Tea for the Tillerman [Deluxe Edition]

( 5 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide
Mona Bone Jakon only began Cat Stevens' comeback. Seven months later, he returned with Tea for the Tillerman, an album in the same chamber-group style, employing the same musicians and producer, but with a far more confident tone. Mona Bone Jakon had been full of references to death, but Tea for the Tillerman was not about dying; it was about living in the modern world while rejecting it in favor of spiritual fulfillment. It began with a statement of purpose, "Where Do the Children Play?," in which Stevens questioned the value of technology and progress. "Wild World" found the singer being dumped by a girl, but making the novel suggestion that she should stay with him because she was incapable of handling things ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide
Mona Bone Jakon only began Cat Stevens' comeback. Seven months later, he returned with Tea for the Tillerman, an album in the same chamber-group style, employing the same musicians and producer, but with a far more confident tone. Mona Bone Jakon had been full of references to death, but Tea for the Tillerman was not about dying; it was about living in the modern world while rejecting it in favor of spiritual fulfillment. It began with a statement of purpose, "Where Do the Children Play?," in which Stevens questioned the value of technology and progress. "Wild World" found the singer being dumped by a girl, but making the novel suggestion that she should stay with him because she was incapable of handling things without him. "Sad Lisa" might have been about the same girl after she tried and failed to make her way; now, she seemed depressed to the point of psychosis. The rest of the album veered between two themes: the conflict between the young and the old, and religion as an answer to life's questions. Tea for the Tillerman was the story of a young man's search for spiritual meaning in a soulless class society he found abhorrent. He hadn't yet reached his destination, but he was confident he was going in the right direction, traveling at his own, unhurried pace. The album's rejection of contemporary life and its yearning for something more struck a chord with listeners in an era in which traditional verities had been shaken. It didn't hurt, of course, that Stevens had lost none of his ability to craft a catchy pop melody; the album may have been full of angst, but it wasn't hard to sing along to. As a result, Tea for the Tillerman became a big seller and, for the second time in four years, its creator became a pop star. [In 2008, Tea for the Tillerman appeared in a beautifully remastered edition containing a bonus disc with 11 tracks; and a booklet with brief essays by Yusuf Islam (Stevens' current name), producer Paul Samwell-Smith and guitarist Alun Davies, and complete lyrics and photos. The bonus material was written and recorded for the album. The disc opens with the original demo for "Wild World" with Stevens accompanying himself on acoustic guitar, perhaps the first recorded version of the track. This is followed by two selections -- "Longer Boats" and "Into White" -- taken from a solo concert at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. There's also a great 1969 piano demo of "Miles from Nowhere" that approaches the final album arrangement. The first time Stevens' wonderful studio/backing band appears is on "Hard Headed Woman," from a 1976 tour of Japan. The great Alun Davies, Stevens' right-hand mate on acoustic guitar is here, showing his dusky brilliance. The recording is solid but it's not perfect;, but it contains the drama and intimacy Stevens was capable of injecting his songs with in a live setting. Davies and Stevens' rapport on a stage is even more remarkable than it is in the studio, as a pair of performances from the Majikat Earth Tour in 1976 reveal. "Where Do the Children Play" is one of disc two's real highlights. The real rarities come near the end of the disc, though, with Stevens performing at Yusuf's Café in 2006 accompanied by Davies and a small band. Both songs "Father and Son" and "Wild World" have aged exceedingly well. Making this well worth the money for the update.] ~ William Ruhlmann & Thom Jurek
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/4/2008
  • Label: A&M
  • UPC: 602517870888
  • Catalog Number: 001218802
  • Sales rank: 44,694

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Cat Stevens Primary Artist, Guitar, Piano, Keyboards, Vocals, Guitar, Vocals
Alun Davies Guitar, Vocals
Wayne Hernandez Vocals
Chico Batera Percussion, Piano
Harvey Burns Drums
Gerry Conway Percussion, Drums
Bruce Lynch Bass, Bass Guitar
Suzanne Lynch Background Vocals
Perry Melius Drums
Jean Roussel Keyboards
John Ryan Bass Guitar
Larry Steele Percussion, Bass Guitar, Electric Guitar
John Themis Guitar, Vocals
Mark Warner Guitar
Anna Peacock Background Vocals
Trevor Barry Bass, Bass Guitar
John Rostein Violin
John Gibbons Vocals
Crispin Robinson Percussion
Peter Bradley Adams Keyboards
Yusuf Guitar, Vocals
Peter Adams Keyboards
Technical Credits
Cat Stevens Composer, Author, Artwork, Art Direction, Illustrations
Alun Davies Liner Notes
Ted Jensen Mastering, Remastering
Paddy Kingsland Engineer
Del Newman Arranger
Paul Samwell-Smith Producer, Liner Notes
Nick Gomm Engineer
Bernie Andrews Producer, Audio Production
Lee Hulko Mastering
Calvin Massey Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

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(4)

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Inestimable in its appeal

    Mere words are inadequate to describe the transcendent and spiritual nature of this recording.<BR/>Listen to it and let the music wash over you in the same soothing and calming way it has me.<BR/>Cat Stevens's songwriting and guitar playing along with the arrangements speak for themselves and don't need any help from me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    another great Cat Stevens album loaded with awsome extras.

    This album came out shortly before I was born but I heard this music when I was a little boy on the brand new FM band on the radio. The second CD of the set is totally awsome with Wild World at the Troubledour Night Club in Hollywood to Songs from His Yusef's Cafe DVD recordings. This is a must have for a Cat Stevens / Yusef Islam Fan.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews