Cat Stevens.... Great Artist or Wacko?

Just bought Cat's remastered CDs. Pretty impressive. It's a shame how much more great music he could of created. We all know the story, he chose another path. Where does he rank among writers of the 70's? With all of his recent interviews and VH-1's behind the Music, is he just misunderstood? Is he coming out for all these interviews to ultimately increase sales of all the recent remastered CD releases? No matter what is behind the man, in my opinion he ranks right up there with the 70's writers/singers and his music is everlasting through time.
I agree with you. Many of his songs are truly classics. It's hard to say what his motives are, but it would be nice if he started to produce some new music. He gets high marks from me.
great artist or wacko? *yes* 1st live *pop* show i ever saw was cat stevens, back in ~'69. tea for the tillerman still gives me the willies; so does at stevens... listening to tea for the tillerman, knowing where cat's at now *really* makes it eerie. doug
The Cat is one of my all-time favorite artists. So many of his songs touched me on a personal and a musical level. Additionally, I have to respect a guy who can turn his back on money and fame for the sake of his beliefs--surely his choice was better than succumbing to the high life and becoming self-absorbed in the empty adulation of his fans--as some other artists did--and paid the high price of personal disaster. What's important is that Cat Stevens is alive today and if he never writes another word that doesn't diminish his past accomplishments and the body of work that he left behind--work I still listen to and enjoy here and now.
Very well said, Plato. While we can always wonder "what if", sometimes that question is better left unanswered. How many other "great" artists tried to make comebacks to only sound horrible on their "return trip to fame" ??? Either way, he's proven to be a man of integrity and sticks by his beliefs. You have to respect the guy for that even if you don't agree with him. Besides, he gave us some very good music that brings us memories of specific times in our lives. Who could ask for more ? Sean >
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hi muljo, 1st, my response has *every* place in this thread - it's *EXACTLY* what the thread topic is about! 2nd, i have nothing against iran; i have persian friends; i had muslim roomates prior to getting married. let me repeat this, so there is *NO* understanding: *ANYONE* who believes that someone should be killed for what they write has *NO* integrity, imho. i don't care whether they are persian, muslim, or *WHATEVER*!!! i much prefer what the frenchman voltaire said: "i may not agree w/what you say, but i will defend to the death your right to say it." peace, doug
I agree with Sedond's right to post his response! The thread entitled Artist or Wacko allows for both sides of the equation to be discussed. I also believe that the artist left us with some wonderful music (although I am not a huge fan) but do believe that it is somewhat contradicted by his open support of the Shaw of Iran's call for Salmon's death. I guess the "Peace Train" is now parked at the station for good....
Wow, politics creeping into Audiogon. For what it's worth, freedom of expression remains a fundamental right, if you don't agree with the topic, then either challenge the author or ignore it. Putting a price on someone's head for a literary work is absurd. That transgresses belief, and becomes a loosely knit group of zealots. Oh, anyone know what Cat did with all his cash when he went into seclusion? My guess is, it went to some charity or religious organization.
Hey, it's simple: buy only used versions of his music if you don't want any of your $ going to support extremist/anti-free-expression viewpoints. I love his early music but strongly disagree with his current politics and buying or not buying his music (sending him royalties) is a way to put my $ where my mouth is.
There are rumors that Cat Stevens is supporting the terrorism acts abroad to support his religous beliefs. Of course there is denial on his end. But the question is, do you think with his sudden appearances on TV 20/20 Downtown, CNN interviews, VH-1 Behind the Music ,etc. Cat is trying to to cause hype, (doesn't matter if it's positive hype or negative because the media helps sell records) and go out and buy his remastered Cds. There are six, plus the Greatest Hits, and the VH-1 soundtrack. Was his bank account getting a little low? Or he's just being a nice guy and giving us music lovers an opportunity to listen to his classics and not so classics on remastered? Stick with Greatest Hits, Tea for the Tillerman and Teaser and the Firecat and you'll be happy. Forget about the other ones; unless you are a deep serious Cat fan.
I never could stand Cat Stevens. During the 80's the LA County Tax Collector played "Baby it's a Wild World" over and over on a continuous loop when you were placed on hold -which could be for eight hours until they cut you off. I never could stand them either. Just my personal opinion.
Cat Stevens wrote some of the most introspective songs of the 1970's. Along with James Taylor IMO the 2 best male folk artists of that era. His music and lyrics are timeless in that they aren't dated and there is always a freshness when you listen. His religious beliefs are a personal issue. I think Muljo made a very good point, how can we in the West understand using our Western values the whole picture concerning Islamic culture and beliefs? Answer: We can not. There was more to Khomeini than a raving mad man passing out death decrees. He was acknowledged as one of the foremost Aristotlian scholars of the 20th century, a philosopher you say? But we ARE talking about music here, right?
Not into politics;However "Cat" had his day.In music/and popularity,timing is the key.After "Tea---"& Teaser---" I only liked a couple of songs on "-Bull--". Father & Son" is one of my favs.IMO,Cat was nowhere near Lennon/Mc Cartney as composers;and just a notch below JT,but one (of many)of the greats of his era.-This ain't his era.
Great artist, no doubt.  I saw his Cat's Attic tour a few years back at the Tower in Philadelphia, phenomenal.  When he sat at the piano and did Sad Lisa I was finished.  A great great artist, no hesitation, no doubt.  
He was very big in the 70s.Made plenty of money to .But he found God and just Stopped.....
Well his political views must have modified for the state dept. to re issue him a working VISA as he is touring in America. I enjoy Tea and Teaser but he lost me after that although I have played one of his recent works lately Roadsinger and enjoy it.