Year of the Cat
|Year of the Cat|
|Studio album by|
|Released||July 1976 (UK), October 1976 (US)|
|Studio||Abbey Road Studios, London|
|Genre||Rock, soft rock, progressive pop|
|Label||RCA, Parlophone (2014), Janus, Arista|
|Al Stewart chronology|
Year of the Cat is the seventh studio album by Al Stewart, released in 1976. It was produced and engineered by Alan Parsons. Its sales helped by the hit single "Year of the Cat", co-written by Peter Wood and described by AllMusic as "one of those 'mysterious woman' songs," the album was a top five hit in the United States. The other single from the album was "On the Border". Stewart wrote "Lord Grenville" about the Elizabethan sailor and explorer Sir Richard Grenville (1542–1591).
Stewart had all of the music and orchestration written and completely recorded before he even had a title for any of the songs. In a Canadian radio interview he stated that he has done this for six of his albums, and he often writes four different sets of lyrics for each song. The title track derives from a song Stewart wrote in 1966 called "Foot of the Stage" with prescient lyrics about Tony Hancock, one of Britain's favourite comedians who tragically committed suicide two years later. When Stewart discovered that Hancock was not well known in the United States, he went back to his original title "Year of the Cat".
The cover design, by Hipgnosis and illustrator Colin Elgie, depicts a woman who has an apparent obsession with cats. She can be seen in the mirror dressing up as a cat for a costume party, and all of the items on her dresser have feline motifs. Stewart used the same concept for the cover of his 2004 Greatest Hits album, but with most of the cat items replaced with references to his other singles.
|Christgau's Record Guide||B–|
Chris Woodstra called Year of the Cat Al Stewart's masterpiece.
All tracks composed by Al Stewart, except where indicated.
1976 Original LP edition
- "Lord Grenville" – 5:00
- "On the Border" – 3:22
- "Midas Shadow" – 3:08
- "Sand in Your Shoes" – 3:02
- "If it Doesn't Come Naturally, Leave It" – 4:28
- "Flying Sorcery" – 4:20
- "Broadway Hotel" – 3:55
- "One Stage Before" – 4:39
- "Year of the Cat" (Stewart, Peter Wood) – 6:40
2004 Remaster bonus tracks
- "On the Border" [live] - 3:48
- "Belsize Blues" - 3:30
- "Story of the Songs" - 9:42
- Al Stewart - vocals, guitar, keyboards
- Peter White - guitar, keyboards
- Tim Renwick - guitar
- Peter Wood - keyboards
- Don Lobster - keyboards
- George Ford - bass
- Stuart Elliott - drums, percussion, background vocals
- Andrew Powell - string arrangements
- Bobby Bruce - violin
- Marion Driscoll - triangle
- Phil Kenzie - alto saxophone
- David Pack - background vocals
- John Perry - background vocals
- Tony Rivers - background vocals
- Graham Smith - harmonica
Album – Billboard (United States)
Singles – Billboard (United States)
|1977||"Year of the Cat"||Singles||8|
|"On the Border"||Singles||42|
- Bogdanov, Vladimir; Chris Woodstra; Stephen Thomas Erlewine (2001). All music guide: the definitive guide to popular music. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 391. ISBN 978-0-87930-627-4.
- "Lord Grenville". Songfacts.com. Retrieved 2010-03-09.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-09-27. Retrieved 2011-08-08.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) CIUT’s Barry Livingston’s interview with legendary UK singer/songwriter Al Stewart, Thursday June 16th, 2011 at 7 a.m.
- Dave Thompson, 1000 Songs that Rock Your World, Krause Publications, Iola, WI (2011). ISBN 978-1-4402-1422-6 p. 142.
- Davies, John (2009). Lyrics and limericks. Dartford: Pneuma Springs Pub. p. 35. ISBN 978-1-905809-59-2. OCLC 751047053.
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. Year of the Cat at AllMusic
- Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: S". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved March 13, 2019 – via robertchristgau.com.
- Woodstra, Chris; John Bush (2008). All Music Guide Required Listening: Classic Rock. Hal Leonard. p. 208. ISBN 978-0-87930-917-6.
- Strong, Martin Charles; John Peel (2004). The great rock discography. Canongate. p. 1460. ISBN 978-1-84195-615-2.