#198 Cat Stevens – Tea for the Tillerman

Tea for the Tillerman is the fourth album from the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens. Stevens is a British born musician who became a Muslim in the late 70s. He left the music world behind until recently he has started recording and touring.

I had my first encounter with his music in the film Harold and Maude. I had a friend who loved the cinema and he had an indoor cinema in his living room. He showed many old films to his friends and that was how I discovered Harold and Maude and Cat Stevens. He showed that film a few times. It is a classic cult film and Steven’s music fits it perfectly.

My favourite songs are the ones I heard in Harold and Maude: “Where Do the Children Play?“, “On the Road to Find Out“, “Tea for the Tillerman”, and “Miles from Nowhere“. Those are the ones I am most familiar with before I even listen to the album.

After listening to it, I would add “Wild World” to the list of best songs. I can feel the sadness of leaving in the song’s lyrics.

The only song I absolutely hate is “Father and Son”. I hated my mother’s husbands. Neither of them was a father to me. The first was supposed to be my father, but I always felt he was not and he told me he was not my father. My mother was the only one who stuck to her lies and secrets. Anyway the song sucks. Just skip it.

I listened briefly to Cat Stevens’ older songs before this album and his music and voice was different. I would never have guessed it was him. One surprise is “The First Cut Is The Deepest“. He wrote it, but it was made famous by Rod Stewart and later Sheryl Crow. This is one of my most favourite songs ever. Rod Stewart puts the pain and angst in it that all the others lacked. I will continue exploring Cat Stevens older music later.

This is a great album from Stevens. It deserves to be on the list of 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. He is a singer-songwriter who can convey his message with vocals that move the listener to feel the emotions of the lyrics. And to add to the talent of Stevens, he did the artwork for his album. 8.5/10.

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