Yusuf / Cat Stevens back with reissues of ‘Tea for the Tillerman’ and ‘Mona Bone Jakon’

Following the widely acclaimed release of ‘Tea for the Tillerman²’, December 2020 will see Yusuf / Cat Stevens celebrate the two albums that first established him as his generation’s premier acoustic troubadour and then fired him into international superstardom. Released only seven months apart in 1970, ‘Mona Bone Jakon’ and ‘Tea for the Tillerman’ will be celebrated as 50th anniversary Super Deluxe Collector’s Edition box sets. ‘Mona Bone Jakon’ will include 24 previously unreleased songs, and ‘Tea for the Tillerman’ will feature a further 21 unreleased tracks alongside a host of other rarities. Both are due for release December 4 via A&M/UMe.

Before ‘Tea for the Tillerman’, a musical masterpiece widely lauded as one of the greatest albums of all time, a new deal with Island Records – A&M in the U.S. – saw the April 1970 release of ‘Mona Bone Jakon’. The album represents one of the most profound artistic metamorphoses of the 20th Century: the cleanly shaven Carnaby Street pop-star incarnation of Cat Stevens, who brought us ‘I Love My Dog’ and ‘Matthew & Son’, fades into the mist of a bygone era, emerging from the shadows as a new man, musician, and authentic lyrical master of metaphor, whose songs would help define a new genre for a generation of music lovers, and pave the way for a poignant new wave of soulful singer-songwriters.

Inspired by a near-fatal battle with TB and extended period of convalescence during which he studied classical music, metaphysical literature and meditative self-reflection, ‘Mona Bone Jakon’ is equal parts painful torment, self-referential humor and spiritual awakening. It is deeply revealing of the man he was becoming and the journey he was embarking on that would last a lifetime. Through its stunning and often overlooked crop of songs we encounter an artist who has discovered himself but is unsure of whether the world will accept what he has become. The album has a deeply personal, almost vulnerable quality that, arguably, makes it the most compelling and human of all of Yusuf / Cat Stevens’ work.

Marking the start of a long-running creative partnership with producer (and former Yardbird) Paul Samwell-Smith, the album includes the deeply Romantic ‘Lady D’Arbanville’, the spiritually uplifting ‘I Think I See The Light’, the tongue-in-cheek ‘Pop Star’ and the heart-rendering ‘Trouble’ – which has connected with many a tormented soul including Elliott Smith, Chris Cornell and John Frusciante.

50 years on, the songs on Mona Bone Jakon still sound as fresh as the day they were recorded. Presented here in a new 2020 remastered version on CD, and a new 2020 Mix by David Hefti on CD and LP, the Super Deluxe Edition also includes an exclusive third CD of previously unreleased demos, and a fourth CD featuring 18 live performances from 1970/71. The 2020 remaster was completed at Abbey Road Studios, and was overseen by original album producer, Paul Samwell-Smith.

This 50th anniversary set is completed with a live 12″ etched vinyl EP of the rare audience recording of ‘Live At Plumpton Jazz & Blues Festival’ from August, 1970, and with a Blu-ray disc featuring the original promo video of ‘Lady D’Arbanville’, plus eight live TV performances, and the HD audio of the new ‘Mona Bone Jakon’ 2020 Mix. There’s also a selection of memorabilia including the Island Records press kit, two Island press photos, a replica 1970 Plumpton Jazz and Blues flyer, a Cat Stevens tour sticker and “dustbin” greetings card and pop art print in a card envelope.

Tillerman followed ‘Mona Bone Jakon’ only seven months later that same year, confirming the sensational rebirth of Cat Stevens as a spiritual seeker capable of drawing from a seemingly bottomless well of imaginative inspiration. Here, his new-found gentle and folk-oriented style was artfully weaved with urgent, morally demanding questions beneath bewitching melodies. This soul-searching masterpiece felt simultaneously like a deliberate reaction to what Cat saw in the world as well as his own struggle for answers, and would continue to resonate through countless generations to come.

The ‘Tea for the Tillerman’ Super Deluxe box set features a new 2020 remaster, also completed at Abbey Road Studios and overseen by original album producer Paul Samwell-Smith, and mix, of the original 1970 Island Records multitrack master tape, overseen by Yusuf and engineer David Hefti. The 2020 Mix also appears on the 1LP format which is exclusive to this box set. CD3 features the newly released ‘Tea for the Tillerman²’ – Yusuf has chosen to include it here in order to present the most complete edition of the original album, showing how these songs are as pertinent today as they were when written over 50 years ago. CD4 includes demos, outtakes and alternate versions, including two previously unreleased tracks (‘Can This Be Love?’, ‘It’s So Good’, ‘If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out’, and ‘Don’t Be Shy’), while CD5 features 25 live performances – 5 previously unreleased tracks recorded Live At The Troubadour, 4 previously unreleased live performances from the December 8, 1970 show at Fillmore East, and 6 previously unreleased live from British, French and German TV performances over 1970/71. The box set also includes the previously unreleased ‘Can This Be Love?’; originally scheduled to appear on the album, the song was written by Cat along with ‘Father and Son’ for a proposed musical project ‘Revolussia’ in 1969.

