ARTIST: Cat Stevens
TITLE: Matthew & Son
YEAR RELEASED: 1967
CHART ACTION: #173 US, #7 UK
SINGLES: I Love My Dog (#118 US, #28 UK), Matthew & Son (#115 US, #2 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Here Comes My Baby
LINEUP: Cat Stevens, John Paul Jones, Nicky Hopkins, other session players
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: A young singer and songwriter releases and album with a surprise hit or two in the UK.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: This is more of a pop oriented album than his more famous work, but that doesn’t mean its just trifly throwaways.
Cat Stevens was just 18 when he started to record this album with some sessions that became singles and slowly worked on the album as time allowed. When it was released, it was better than you’d expect. The original for “Here Comes My Baby” is surprisingly strong with interesting percussion and the two hits are definitely keepers.
His voice is pretty unmistakable, even in his teenage years. The downfall is some of the tracks are a bit over-orchestrated and Stevens struggles to find his voice in the midst of the orchestrations. Still it’s pretty darn decent as these things go.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: In the US, they cut it from 14 tracks to 12, of course.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes a later single “I’m Gonna Get Me a Gun” (#6 UK)
GRADE B: A baroque-pop album with little filler but a tad too much orchestration at times.