Teaser and the Firecat [Deluxe Edition]

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide
Even as a serious-minded singer/songwriter, Cat Stevens never stopped being a pop singer at heart, and with Teaser and the Firecat he reconciled his philosophical interests with his pop instincts. Basically, Teaser's songs came in two modes: gentle ballads that usually found Stevens and second guitarist Alun Davies playing delicate lines over sensitive love lyrics, and uptempo numbers on which the guitarists strummed away and thundering drums played in stop-start rhythms. There were also more exotic styles, such as the Greek-styled "Rubylove" with its twin bouzoukis and a verse sung in Greek, and "Tuesday's Dead," with its Caribbean feel. Stevens seemed to have worked out some of his big questions, to the point of ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide
Even as a serious-minded singer/songwriter, Cat Stevens never stopped being a pop singer at heart, and with Teaser and the Firecat he reconciled his philosophical interests with his pop instincts. Basically, Teaser's songs came in two modes: gentle ballads that usually found Stevens and second guitarist Alun Davies playing delicate lines over sensitive love lyrics, and uptempo numbers on which the guitarists strummed away and thundering drums played in stop-start rhythms. There were also more exotic styles, such as the Greek-styled "Rubylove" with its twin bouzoukis and a verse sung in Greek, and "Tuesday's Dead," with its Caribbean feel. Stevens seemed to have worked out some of his big questions, to the point of wanting to proselytize on songs like "Changes IV" and "Peace Train," both stirring tunes in which he urged social and spiritual improvement. Meanwhile, his love songs had become simpler and more plaintive. And while there had always been a charming, childlike quality to some of his lyrics, there were songs here that worked as nursery rhymes, and these were among the album's most memorable tracks and its biggest hits: "Moonshadow" and "Morning Has Broken," the latter adapted from a hymn. The overall result was an album that was musically more interesting than ever, but lyrically dumbed-down. Stevens continued to look for satisfaction in romance, despite its disappointment, but he found more fulfillment in a still-unspecified religious pursuit that he was ready to tout to others. And they were at least nominally ready to listen: the album produced three hit singles and just missed topping the charts. Tea for the Tillerman may have been the more impressive effort, but Teaser and the Firecat was the Cat Stevens album that gave more surface pleasure to more people, which in pop music is the name of the game. [In 2008, Teaser and the Firecat appeared in a beautifully remastered edition containing a bonus disc with 11 tracks. The double digipack is illustrated with the original album artwork including two beautiful paintings Stevens did for the inner sleeve. The booklet contains an introductory liner essay by Yusuf Islam, track by track notes from producer Paul Samwell-Smith, and a fine reminiscence by Islam's longtime guitarist Alun Davies. Disc two opens with a live version of "Moonshadow" taken from a performance at the Troubadour in 1971. It's just Stevens and Davies; it gets to the beautiful mystery in the tune and is perhaps superior to the studio version. This is followed by five straight excellent sounding demos of album tracks recorded in February, 1971: "Rubylove," "If I Laugh," "Changes," and a deeply vulnerable "How Can I Tell You" that undresses the album's rather glossy arrangement. The final demo is for "Morning Has Broken." This solo acoustic version the first recorded one is slightly different; it's transposed into a different key, Stevens seems a bit unsure of the lyrics he didn't write them, but they are more convincing. It feels more like the hymn it was designed to be than a pop song. Two songs from a pair of Royal Albert Hall performances are included: a completely overblown "Bitterblue" from 1972, and a stellar drums-and-hums reading of "Peace Train" from 2003 which resembles the version on his 2006 album, The Other Cup. This version's timelessness is revealed in the same way that Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready" is. The set ends with "The Wind" from the Yusuf's Cafe Session DVD, recorded with Davies. Here too, the song's poignancy is ever present, even if the performance is a little ragged. This deluxe edition is worth the extra investment.] ~ William Ruhlmann & Thom Jurek
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/4/2008
  • Label: A&M
  • UPC: 602517870918
  • Catalog Number: 001218702
  • Sales rank: 52,928

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 The Wind (1:42)
  2. 2 Rubylove (2:37)
  3. 3 If I Laugh (3:20)
  4. 4 Changes IV (3:32)
  5. 5 How Can I Tell You (4:27)
  6. 6 Tuesday's Dead (3:36)
  7. 7 Morning Has Broken (3:20)
  8. 8 Bitterblue (3:12)
  9. 9 Moonshadow (2:52)
  10. 10 Peace Train (4:11)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Moonshadow (3:06)
  2. 2 Rubylove (2:53)
  3. 3 If I Laugh (4:04)
  4. 4 Changes IV (3:36)
  5. 5 How Can I Tell You (4:03)
  6. 6 Morning Has Broken (2:49)
  7. 7 Bitterblue (3:38)
  8. 8 Tuesday's Dead (4:09)
  9. 9 Peace Train (4:12)
  10. 10 The Wind (1:59)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Cat Stevens Primary Artist, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Guitar, Drums, Vocals, Humming
Rick Wakeman Piano
Alun Davies Guitar, Vocals
Linda Lewis Background Vocals
Andy Roberts Guitar
Chico Batera Percussion
Harvey Burns Drums
Kimberley Carlson Vocals, Background Vocals
Gerry Conway Percussion, Drums
Angelos Hatzipavli Bouzouki
Angela Howell Vocals, Background Vocals
Bruce Lynch Bass, Bass Guitar
Del Newman Strings
Jean Roussel Keyboards
Larry Steele Flute, Guitar, Percussion, Conga, Bass Guitar
Andreas Toumazis Bouzouki
Mark Warner Bouzouki, Guitar
Sue Lynch Vocals, Background Vocals
Technical Credits
Cat Stevens Arranger, Composer, Illustrations, Paintings, Author, Art Direction
Alun Davies Liner Notes
Ted Jensen Remastering
Del Newman Arranger
Paul Samwell-Smith Producer, Liner Notes, Audio Production
Lee Hulko Mastering
Traditional Composer
Aminah Islam Illustrations
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    great classic with awsome extras

    This record came out roughly around the time I was born and heard a lot this music on the radio when I was small boy. As a thirtysomething man I still think the music is simple in its own way but awsome at the same time. The bonus CD has lot of demos that don't sound like demos and almost like a cimpletely different interpretation of the music he himself composed and the live tracks are outstanding especially the realatively new interpretation of Peace Train at the Royal Albert Hall in '03. Better than the original.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews