SP 4365 Catch Bull At Four
Produced by Paul Samwell-Smith
Released on September 27, 1972
UK CHART POSITION #2 . . . US CHART POSITION #1 . . .
PLATINUM RECORD
Find it at GEMM
SP 4365 cover

k ronomyth 6.0: CARIBOU AT FOUR. Granted, this is better than the aforementioned Elton John album, but not a whole lot better. After two brilliant albums, cracks were starting to show, such as restlessness and a sense that Cat was on auto-cruise. Historically, I listen to this album for “Sitting” and “Can’t Keep It In” rather than sitting through the whole thing. When I do give it a full forty minutes, I wonder where the infectious melodies went, why Alun Davies isn’t given more to do, how this ever sold a million copies. There’s usually one album in an artist’s catalog that, logic tells me, should be better than it is, and so I pore over it looking for something that isn’t there. Caribou, Tales From Topographic Oceans, King Crimson’s Islands come to mind, and to this day the only convert I’ve encountered is ELO’s Face The Music. For me, Bull is the anomalous bump where I expected only smoothness. The limited edition original master recording from 2000 did bring a little more clarity and color into the music, though here again the repackaging could have been better and, surely, the planets wouldn’t shift out of their heavenly alignment and send meteors hurling toward our habitable kingdom if someone added “Crab Dance” as a bonus track. Mind you, if Bull is the plain-faced stepchild, Foreigner is the back-alley abortion, so don’t read too much into my dyspepsia. The minutes pass pleasantly enough on songs like “Boy With A Moon & Star On His Head,” “Angelsea” and “18th Avenue;” it’s just that they don’t sparkle with the irrepressible energy and invention of Teaser and Tillerman. Of interest, Catch Bull At Four is the first album to feature Jean Roussel, who would stick with Stevens for the remainder of his albums.

SP 4365 lyric gatefold SP 4365 back cover 490 723-2 front cover
SP 4365 lyric gatefold SP 4365 back cover 490 723-2 front cover
[high resolution scan]

TRACK LISTING

  1. SITTING
  2. BOY WITH A MOON & STAR ON HIS HEAD (on later releases, THE BOY WITH...)
  3. ANGELSEA
  4. SILENT SUNLIGHT
  5. CAN'T KEEP IT IN
  6. 18TH AVENUE
  7. FREEZING STEEL
  8. O CARITAS    (Andreas Toumazis/Jeremy Taylor/Cat Stevens)
  9. SWEET SCARLET
  10. RUINS

    All compositions by Cat Stevens unless noted

CREDITS

CAT STEVENS -- vocals, piano, electric mandolin, Spanish guitar, synthesizer, acoustic guitar, electric piano, penny whistle, electric guitar, Diamond organ, percussion, drums, R.M.I., cover design
GERRY CONWAY -- drums, percussion, vocals
ALUN DAVIES -- acoustic guitar, Spanish guitar, vocals
ALAN JAMES -- bass, vocals
JEAN ROUSSEL -- piano, organ
C.S. Choir -- vocals
Linda Lewis -- vocals
Del Newman -- strings
Andreas Toumazis -- bouzouki (8)
Homer Sykes -- photography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK September 27, 1972 Island LP ILPS 9206 gatefold cover
US/CAN September 27, 1972 A&M LP SP 4365 gatefold cover, elpee picture label
BRA 1972 Island LP 410 017  
COL 1972 Island/Ariola LP 18(0831)00199 gatefold cover
FRA 1972 Island LP 6396 020 gatefold cover
GER/NET 1972 Island LP 86372IT gatefold cover
ITA 1972 Island LP ILPS-19206 gatefold cover
JPN 1972 A&M LP AML-160 gatefold cover
MEX 1972 Island LP 25009 gatefold cover
US 1974 A&M LPQ QU5 4365 quadrophonic stereo
URU 1974 Island LP 5736  
US October 1986? A&M LP/CD/CS SP 4365  
UK 2000 Island CD IMCD-271 digital remaster
EEC July 2000 Polygram CD 546 886 digital remaster
US July 25, 2000 A&M CD 490 723 ltd. ed. original master recording

 

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