Yusuf / Cat Stevens Recasts 1970 Masterpiece for a New Age with Original Producer Paul Samwell-Smith and Original Guitarist Alun Davies!
Fifty years ago, the original Tea For The Tillerman was the record that made London-born artist Cat Stevens an international star and a definitive figure of the first singer-songwriter era. With half a century of experiences since the 1970 LP first appeared, Tea for the Tillerman 2 marks a dramatic and magical reunion with these unforgettable songs, which included such enduring compositions as "Where Do The Children Play," "Wild World" and "Father and Son." The cover art for Tea for the Tillerman 2 echoes the original illustration and design, but 50 years on, the Tillerman "has returned from an expedition to outer space only to discover a world that has become decidedly darker." The two children, Grady and Timmy, are still playing next to him, but now they are streaming the latest music and gaming on their mobile phones.
The new album came to life when Yusuf was discussing with his son how to mark the 50th anniversary of the original. The idea to re-imagine and re-record the songs was born, and the artist contacted the producer of Tea For The Tillerman and so much of Stevens' classic work, Paul Samwell-Smith. They booked a week at La Fabrique Studios in the south of France. Yusuf was also reunited for the sessions with original guitarist Alun Davies, with Bruce Lynch, a member of Yusuf's band from the mid-1970s, on bass. Guitarist Eric Appapoulay and multi-instrumentalist Kwame Yeboah on percussion and keyboards come from his current live band, augmented by two further notables, Jim Cregan on guitar and Peter Vettese on keys. The sessions were engineered by David Hefti, who's contributed to Yusuf's sound on stage and in the studio for nearly ten years.
Most of the material on the 1970 release were written by a 22-year-old Stevens in and around Soho in London, where he was born. Now they are invested with a lifetime of introspection, personal development and the perspective of an older artist. Says Yusuf: "Though my songwriting adventures were never limited to Tillerman, the songs on that album certainly defined me and pointed the way for my mysterious life's journey. Since those originative sessions in Morgan Studios, Willesden, in 1970, Tillerman has grown and developed its own gravitas and influence on music history and as the soundtrack to so many people's lives. Like it was destiny waiting to happen, T4TT² feels like the timing of its message has arrived again."