New Masters

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New Masters
Studio album by Cat Stevens
Released December 1967
Recorded 5 October 1967,
Decca Studios, West Hampstead, London
Genre Baroque pop, folk pop
Length 30:14 (Original)
51:09 (Reissue)
Label Deram Records
Producer Mike Hurst
Cat Stevens chronology
Matthew and Son
New Masters
Mona Bone Jakon
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars[1]

New Masters is the second album by singer-songwriter Cat Stevens. The album was released in December 1967 by Deram Records, a new subsidiary of Decca Records as a follow up to the highly successful debut album, Matthew and Son. The label was disappointed by his second album's poor sales, given that the previous album made the UK Top Ten and produced several hit singles. New Masters generated little interest, failing to chart in either the U.K. or the United States. The single "Kitty"/"Blackness of the Night" languished at number 47, becoming Stevens' first single to miss the top 40. This was a sudden and steep commercial decline from the meteoric success Stevens enjoyed with his earlier recordings.[2]

Stevens attributed at least some of the album's failings to producer Mike Hurst, who gave the coffee-house oriented songs elaborate baroque arrangements, a far cry from the stripped-down folk style that Stevens was eager to pursue. Even so, at least one song "The First Cut Is the Deepest" has become a minor classic through the years after having been covered by many other artists with far more success than Stevens' original. In the wake of the New Masters flop, Stevens ended up selling the song for £30 to P. P. Arnold (formerly of the Ike and Tina Turner Revue) which gave the former Ikette her first U.K. hit.[3] In the decades to come it would also be a hit for Rod Stewart, Sheryl Crow, James Morrison and Keith Hampshire. Hampshire's version reached no.1 on the Canadian charts in 1973. Other versions have been rendered by singer Barbara Jones, Colm Wilkinson of Les Misérables and Jesus Christ Superstar fame, Duffy and the Jools Holland Rhythm & Blues Orchestra.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks composed by Cat Stevens; except where indicated

Side one[edit]

  1. "Kitty" – 2:23
  2. "I'm So Sleepy" – 2:24
  3. "Northern Wind" – 2:51
  4. "The Laughing Apple" – 2:39
  5. "Smash Your Heart" – 3:02
  6. "Moonstone" – 2:18

Side two[edit]

  1. "The First Cut Is the Deepest" – 3:03
  2. "I'm Gonna Be King" – 2:30
  3. "Ceylon City" – 2:29
  4. "Blackness of the Night" – 2:31
  5. "Come on Baby (Shift That Log)" – 3:52
  6. "I Love Them All" – 2:12

Bonus tracks (2003 CD reissue)[edit]

  1. "Image of Hell" – 3:08
  2. "Lovely City (When Do You Laugh?)" – 2:43
  3. "The View from the Top" – 3:36
  4. "Here Comes My Wife" – 3:00
  5. "It's a Supa (Dupa) Life" – 2:54
  6. "Where Are You?" (Stevens, Jimmy McHugh) – 3:03
  7. "A Bad Night" – 3:11



  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Yusuflifeline Official Website
  3. ^ Marrin, Minette (26 September 2004). "Profile: Yusuf Islam aka Cat Stevens: Not so much a zealot more a lost musician". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 22 July 2008.