SP 3623 Buddha And The Chocolate Box
Produced by Paul Samwell-Smith and Cat Stevens
Released on March 1974
UK CHART POSITION #3 . . . US CHART POSITION #2 . . . GOLD RECORD (4/18/74) . . . PLATINUM RECORD (2/26/01)
Find it at GEMM
SP 3623 cover  

B uddha And The Chocolate Box is a homecoming of sorts, Cat Stevens having wandered from the successful formula of Teaser and Tillerman on his last two records. Here, Stevens returns to the rich musical world of nature, man and God. Alun Davies, absent on Foreigner, also rejoins the fold. The opening “Music” and “Oh Very Young” are vintage Cat, but they’re hardly the only two good songs on here. Though cuts like “Sun/C79” and “King of Trees” reflect the summer of love a bit too brightly for modern tastes, at their core is fine music and good imagery. “Jesus” is also an excellent track, drawing the analogy between Jesus Christ and Buddha which was part of Cat’s spiritual journey. The closing “Home In The Sky” is fragile but pretty, the playful “Ghost Town” (which recalls the work of Harry Chapin) chocked full of melody and light mischief. Buddha’s success is directly linked to Steven’s own happiness; in contrast to “The Hurt” from Foreigner, Stevens seems eager to love again, saying so much on “Ready.” So, like his best work, Buddha is a hopeful, happy record. The experiments with synthesizers and ambitious song structures are abandoned for the moment, as Cat and company return to reminisce about the music they used to make. Though I’d rate it a notch below Teaser and Tillerman, fans of those two albums are best advised to followup with Buddha.

SP 3623 back cover SP 3623 lyric sleeve
SP 3623 back cover SP 3623 lyric sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. MUSIC    4:19
  2. OH VERY YOUNG    2:33
  3. SUN/C79    4:34
  4. GHOST TOWN    3:08
  5. JESUS    2:11
  6. READY    3:14
  7. KING OF TREES    5:08
  8. A BAD PENNY    3:21
  9. HOME IN THE SKY    3:36

    All selections written by Cat Stevens

CREDITS

CAT STEVENS -- vocals, guitar, keyboards, synthesizer, album design & concept
GERRY CONWAY -- drums, vocals
ALUN DAVIES -- acoustic guitar, vocals
BRUCE LYNCH -- bass
JEAN ROUSSEL -- keyboards, string arrangement (1)
Roland Harker -- banjo
Del Newman -- string arrangement (8)
Jim Ryan -- guitar
Mark Warner -- guitar
Joanne, Judy, Sunny, Ruby, Barry, Joy, Brigette, Suzanne, Jacqui, Clifford, Danny, Rick, Jimmy, Larry -- singers
Victor Gamm -- engineer, mixing
John Wood -- engineer
Robin Black -- mixing
Roger Quested -- mixing
Alan Harris -- mixing
Roland Young -- album design & concept

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK March 1974 Island LP/CS ILPS 9274 gatefold cover, inner sleeve
US April? 1974 A&M LP/CS SP 3623 gatefold cover, lyric sleeve
US 1974 A&M LPQ QU5 3623 quadrophonic stereo
UK October 1986 A&M LP/CD/CS    
  July 2000 Polygram CD 490 725 a/o 546 888 digital remaster

 

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