Cat Stevens

"The first time I saw Cat Stevens was at [famous L.A. nightclub] the Troubadour. It was like, 'Holy shit, this guy is the real thing!' He was a unique, amazing artist that had that special 'hit' quality; he and his guitar just captured you with his songs. During 'Father and Son,' the audience stood up and gave him a standing ovation – in the middle of the song! People just didn't do that. He had tremendous appeal."--Herb Alpert

"'Tea for the Tillerman' absolutely exploded: it was a huge, amazing record.  'Tillerman' immediately went to Number One, and dominated both AM and FM radio. It was an incredible period, in the midst of the Vietnam War, with a country divided; the music played a big part in giving us some emotion about how we felt about what's going on. Cat Stevens songs like 'Wild World' really connected with that spirit: they occupied that space in a very important and influential way, but were also just so appealing. You could reside in 'Wild World' in a real sense."--Jerry Moss


A&M Records bought the Mona Bone Jakon album. At the time Cat Stevens was signed to Chris Blackwell's Island Records.

Tea for the Tillerman peaked at #2 in Australia. In Canada, the album spent over a year on the chart.

Teaser and the Firecat peaked at #1 in Australia.

Catch Bull at Four peaked at #1 in Australia.

Foreigner peaked at #2 in Australia. In Canada, the album was on the album chart a month before it was released. The release was delayed because Cat Stevens requested changes to the artwork. Stevens had artistic control over the art. However the delay happened after A&M Canada had placed television and print ads that showed the album and "The Hurt" was airing on radio. The ads and single caused substantial customer demand for it.

Buddah and the Chocolate Box peaked at #2 in Australia.

In 1970, "Lady D'Arbanville" peaked at #16 in Australia.

In 1971, Cat Stevens was ranked as the #4 Top Artist in Australia. His single "Father and Son" peaked at #24 on the chart and was ranked the #13 Top Single of the year. The single "Peace Train" peaked at #2 on the Australian chart.

In 1972, "Morning Has Broken" peaked at #5 on the Australian singles chart.

In 1973 the single "Sittin'" peaked at #28 in Australia.

In 1974 "Oh Very Young" peaked at #17 in Australia.

Cat Stevens first recording session in the U.S. was October 27, 1976 at Sound 80 Studios in Minneapolis, MN.

The album cover art for Back to Earth featured a verse from the Koran. The Malaysian government deemed it "a sign of disrespect for Islam" and directed that the distributor remove the verse from the album cover. About 150 copies of the record had been sold. The distributor withdrew the album from sale and asked the government to help in locating those copies.

Cat Stevens's song "If You Want to Sing Out Sing Out" was in the movie "Harold and Maude."

Tea for the Tillerman was ranked #206 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

In 2014, the Australian Recording Industry Association ranked Teaser and the Firecat as its #13 album to stay in the Top 20. It stayed there for 17 weeks.


Greatest Hits New Music On A&M Records
Numbers New Music On A&M Records
Izitso New Music On A&M Records
Footsteps In the Dark Greatest Hits 2 liner notes
Footsteps In the Dark Greatest Hits 2 press release
Cat Stevens On A&M Records
Catch Bull At Four 50th Anniversary press release

  1. Go-Set Charts
  2. Pre-Release Action For Stevens Album. RPM, July 28, 1973.
  3. Cat Stevens LP. Billboard, November 6, 1976.
  4. Cat Offends Malaysians. Christie Leo. Billboard, February 10, 1979.
  5. A&M Records' Greatest Hits. Matt Diehl. Rolling Stone, September 7, 2012.
Recording Years / Label
1970-1978 -  A&M Records
vocals, guitar, keyboards

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