Road to Find Out

by Cat Stevens

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Prior to his last live performance in 1979 and his conversion to the Islamic faith, British songwriter Cat Stevens had spent the bulk of his career as a songsmith with a knack for generating mystical, introspective Top 40 hits. Thus, this gorgeous four-CD box set traces Stevens's musical journey from his days as a late-'60s British pop star up to his late-'90s


Prior to his last live performance in 1979 and his conversion to the Islamic faith, British songwriter Cat Stevens had spent the bulk of his career as a songsmith with a knack for generating mystical, introspective Top 40 hits. Thus, this gorgeous four-CD box set traces Stevens's musical journey from his days as a late-'60s British pop star up to his late-'90s incarnation as Yusuf Islam, a devout Muslim who still occasionally records songs with religious themes, such as 1997's "God Is the Light." Along with a broad selection of his best-known hits and a lavish 96-page booklet featuring original album artwork, an essay by Stevens (including song-by-song annotations), and extensive photos, there are a number of musical rarities here, including demos, outtakes, B-sides, live recordings, and 11 previously unreleased tracks. Prime among these cuts is the brassy "Honey Man," a 1970 recording with a then-unknown Elton John on piano, that fits in neatly alongside '60s pop hits such as "There Goes My Baby" (most recently covered by the Mavericks) and "The First Cut Is the Deepest." Hit singles such as "Wild World," "Peace Train," and "Morning Has Broken" point to Stevens's ongoing spiritual quest, as do lesser-known but equally worthy compositions such as "On the Road to Find Out" and "Sitting" and the hard-to-find songs he composed for the film Harold & Maude, such as "If You Want to Sing Out." Fifty percent of the royalties from sales of this box set will go to the September 11th Fund to help victims and families of the 2001 terrorist attacks on America, with the remainder earmarked for orphans and the homeless in underdeveloped countries. Thoughtfully rendered and thought-provoking, the Cat Stevens Box Set pays homage to one of the 20th century's greatest singer-songwriters.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Lindsay Planer
On the Road to Find Out is the first multi-volume package to comprehensively examine the artistry of singer/songwriter Cat Stevens (aka Yusuf Islam). In addition to the obligatory hits, this collection also includes key album tracks, as well as 17 sides that make their digital debut here. The set is broken into four segments/discs with straightforward subtitles, each of which uncovers a specific era in the development of not only the artist, but of the person. The journey begins in The City and consists mostly of material from the first two Cat Stevens albums: Matthew & Son and New Masters. Notable inclusions are the debut album's title track as well as "The First Cut Is the Deepest" and "I Love My Dog." One very welcome addition is "Honey Man" -- a collaborative effort featuring Elton John -- which is being issued here for the very first time. Cat Stevens' stint with Island/A&M Records commences on The Search. The real breakthrough albums -- Tea for the Tillerman and Teaser and the Firecat -- are represented by tracks such as "Sad Lisa" and the achingly tender "How Can I Tell You," as well as the anticipated hits "Wild World" and "Peace Train." Of note to collectors will be "If You Want to Sing out Sing Out" and "Don't Be Shy" from the motion picture Harold and Maude, as well as previously unreleased demos for "The Joke," "Time/Fill My Eyes," "Love Lives in the Sky," and "The Day They Make Me Czar." The Hurt includes tracks from Catch Bull at Four, Foreigner, and Buddha and the Chocolate Box. Among the rarities from this era are "Crab Dance" -- a 45 B-side to "Sitting" -- as well as "Bad Penny" and "Lady D'arbanville" from the Japan-only live release Saturnight (Live in Tokyo). The final entry, aptly titled The Last, recalls a few significant contributions from Numbers, Izitso, and Back to Earth, as well three rare live tracks: "Hard Headed Woman," "Tuesday's Dead," and "Ruins" from a live show February 22, 1976, at William and Mary College on the Majikat Earth Tour. This version of "Father and Son" has added significance, as it would be the final live performance that Yusuf Islam would make as Cat Stevens. Ironically, the final song on the album is the title track from Islam's 1997 release, God Is the Light. The packaging is lavish and includes a 96-page liner notes booklet abounding with rare photos as well as essays and a track-by-track analysis from Islam himself. The discs are packaged in separate cardboard digi-packs. The sound is spectacular throughout, with the most noticeable improvement on the Matthew & Son and New Masters sides.

