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I never wanted to be a star...
March 30, 2005 7:47 PM   Subscribe

The Cat is back. After a hiatus of over 20 years, Yusuf "Cat Stevens" Islam is back with his first original song (as opposed to the voice-and-drum Islamic songs he did occasionally). Previously discussed here when he was deported from the US for allegedly being on a "terrorist watchlist", Islam has had a change of heart when it comes to playing the music he shunned for so long. "Music is a lady that I still love because she gives me the air that I breathe," he quotes from one of his old songs. "We need all sorts of nourishment. And music satisfies and nourishes the hunger within ourselves for connection and harmony. It's part of God's universe." His new song Indian Ocean is now available on iTunes, with all proceeds going to victims of the tsunami disaster.
posted by laz-e-boy (15 comments total)

 
You can't go home again.
posted by HTuttle at 7:57 PM on March 30, 2005


What about his song "Slammin Salamin?"
posted by srboisvert at 8:20 PM on March 30, 2005


This is really good news (although I haven't heard the new track yet). He's one hell of a good songwriter.
posted by GriffX at 8:37 PM on March 30, 2005


Was it just me or did anyone else think converting to Islam and then making his last name Islam was kind of lame? Not the conversion, just not coming up with something different than the religion he was converting to. I never understood that.

But I love his music, listen to him everyday with my baby boy, who also loves his music. I may just break my rule against using iTunes to get the song, hard to argue with his charity.
posted by fenriq at 9:50 PM on March 30, 2005


Zzzzzzzzzzz...

Back-from-towing-the-party-line-cuz-the-money-ran-out much, Cat?
posted by mrblondemang at 10:35 PM on March 30, 2005


I have some fond memories of particular Cat Stevens songs, and have enjoyed sharing them with my 4-year-old son. So even though I've never been a die-hard fan this was actually the first song I've bought from the iTunes Music Store without even first listening to the preview, and...

...I wasn't disappointed. It's basically song-storytelling in the first-person of a tourist (himself?) experiencing the tsunami and its aftermath. The melody and rhythm is fairly catchy, and the words are sobering without trying too hard to jerk tears. His voice sounds "thinner" than in his earlier work, but I think that may be deliberate, as I think it adds to the mood of the piece.

Welcome back, Cat. I think you have a gift, and I hope you continue using it wisely.
posted by Ironwolf at 11:04 PM on March 30, 2005


We were diggin his older stuff today at work. If anything, I think he's a sincere, complicated and honest person and just because he had a conversion to a religion that isn't popular with America's yahoo faction, doesn't mean he towing any party line. I think that terrorist watch list stuff is plain BS.
Anyway, just judging from the amount of people I've encountered who know and like his music...I don't think he's going broke he's not profitting from the new song...hardly the move of someone who needs money.
posted by black8 at 11:33 PM on March 30, 2005


We were diggin his older stuff today at work. If anything, I think he's a sincere, complicated and honest person and just because he had a conversion to a religion that isn't popular with America's yahoo faction, doesn't mean he towing any party line. I think that terrorist watch list stuff is plain BS.
Anyway, just judging from the amount of people I've encountered who know and like his music...I don't think he's going broke - he's not profitting from the new song...hardly the move of someone who needs money.
posted by black8 at 11:33 PM on March 30, 2005


I'm not a Cat fan, though I'll reluctantly confess that some of his songs are indelibly imprinted in my brain like some early seventies schlock virus.

MrBlondeMang:

"Back-from-towing-the-party-line-cuz-the-money-ran-out much, Cat?"

Yeah, right. That's why he's giving all the proceeds away to charity. Not the profits mind (after you've paid your wife and kids big fat retainers to ensure that any profits are minimal) but *all* the proceeds.

And while I can't be bothered to listen to the song, I'd be very surprised if a song titled 'Indian Ocean' is in any way a breach with Islamic doctrine.

It's hardly 'Titties and Beer', is it?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:40 PM on March 30, 2005


It was a cold day in London,
Dark clouds rumbling,
Grabbed the yellow pages under the bed,
I noticed an ad it said,
'Indian Summer', '10 Days of Wonder',
'Paradise is yours for £50!'
I thought to myself, 'That's it!'

Told the wife to pack the bag,
Forget about the plans we had
"We're going east instead."
She looked at me and shakes her head.
I said, "O now baby,
I know it sounds crazy,
But this may be the only chance we get.
We only get one life to live!"

So we grabbed the kids and some body-lotion
and we went to the middle of the
Indian Ocean

Our guide was there to meet us;
Welcome sign to greet us
Ten porters stood up like a wall
Carried our bags to the hall
The custom man smiled to me
Begs so politely
"Tell me sir, have you any more?"
I looked at him and said, "that's all."

They drove us to the beach house,
I said, "Is this all ours?"
They nodded and rolled out the bed
I turned to my wife and said,
"Ooh now honey, I guess it's still sunny,
Let's all go down for a dip
Before the sun sets."

Suddenly I gazed up,
Upon the rising wave, I
Saw the sea drawn from the sand
I grabbed the wife and kids and ran.
"Please God! save us!
Please don't blame us,
For this is the only life we have;
We'll make it up if we were bad."

The wave was a-pounding as we
scrambled up the mountain
No one even dared to turn their head
Just one slip and you're dead!

As the waves were dying,
A child was crying
Searching for her mum and dad
A thin dress was all she had
She held us tight,
We looked far and wide
But nothing there...
There was nothing left
We all broke down and wept.

Then came the morning,
A New Year was born
The girl had been with us all night
My wife looked down at her and sighed:
"O my Darling! It's suddenly dawning,
But just take a look at those eyes
She must be Paradise!"


Is there a sample around?
posted by peacay at 11:44 PM on March 30, 2005


It's for charity, and it costs about a dollar. Just fucking buy it.
posted by salmacis at 11:53 PM on March 30, 2005


Actually, I take that back. I've just been on the website, and as a linux user, there appears to be no way for me to purchase the song.
posted by salmacis at 11:56 PM on March 30, 2005


salmacis, iTunes works under Wine (at CXOffice's latest). But other than that, yup, you're SOL.
posted by teece at 12:05 AM on March 31, 2005


Actually iTunes gives a short sample anyways.
posted by peacay at 3:46 AM on March 31, 2005


Back-from-towing-the-party-line-cuz-the-money-ran-out much, Cat?

Replace that 'w' with an 'e' and you're in business, mrblondemang. (Though it doesn't make your point any less specious.)
posted by gigawhat? at 10:53 AM on March 31, 2005


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