It's been 50 long years since the release of his first major hit single and debut album, Matthew & Son. Now, the British singer-songwriting legend and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Yusuf/Cat Stevens is set to celebrate, returning to Australian shores this November to December with his 'Peace Train Tour'.
Cat Stevens first broke into the scene in 1960s England. He grew from being a teen idol into becoming one of the most influential singer-songwriters of all time. In addition to his vast musical achievements, his lifelong spiritual quest and search for meaning has added intrigue and depth to a groundbreaking career. Cat achieved early success in the mid 60s with “Matthew and Son”, “Here Comes My Baby” and “The First Cut Is The Deepest”. The year 1968 saw him meet a pitfall when he contracted TB, due to the heavy work load of non-stop appearances and touring. He was hospitalised for several months and began a significant process of inner reflection and meditation. During this time, he began to question aspects of his life and spirituality and went through a profound musical transformation. From 1970 to 1978, he recorded and released the albums that would establish him as a leading singer-songwriter of his generation.
His album, Tea for the Tillerman, from 1970, went multi-platinum in the U.S. and Australia with such songs as Wild World, Hard Headed Woman, Where Do the Children Play? and Father & Son. It was his 1971 release, Teaser and the Firecat, however that made him a megastar, with songs like Morning Has Broken, Peace Train and Moonshadow – spending fifteen weeks at the top of the Australian charts, becoming the biggest-selling album of the country in 1972. In 1975, Yusuf/Cat Stevens experienced another momentous and life-changing event after nearly drowning in the Pacific Ocean. Following this, he dedicated himself to the Divine path, leaving music and concentrating on the education and humanitarian relief.
The tragic events of 9/11 motivated Yusuf to, once again, take to the global stage. He spoke out in the media against the atrocities, against fanaticism and war, and called for peace and unity. In 2006, he returned to mainstream music with the album An Other Cup, which was followed in 2009 by Roadsinger. 2014 saw the release of his fourteenth studio album 'Tell ‘Em I’m Gone'. That same year, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He is currently working on a children’s animation series and writing his autobiography, which is expected to surface next year.
Yusuf/Cat Stevens toured Australia in 2010, it was his first Australian tour in 36 years and it had the critics raving:
“….Yusuf played it as recorded, reminding all how rare are songs of such exquisite beauty. And how much we’ve missed them.” - The Australian
“…there was nothing but love at a sold out Rod Laver Arena show last night with everyone waiting to hear that voice in person.” - The Herald Sun
“Moonshadow Magic.” - The Daily Telegraph
“Yusuf’s back-to-back rendition of ’70s hits Morning Has Broken, Wild World, Moonshadow, Father and Son and Peace Train was met with a standing ovation. Those five songs alone spelled out the legacy of a world-class musician.” - The West Australian
“Adoring fans journey back to the days of old-school Cat.” - The Age
It's not so often that you'd get to see a true music legend perform before your very eyes, so grab this chance to catch Yusuf/Cat Stevens, live on his 50th Anniversary Tour!