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Yusuf (Cat Stevens)   Primary Artist,Synthesizer,Guitar,Percussion,Keyboards,Vocals
Rick Wakeman   Piano,Keyboards
Patti Austin   Vocals
Peter Gabriel   Flute
Art Garfunkel   Vocals
Eric Johnson   Guitar
Brenda Russell   Vocals
Luther Vandross   Vocals
David Sanborn   Alto Saxophone
Phil Upchurch   Guitar
Pete Carr   Guitar
Elkie Brooks   Vocals
Alun Davies   Guitar,Vocals
Herbie Flowers   Bass
Ray Gomez   Guitar
Linda Lewis   Vocals
Simon Nicol   Guitar
Mike Vickers   Musical Direction
Don Weller   Saxophone
Lewis Furey   Vocals
Tasha Thomas   Vocals
Chico Batera   Percussion
Barry Beckett   Keyboards
Carla Benson   Vocals
Evette Benton   Vocals
Bill Berg   Drums
Harvey Burns   Percussion,Drums
Brian Cole   Steel Guitar
Gerry Conway   Percussion,Drums,Vocals
Armando Anthony Corea   Piano
Jim Cregan   Guitar
Phil Dennys   Musical Direction
Gordie Fleming   Accordion
Carl Hall   Vocals
Roland Harker   Banjo
Angelos Hatzipavli   Bouzouki
Roger Hawkins   Drums
David Hood   Bass
Barbara Ingram   Vocals
Alan James   Bass
Melba Joyce   Vocals
Marjorie Lagerwall   Harp
Will Lee   Bass
Bruce Lynch   Bass
Suzanne Lynch   Vocals
John Marson   Harp
Paul Martinez   Bass
Barbara Massey   Vocals
Dave Mattacks   Drums
Barry Morgan   Drums
Weldon Myrick   Steel Guitar
Andy Newmark   Drums
Bernard "Pretty" Purdie   Drums
Jean Roussel   Keyboards
Paul Samwell-Smith   Vocals
Broderick Smith   Harmonica
Graham Smith   Harmonica
Larry Steele   Bass,Guitar,Percussion,Conga,Vocals
Andreas Toumazis   Bouzouki
Carmen Twillie   Vocals
Mark Warner   Guitar
Reggie Young   Guitar
Anna Rugis   Vocals
Vincent Beck   Vocals
Alan Tew   Musical Direction
John Rostein   Violin,Soloist
Jim Johnston   Guitar
Lew Warburton   Musical Direction
Steve Jordan   Drums
Jim "Shaft" Ryan   Guitar
John Fell Ryan   Bass
Farihin Abdul Fattah   Track Performer
Jim Henson Project   Piano

Technical Credits

Sam Cooke   Composer
Yusuf (Cat Stevens)   Arranger,Composer,Producer,String Arrangements,Brass Arrangment
Jimmy McHugh   Composer
Dave Bartholomew   Composer
Alun Davies   Composer
Kim Fowley   Composer
Mike Hurst   Producer
Gene Page   String Arrangements,Brass Arrangment
Paul Travis   Composer
David Campbell   String Arrangements,Brass Arrangment
Ken Cumberbatch   Composer
Fats Domino   Composer
David Kershenbaum   Producer
Del Newman   String Arrangements
Richard Niles   String Arrangements
Jean Roussel   String Arrangements,Brass Arrangment
Paul Samwell-Smith   Producer,Audio Production
Derek Wadsworth   String Arrangements
Jean Rouselle   Composer
David Gordon   Composer
Traditional   Composer
Bill DeYoung   Essay
Emil Dacanay   Illustrations
Aminah Islam   Artwork
Calvin Massey   Composer
David Raymond Gordon   Composer


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