Veteran British singer-songwriter Cat Stevens, who now is known as Yusuf, will release an updated version of his classic 1970 album Tea for the Tillerman, dubbed Tea for the Tillerman², on September 18 in honor of its 50th anniversary.
Yusuf re-recorded the album’s 11 tracks with Tea for the Tillerman producer Paul Samwell-Smith; guitarist Alun Davies, who played on the original record; his mid-1970s touring bassist Bruce Lynch; and members of his current backing group.
Yusuf says the idea of reimagining the songs from Tea for the Tillerman to mark the album’s 50th anniversary sprung from a conversation with his son.
Released in November 1970, Tea for the Tillerman featured such enduring Stevens tunes as “Where Do the Children Play?,” “Father and Son” and “Wild World,” the latter of which was a #11 hit. The album itself peaked at #8 on the Billboard 200 chart and has sold over 3 million copies in the U.S.
The Tea for the Tillerman² cover features similar artwork to the original album’s, but the “tea-time” scene now takes place in the evening, and the Tillerman character is in a space suit. Two children are still playing next to him, but one is streaming music and the other is looking at a cellphone.
“Since…1970, Tillerman has grown and developed its own gravitas and influence on music history and as the soundtrack to so many people’s lives,” Yusuf says. “Like it was destiny waiting to happen, [Tea for the Tillerman²] feels like the timing of its message has arrived again.”
Here’s the album’s full track list:
“Where Do the Children Play?”
“Hard Headed Woman”
“Miles from Nowhere”
“But I Might Die Tonight”
“On the Road to Find Out”
“Father and Son”
“Tea for the Tillerman”
By Dana Schaeffer and Matt Friedlander
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