Born in Britain in 1948, Cat Stevens, now called Yusuf Islam, is an unusual figure in the world and history of rock and folk music. He still plays and records to this day, showering audiences with his spiritual themes, earthy voice, and introspective lyrics.
He’s been something of a subject of controversy. Cat’s conversion to Islam in 1977 and how he walked away from the music scene in 1979 are only two events that sparked public debate. He auctioned off all his guitars to focus on his family and take on pursuits concerning the Muslim community. But he leaves a legacy of music that deserves a tip of the hat.
Songs like “Peace Train,” “Moonshadow,” “Wild World” and “Father and Son” have captured the hearts and imaginations of people for decades. Cat Stevens Tea for the Tillerman is hands down, his best album and a must-have for any fan.
What about his other albums? How do they rank among the musical landscape he released over the years? The following is a list of all Cat Stevens albums from the 1960s to the 1970s ranked as a countdown along with the most notable songs on each.
- New Masters (1967) – “The First Cut is the Deepest,” “Northern Wind” and “Kitty”
- Numbers (1975) – “Jzero” and “Novim’s Nightmare”
- Foreigner (1973) – “Later,” “The Hurt,” “How Many Times” and “Foreigner Suite”
- Back to Earth (1978) – “Last Love Song” and “Never”
- Matthew; Son (1967) – “I Love My Dog” and “Here Comes My Baby”
- Mona Bone Jackon (1970) – “Trouble” and “Lady d’Arbanville”
- Catch Bull at Four (1972) – “Sitting” and “Can’t Keep It In”
- Buddha; the Chocolate Box (1974) – “Home in the Sky”
- Izitso (1977) – “(I Never Wanted) To Be A Star” and “Was Dog a Doughnut?”
- Teaser; the Firecat (1971) – “Bitterblue,” “Tuesday’s Dead,” and “The Wind”
- Tea for the Tillerman (1970) – almost every song is an absolute classic and fosters most of Cat Stevens’ most memorable songs.
In regards to Teaser; the Firecat versus Tea for the Tillerman, many fans disagree on which one is the ultimate best Cat Stevens album. Those with a penchant for songs like “Father and Son” hold onto Tea for the Tillerman. But, the heaviest and hardest sounding songs are on Teaser; the Firecat, where songs like “Bitterblue” grab the soul and take it for a short ride.
The Magic of Cat Stevens
Regardless of how some may feel about Cat/Yusuf, his music speaks louder than the course of his life. He’s suffered through many tribulations, found himself disenchanted with the music industry and still found strength to be himself in the face of ridicule and criticism.
Indeed, his lyrics are thought-provoking pieces with melodies and harmonies that are never harsh on the ear. Each song is a well-crafted masterpiece showcasing the vastness of Cat’s talent and ability.