The Super Deluxe box set is rounded out with a Blu-ray featuring HD 24bit/96khz audio of the 2020 Mix, as well as 8 previously unreleased live TV performances, 7 tracks performed live at KCNET studios, Los Angeles, and the official ‘Father and Son’ video. Also housed in a card envelope within the box is a ‘Pick Up A Good Book’ bookmark, a Yusuf / Cat Stevens designed ‘Miles From Nowhere’ print, a reproduction handwritten lyric sheet for ‘Miles From Nowhere’, a fold-out ‘Live From The Troubadour 1970’ poster, and a ‘Tea for the Tillerman’ sticker.

With ‘Mona Bone Jakon’ and ‘Tea for the Tillerman’ Yusuf / Cat Stevens asserted himself both lyrically and musically as a true artist in the most profound sense. His work during this period would go on to transcend its own era and stay relevant for generations to come. By looking inward with eyes wide open he discovered truths that he was able to present to the world with compelling sincerity through his unique and spellbinding gift for songwriting. These two albums truly stand as a rite of passage for all songwriters seeking to learn how to present their intimate experiences to the external world, and essential listening to all lovers of great music.

50th Anniversary Super Deluxe Editions of ‘Mona Bone Jakon’ and ‘Tea for the Tillerman’ will be released on December 4th via A&M/UMe. All details for the various formats are listed below.

Mona Bone Jakon Boxset

(CD1) Original Album (2020 Remaster)

  1. Lady D’Arbanville
  2. Maybe You’re Right
  3. Pop Star
  4. I Think I See The Light
  5. Trouble
  6. Mona Bone Jakon
  7. I Wish, I Wish
  8. Katmandu
  9. Time
  10. Fill My Eyes
  11. Lilywhite

(CD2 / 1LP) Original Album (2020 Mix)

  1. Lady D’Arbanville
  2. Maybe You’re Right
  3. Pop Star
  4. I Think I See The Light
  5. Trouble
  6. Mona Bone Jakon
  7. I Wish, I Wish
  8. Katmandu
  9. Time
  10. Fill My Eyes
  11. Lilywhite

(CD3) Demos

  1. Maybe You’re Right (Studio Demo)
  2. I Think I See The Light (Studio Demo)
  3. Trouble (Studio Demo)
  4. Mona Bone Jakon (Home Demo)
  5. I Wish I Wish (Studio Demo)
  6. Katmandu (Studio Demo)
  7. Time (Studio Demo)
  8. Fill My Eyes (Studio Demo)
  9. I Want Some Sun (Studio Demo)

(CD4) Live

  1. Interview (Live At The BBC (16/06/70)
  2. Lady D’Arbanville (Live At The BBC (16/06/70)
  3. Maybe You’re Right (Cat Stevens In Concert, 27/11/1971)
  4. Trouble (Live At The BBC (16/06/70)
  5. Katmandu (Live At The BBC (16/06/70)
  6. Changes IV (Live at Plumpton Jazz & Blues Festival, 08/08/70)
  7. Time / Fill My Eyes (Live at Plumpton Jazz & Blues Festival, 08/08/70)
  8. Where Do The Children Play? (Live at Plumpton Jazz & Blues Festival, 08/08/70)
  9. Lady D’Arbanville (Live at Plumpton Jazz & Blues Festival, 08/08/70)
  10. Maybe You’re Right (Live at Plumpton Jazz & Blues Festival, 08/08/70)
  11. Father and Son (Live at Plumpton Jazz & Blues Festival, 08/08/70)
  12. Lady D’Arbanville (BEATCLUB (GERMANY) 25.08.70)
  13. Lady D’Arbanville (TV CONCERT (FRANCE) 01.11.1970)
  14. Maybe You’re Right (TV CONCERT (FRANCE) 01.11.1970)
  15. Katmandu (TV CONCERT (FRANCE) 01.11.1970)  
  16. Interview (TV CONCERT (FRANCE) 01.11.1970)
  17. Lady D’Arbanville (DEUX SUR LA 2 (FRANCE), 12.10.70)
  18. Maybe You’re Right (POP DEUX (FRANCE) 27.02.1971)

