Matthew and Son (album)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Matthew and Son
Studio album by Cat Stevens
Released 10 March 1967
Recorded 14 July 1966 – 1 February 1967,
Decca Studios, West Hampstead, London
Genre Folk rock, baroque pop
Length 34:03 (Original)
53:26 (Reissue)
Label Deram Records
Producer Mike Hurst
Cat Stevens chronology
Matthew and Son
(1967)
New Masters
(1967)

Matthew and Son is the first album by English singer-songwriter Cat Stevens. Stevens began writing songs during his early teenage years. His earliest influences included the sound of early British bands, like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, influenced by popular American Rhythm and Blues music. At the same time, folk influences from artists like Bob Dylan and Simon & Garfunkel left a strong mark on him, along with some of the musicals being performed so close to his childhood home in Soho, that often he could hear the songs drifting up through his room. Stevens's older brother, David Gordon, attracted the attention of music producer Mike Hurst, formerly of The Springfields, in hopes of finding a producer interested in his younger brother's music. After a demo was recorded, a deal was struck between the two.[1] The album was not released until 1967; however, recording began on 10 July 1966, with a few advance singles appearing around that time.

Advance singles[edit]

Although the album was not released until 1967, the first advance single, "I Love My Dog" was released in 1966. It was initially recorded only by Stevens' guitars, piano & vocals. However, Hurst encouraged Stevens to add a staccato, tympani–and–viola arrangement; this was something that had not done before on pop music songs. Bassist John Paul Jones makes his debut on the first singles two years before becoming a member of Led Zeppelin. The lyrics for the B-side of the first single, "Portobello Road," were written by Kim Fowley, who encouraged Stevens to compose a melody for the song. The single initially reached No. 28 on the UK charts, followed by "Matthew and Son," the next single and title track, which soared to No. 2 on the charts there, propelling Stevens into a popular clean-cut teenage crooner.[2]

Release and reception[edit]

Matthew And Son was released in 1967, eventually reaching No. 7 in the UK. The album track "Here Comes My Baby," as covered by the The Tremeloes, was a smash hit, reaching No. 4, "I've Found A Love" was covered by British singer David Garrick, but it failed to chart, while Stevens's own "I'm Gonna Get Me a Gun" reached #6.[2]

Music critic Robert Christgau of The Village Voice later called Matthew and Son "a rarity: a forgotten record that shouldn't be",[3] and said that both its title track and "I Love My Dog" were "two rock songs we should have heard more of in 1967".[4] AllMusic's Bruce Eder gave it three-and-a-half out of five stars and said that "it's very distant from the sound that Stevens was ultimately known for, and in many ways, it's more dated than what he did for Island/A&M, but it's much more self-consciously accessible, arranged in different styles".[5]

Track listing[edit]

All songs by Cat Stevens, except where noted.

British LP and CD releases[edit]

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Matthew and Son"   2:46
2. "I Love My Dog"   2:23
3. "Here Comes My Baby"   2:58
4. "Bring Another Bottle Baby"   2:44
5. "Portobello Road" (Cat Stevens/Kim Fowley) 2:29
6. "I've Found a Love"   2:32
7. "I See a Road"   2:11
Side two
No. Title Length
1. "Baby Get Your Head Screwed On"   2:22
2. "Granny"   3:12
3. "When I Speak to the Flowers"   2:25
4. "The Tramp"   2:11
5. "Come on and Dance"   2:10
6. "Hummingbird"   2:36
7. "Lady"   3:04
[6] Bonus tracks (1988 CD reissue)
No. Title Length
15. "School is Out"   2:55
16. "I'm Gonna Get Me a Gun"   2:11
[7] Bonus tracks (2003 CD reissue)
No. Title Length
15. "I'm Gonna Get Me a Gun (Stereo Version)"   2:14
16. "School is Out (Stereo Version)"   2:59
17. "I Love My Dog (Mono Single Version)"   2:26
18. "Portobello Road (Mono Single Version)" (Cat Stevens/Kim Fowley) 2:30
19. "Matthew and Son (Mono Single Version)"   2:50
20. "Granny (Mono Single Version)"   3:12
21. "School is Out (Mono Single Version)"   2:56
22. "I'm Gonna Get Me a Gun (Mono Single Version)"   2:16

American LP release[edit]

[8] Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Matthew and Son"    
2. "I Love My Dog"    
3. "Here Comes My Baby"    
4. "Bring Another Bottle"    
5. "I've Found a Love"    
6. "I See a Road"    
Side two
No. Title Length
1. "I'm Gonna Get a Gun"    
2. "School is Out"    
3. "Baby, Get Your Head Screwed On"    
4. "Speak to the Flowers"    
5. "Humming Bird"    
6. "Lady"    

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Yusuf Islam: The Artist Formerly Known as Cat Stevens, BBC. Interview with Alan Yentob, May 2006.
  2. ^ a b Islam, Yusuf (2008). "Yusuf Islam Website, 1966". Official Website of Yusuf Islam. Retrieved 9 November 2008. 
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert (19 November 1970). "Consumer Guide (14)". The Village Voice (New York). Retrieved 13 February 2014. 
  4. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). Rock Albums of the '70s: A Critical Guide. p. 372. Retrieved 13 February 2014. 
  5. ^ Allmusic review
  6. ^ "Cat Stevens – Matthew & Son (CD) at Discogs". Discogs.com. 14 July 1988. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  7. ^ "Cat Stevens – Matthew & Son (CD, Album) at Discogs". Discogs.com. 19 January 2004. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  8. ^ "Cat Stevens – Matthew & Son (Vinyl, LP, Album) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 

External links[edit]