The legendary singer/songwriter Yusuf / Cat Stevens released his first album in 1967. He’s a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and his albums have sold millions. In 2020, he released Tea for the Tillerman², a re-imagining of his hit 1970 album Tea for the Tillerman. In the song “Father & Son,” he sings a duet between the two title characters, doing both voices. But in the 2020 version, he approached this song in a kind of astonishing way—he recorded the part of the father, but for the part of the son, he used a live recording of himself from 1970, taken from a show he played at The Troubadour in Los Angeles. So the two parts are still both sung in his voice, but 50 years apart. In this episode, the 200th episode of Song Exploder, Yusuf / Cat Stevens tells the story of how he created, and then re-created “Father & Son.”
For more, visit songexploder.net/yusuf-cat-stevens.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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legendary, singer, songwriter Yusuf, CAT Stevens release his first album in ninety
he's a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and his
Albums have sold millions into.
and twenty he released tee for the torment to
reimagining of his hit head nineteen. Seventy album tee for the tiller man
the song, father and son. He sings a duet between the two title characters doing both voices but
two thousand and twenty version. He approached the song
kind of an astonishing way you recorded the part of the father,
for the part of the sun.
still live recording of himself from nineteen seventy taken from it.
Well, he played at the troubadour in LOS Angeles, so the two parts.
Still both sung in his voice, but fifty years apart in this,
so the two hundred episode of Song Exploder uses cats.
Tells the story of how he created, and then
we created father and son.
Take your time think a lot think of everything. You've got that you will still be here tomorrow, but your dreams may not a my name, is Yusuf CAT Stevens
story begins with songs and lyrics that
originally intended for an album.
out of the whole project, which I was work
which was a musical
I wanted to write a musical because
lived in the West end, and so therefore, I was surrounded by theatres and it shaped the background, the soundtrack to my life.
and so on. I was working with them
Uncle called Nigel Hawthorne will not accept comedian and the a writer.
and we we were chosen as a subject for the musical the Russian
revolution. Well, then,
aim of the Musical revolution
and there was a story going on in the countryside, this russian family, that lived on the farm. You know out there in the outskirts, where the son's name was Sasha
and the father's name, one it's daddy and whose father
and the sum in this scene was wanting to join the revolution
the father loves. He loves you
that's, why we want you to stay home? It's not time, make a change
just relax. Take it easy
You're still young, that's your fault
There's so much you have to know. Fine
if you want, you can look at me,
I am old,
As a writer, you know you take on all sorts of characters
from musical. Of course you have to do that much more seriously, thus entered the character.
That you're writing about
but a lot of my songs were very, very poor to biographical I would say- and so there was always two sides of me in there was inside, which
go and do things in the outside. I kind of like things the way they are financed. So it was me talking to me into different states of mind,
you know all the nuances of what the young man would be
came when there's a revolution outside is fun. Do you know that was pretty simple to put together and then the word simply fallen,
the song itself, wasn't difficult to perform as two people, because I just simply shifted the octave up for the sum
I'm down for the father,
I kind of has its own impact on the emotion
two eggs when I do it is always the same old story that point we wanted to get
backing for the musical
so my manager, he had some connections with pretty rich people.
At one of them and when he heard,
This thing he wasn't really interested, but he knew someone who was in the music business and his name was Chris Blackwell. Chris Blackwell, of course ran island records
the ILO Wreckers was already in a late lay.
but with a real leaning towards allowing artist to express themselves ass, pretty gray, so
We played some of the songs when we got to father and son, I think his jaw dropped and he said
I want to talk some more about this, but then, when
we met next peel
with me. You know a record contract and that was rarely
It took me right, of course, as far as my musicals concern so ass, any one. Ok, you know you he said well, but you, together with the producer and dumb and that's
I got introduced to Paul Samuel Smith
I used to go and listen to him. He was the bass player with the yardbirds. I used to dance to hips his music in the club and just down the road from where I lived in Oxford Street. So we work through
all the songs and
was one of them would have been father and son. It was but I didn't like
wake turned out, so you know ended up. On the first help him recorded.
whole Mona bone, Jack and said the second
was where we were really primed after the first and
Second, one just seemed to work.
tea for the way, the that song in more
studios, which is where we finally got hold of
It was a moment when I was singing the sun's actually hear the tongue
sound of my own fathers boys. That was very strange because I was seeing the sun's part, but I got my
father's voice up. He was from Cyprus
had a very strong mediterranean passionate side.