(Blu-ray disc) Music Video & Live Videos + High Res Audio of Original Album (2020 Mix)

  1. Lady D’Arbanville (Official Video)
  2. Lady D’Arbanville (BEATCLUB (GERMANY) 25.08.70)
  3. Lady D’Arbanville (TV CONCERT (FRANCE) 01.11.1970)
  4. Maybe You’re Right (TV CONCERT (FRANCE) 01.11.1970)
  5. Katmandu (TV CONCERT (FRANCE) 01.11.1970)
  6. Interview (TV CONCERT (FRANCE) 01.11.1970)
  7. Lady D’Arbanville (DEUX SUR LA 2 (FRANCE), 12.10.70)
  8. Maybe You’re Right (POP DEUX (FRANCE) 27.02.1971)
  9. Maybe You’re Right (Cat Stevens In Concert, 27/11/1971)

(12″ Etched Vinyl) Live At Plumpton Jazz & Blues Festival (08/08/70)

  1. Changes IV
  2. Time / Fill My Eyes
  3. Where Do The Children Play?
  4. Lady D’Arbanville
  5. Maybe You’re Right
  6. Father and Son

Mona Bone Jakon 2CD Deluxe

(CD1) Original Album Remastered

  1. Lady D’Arbanville
  2. Maybe You’re Right
  3. Pop Star
  4. I Think I See The Light
  5. Trouble
  6. Mona Bone Jakon
  7. I Wish, I Wish
  8. Katmandu
  9. Time
  10. Fill My Eyes
  11. Lilywhite

(CD2) Demos / Live

  1. Maybe You’re Right (Studio Demo)
  2. I Think I See The Light (Studio Demo)
  3. Trouble (Studio Demo)
  4. I Wish I Wish (Studio Demo
  5. I Want Some Sun (Studio Demo)
  6. Interview (Live At The BBC (16/06/70)
  7. Lady D’Arbanville (Live At The BBC (16/06/70)
  8. Katmandu (Live At The BBC (16/06/70)
  9. Time / Fill My Eyes (Live at Plumpton Jazz & Blues Festival, 08/08/70)
  10. Maybe You’re Right (Live at Plumpton Jazz & Blues Festival, 08/08/70)

Mona Bone Jakon

1CD Remaster 

  1. Lady D’Arbanville
  2. Maybe You’re Right
  3. Pop Star
  4. I Think I See The Light
  5. Trouble
  6. Mona Bone Jakon
  7. I Wish, I Wish
  8. Katmandu
  9. Time
  10. Fill My Eyes
  11. Lilywhite

Tea for the Tillerman Boxset

(CD1) Original Album (2020 Remaster)

  1. Where Do The Children Play?
  2. Hard Headed Woman
  3. Wild World
  4. Sad Lisa
  5. Miles From Nowhere
  6. But I Might Die Tonight
  7. Longer Boats
  8. Into White
  9. On The Road To Find Out
  10. Father and Son
  11. Tea for the Tillerman                                                                                

(CD2 / 1LP) Original Album (2020 Mix)

  1. Where Do The Children Play?
  2. Hard Headed Woman
  3. Wild World
  4. Sad Lisa
  5. Miles From Nowhere
  6. But I Might Die Tonight
  7. Longer Boats
  8. Into White
  9. On The Road To Find Out
  10. Father and Son
  11. Tea for the Tillerman

(CD3) Tea for the Tillerman²

  1. Where Do The Children Play?
  2. Hard Headed Woman
  3. Wild World
  4. Sad Lisa
  5. Miles From Nowhere
  6. But I Might Die Tonight
  7. Longer Boats
  8. Into White
  9. On The Road To Find Out
  10. Father and Son
  11. Tea for the Tillerman

(CD4) Demos / Outtakes / Alternate Versions

  1. Wild World (Demo)
  2. Miles From Nowhere (Studio Demo)    
  3. But I Might Die Tonight (Deep End Movie Version)
  4. Can This Be Love?
  5. Honey Man (duet with Elton John)
  6. It’s So Good
  7. If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out (Demo)
  8. Don’t Be Shy (Demo)
  9. I’ve Got A Thing About Seeing My Grandson Grow Old
  10. Love Lives In The Sky
  11. The Joke
  12. If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out
  13. Don’t Be Shy

(CD5) (Live)

