Cat Stevens is the stage name for Yusuf Islam, born Steven Demetre Georgiou. Born July 21, 1948, Cat Stevens is a British singer-songwriter. Stevens is a famous convert to Islam; he converted in 1977 and changed his name to Yusuf Islam the following year. He is a known philanthropist and humanitarian, as is evident by his lyrics.
Stevens was very influential in the 1970s. His albums Tea for the Tillerman and Teaser and the Firecat were certified triple platinum in the U.S. by the RIAA. His album Catch Bull at Four sold half a million copies in the first two weeks of its release.
In 1979, he auctioned all of his guitars to charity, then left the music industry to devote his time and efforts to philanthropic endeavors. He has received several awards for his work promoting peace, including the 2003 World Award and the 2004 Man of Peace Award.
Stevens was just inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the 2014 inductees. In honor of this accomplishment, we’ve compiled a list of his best works.
Did your favorite Cat Stevens song not make the list? Tell us your favorites in the comments below!
[ new page = 10. Where do the Children Play]
One of Stevens' many thoughtful songs, the song is simplistic yet thought-provoking. The lyrics and music combine into a beautiful work that is a favorite of many.
[ new page = 9. If You Want to Sing Out Sing Out]
Another simple yet empowering song. "Do what you want" is the core message of the song, illustrating to the audience that there’s so many things to be, and you are free to choose who you are.
[ new page = 8. Father and Son]
The song is unique, featuring Stevens' guitarist and friend Alun Davies singing quiet chorus of simple words and short sentences in the background.
Stevens sings in a deeper register for the father’s lines, and uses a higher register for the son's lines. The song is an exchange between a father not understanding his son's need to start a new life, and the son's inability to explain himself and his desires.
[ new page = 7. Cat’s in the Cradle]
The song is probably Stevens' most played to this day. The song depicts a father who is too busy working to enjoy his son's childhood. By the time he is free and wishes to spend time with his son, the son has fully grown and is busy taking care of his own family.
[ new page = 6. The Boy with the Moon and the Star on his Head]
An almost whimsical song, yet one of Stevens' most unique. The song holds a special message, and follows his humanitarian beliefs and naturalistic symbols. The song is easy to put on repeat and enjoy.
[ new page = 5. The First Cut is the Deepest]
Stevens wrote the song in 1967. However, P.P. Arnold originally released it that year. Stevens version didn’t appear until his 1967 album New Masters. Stevens had originally wanted to only be a songwriter, and wrote the song for other artists before he finally decided to record his own version. Other versions have been done by Rod Stewart, Keith Hampshire, and Sheryl Crow.
[ new page = 4. Saturday Night]
Here is what is probably the most “fun” song Stevens has ever performed. A simple ode to being alone on a Saturday night, the song is humorous and slightly jaunty.
[ new page = 3. Sad Lisa]
One of Stevens' best songs is “Sad Lisa”. The song is a beautiful, melancholy tune that leaves a lasting impression.
[ new page = 2. Moonshadow]
This is Stevens' own personal favorite of his old songs. The song, in fact, was the deciding factor for Stevens to release a greatest hits record of his old works. He felt this song's uplifting message could really help people.
[ new page = 1. Wild World]
The song was written while Stevens was on bed rest after recovering from tuberculosis. After his close encounter with his own mortality, Stevens became a prolific songwriter, writing with more purpose than he ever had before. His new folk rock sound was impassioned, and both critics and Stevens himself view this as one of his best works.