You knew when he was angry and so
that kind of anger out of me in the world
What's this song
and it was a very important moment in my recording memories-
moment where I sounded like my father,
I was thinking the sump pump strange
but that was always supportive of me, he was much more relaxed with me and you know you bought my first guitar. You didn't kill him.
this. What the music business was all about, but so well, if it makes a living, it's ok,
used to always ask my brother. How Stevie, because used to call me Stevie Stevens,
because you doing all right
there was a year is doing very well that in fact tee for that-
Man went on to go triple platinum and in two thousand and three
rolling stone included in their list of the greatest albums of all time.
I didn't really intend to do another version. To be honest,
is my son going to do it when we were talking about what to do for the 50th anniversary of the release of teeth legitimate? So what we going to do?
Andy suggested Dillion beside a wonder which recorded again, because you know you sing in a kind of different today. So here s a good idea,
was nothing about doing an old kind of replica of what I'd done before
but to leave them again, as I do when I sing them in a life and that was
the idea. So that's how we got back to recording father and son again
my son has a lot of good ideas for him. It was again my son who suggested maybe we could pick
you a voice from
I did some diesel, some, the old recordings and that could be
some and then I could be singing the father's, but I don't think that's going to work.
Using the original vocal was an idea. But it's kind of a repeat- and I didn't want to just do that- so we wanted to use something from that moment in time, but something new.
something different and other people- and I haven't heard the you know what we found.
Great recording of me singing Father son in the troubadour back in nineteen. Seventy,
They were right,
not me there's a way, and I know
go away. I know I have to go. I think work.
The first thing to do was actually to lay down the whole song.
basically what we did. We laid down the whole song, including the part which will be taken over by the nineteen seventies version.
The thing is that it
anyway, when we finally got into the studio. There were lots of ideas on this was one of them to have the sum shifting from liked his something
There were other things too. I had actually been involved in putting on a kind of a musical again I wrote the single measure and because we did that
and because Father and son was in it I'd come up with.
these new ideas. One of them was a counterpoint melody which I really loved his play.
black slide. Guitar
And voices come in.
the band are used most of the album of a two slash three to the Mantoux, with the guys I play live with.
and my songs more recently have turned towards the electric guitar much much more and so are the other interesting little rest I found was really really lovely and I found it kind of gave it modern tops
Well live. You know. People obviously want to hear the songs that they love a song that they grew up with and,
I think those songs in a. But I do need to try and make it more,
Bill for my own purposes and to meet the motion of the song again
and so yes, I find new ways of expressing, as something of
myself today in those songs.
I see. No, whether not even to add strings or not butter with the song certainly deserves strings.
agree me there's a way.
I have to go one.
Lyrics, I find very intriguing and which I love to think about it.
there's a way. I know I have to go away. That second away could be either a way or it could be away. I have to go anyways it just intrigues me,
even though you would expect the I would start to
Take the fathers role. I certainly done still wait for the sunspot spot and then open to sing it much more than I
sing, the farthest pop, the false
Great, you know you go through. You swim through it and it's fine. This unity is kind of casual
it concerned. You know nobody settle down. You know sit down just take it easy yeah, but yeah,
get back to the sun a way I know I've to go. So I always choose the sun's dynamic, because there
still things to march about there's still things to shout about still things to sing about. I think that's the world. We live in, it's never going to change, and now here's the two thousand and twenty version of father and son
by uses cat Stevens in its entirety,
time to make a change just relax. Take it easy you're, still young, that's your fault, there's so much! You have to know, find a good settled down. If you want, you can re. Look at me imo, but I'm happy. Why was once like you are now, and I know that it's not easy to be calm when you've found something going on. Take your time alone, seeing everything you've got and the you will still be here tomorrow, but Yoda reminds me the. How can I try to explain the game that saw me spend the same same old story the way, the time to make a change just sit down? Take it slow, you're, still young, that's your fault! There's! So much! You have to go through finding the good settled down. If you want, you can Matt look at me. I am old, but I'm happy the way. The for more visit song, exploder dot net you'll find links to buy or stream. Both versions of
The and you can watch the stop motion animated video that was made for the new version of the song
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Transcript generated on 2022-03-20.