9 Songs, 32 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

After self-producing himself for his previous studio album, Foreigner, Cat Stevens re-teamed with producer Paul Samwell-Smith and guitarist Alun Davies for the more conventional Buddha and the Chocolate Box. The album employs several of the orchestral and backing choir strategies from Foreigner, along with prominent use of piano. But songs such as “Oh Very Young” (his first Top 10 hit in two years), “Sun/C79,” and “A Bad Penny” brought together the warmth of Stevens’ older works. “Jesus” is overt, but most of his religious interests here are interwoven into the material (as opposed to the true struggles revealed on Catch Bull at Four, where it sounded as if Stevens would leave popular music within the year). Obviously, Stevens did eventually walk away, but here songs such as “Ghost Town,” “Ready,” and the vocally intensive “Home in the Sky” showed him achieving states of joy within the music. 

EDITORS’ NOTES

After self-producing himself for his previous studio album, Foreigner, Cat Stevens re-teamed with producer Paul Samwell-Smith and guitarist Alun Davies for the more conventional Buddha and the Chocolate Box. The album employs several of the orchestral and backing choir strategies from Foreigner, along with prominent use of piano. But songs such as “Oh Very Young” (his first Top 10 hit in two years), “Sun/C79,” and “A Bad Penny” brought together the warmth of Stevens’ older works. “Jesus” is overt, but most of his religious interests here are interwoven into the material (as opposed to the true struggles revealed on Catch Bull at Four, where it sounded as if Stevens would leave popular music within the year). Obviously, Stevens did eventually walk away, but here songs such as “Ghost Town,” “Ready,” and the vocally intensive “Home in the Sky” showed him achieving states of joy within the music. 

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