  1. Where Do The Children Play? (Live at the Troubadour)
  2. Hard Headed Woman (Live at the Troubadour)
  3. Wild World (Live at the Troubadour)
  4. Longer Boats (Live at the Troubadour)
  5. Into White (Live at the Troubadour)
  6. On The Road To Find Out (Live at the Troubadour)
  7. Father and Son (Live at the Troubadour)
  8. Where Do The Children Play? (Live At KCET Studios, Los Angeles, USA (08/06/71)
  9. Wild World (Live At KCET Studios, Los Angeles, USA (08/06/71)
  10. Hard Headed Woman (Live At KCET Studios, Los Angeles, USA (08/06/71)
  11. Miles From Nowhere (Live At KCET Studios, Los Angeles, USA (08/06/71)
  12. Longer Boats (Live At KCET Studios, Los Angeles, USA (08/06/71)
  13. On The Road To Find Out (Live At KCET Studios, Los Angeles, USA (08/06/71)
  14. Father and Son (Live At KCET Studios, Los Angeles, USA (08/06/71)
  15. Wild World (Cat Stevens In Concert, 27/11/1971)
  16. Into White (Cat Stevens In Concert, 27/11/1971)
  17. Tea for the Tillerman (Cat Stevens In Concert, 27/11/1971)
  18. Wild World (Beat Club, 25.08.70)
  19. Hard Headed Woman (Beat Club, 25.08.70)
  20. Wild World (Gala du Midem, France 24.01.71)
  21. Wild World (Deux Sur La 2, France, 12.10.70)
  22. Moonshadow (Live At Fillmore East (1970)
  23. Father and Son (Live At Fillmore East (1970)
  24. Changes IV (Live At Fillmore East (1970)
  25. Peace Train (Live At Fillmore East (1970)

(Blu-ray disc) Music Video & Live Videos + High Res Audio of Original Album (2020 Mix)

  1. Father and Son – Official Video
  2. Where Do The Children Play? (Live At KCET Studios, Los Angeles, USA (08/06/71)
  3. Wild World (Live At KCET Studios, Los Angeles, USA (08/06/71)
  4. Hard Headed Woman (Live At KCET Studios, Los Angeles, USA (08/06/71)
  5. Miles From Nowhere (Live At KCET Studios, Los Angeles, USA (08/06/71)
  6. Longer Boats (Live At KCET Studios, Los Angeles, USA (08/06/71)
  7. On The Road To Find Out (Live At KCET Studios, Los Angeles, USA (08/06/71)
  8. Father and Son (Live At KCET Studios, Los Angeles, USA (08/06/71)
  9. Wild World (Cat Stevens In Concert, 27/11/1971)
  10. Into White (Cat Stevens In Concert, 27/11/1971)
  11. Father and Son (Cat Stevens In Concert, 27/11/1971)
  12. Wild World (Beat Club, 25.08.70)
  13. Hard Headed Woman (Beat Club, 25.08.70)
  14. Wild World (Gala du Midem, France 24.01.71)
  15. Wild World (Deux Sur La 2, France, 12.10.70)
  16. Wild World (TV Concert, France, 01.11.1970)

(12″) Live At The Troubadour, 1970

  1. Where Do The Children Play?
  2. Hard Headed Woman
  3. Wild World
  4. Longer Boats
  5. Into White
  6. On The Road To Find Out
  7. Father and Son

Tea for the Tillerman 2CD Deluxe 

(CD1) Original Album Remastered

  1. Where Do The Children Play?
  2. Hard Headed Woman
  3. Wild World
  4. Sad Lisa
  5. Miles From Nowhere
  6. But I might Die Tonight
  7. Longer Boats
  8. Into White
  9. On The Road To Find Out
  10. Father and Son
  11. Tea For The Tillerman           

(CD2) Demos & Live

  1. Wild World (Demo)
  2. Miles From Nowhere (Studio Demo)
  3. But I Might Die Tonight (Deep End Movie Version)
  4. Can This Be Love?
  5. Honey Man (duet with Elton John)
  6. If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out (Demo)
  7. Don’t Be Shy (Demo)
  8. Wild World (Live at the Troubadour)
  9. Longer Boats (Live at the Troubadour)
  10. Into White (Live at the Troubadour)
  11. Where Do The Children Play (Live At KCET Studios, Los Angeles, USA (08/06/71))
  12. Hard Headed Woman (Live At KCET Studios, Los Angeles, USA (08/06/71))
  13. Father and Son (BBC Radio, 08/11/1970)
  14. Tea for the Tillerman (BBC Radio, 08/11/1970)

Tea for the Tillerman 1CD Remaster

  1. Where Do The Children Play?
  2. Hard Headed Woman
  3. Wild World
  4. Sad Lisa
  5. Miles From Nowhere
  6. But I Might Die Tonight
  7. Longer Boats
  8. Into White
  9. On The Road To Find Out
  10. Father and Son
  11. Tea for the Tillerman

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