SP-4519 Greatest Hits
Previously released material
(Track 6 produced by Cat Stevens)
Released on June 20, 1975
US CHART POSITION #6 . . . GOLD RECORD (8/15/75), 3x PLATINUM (11/19/92), 4x PLATINUM (4/26/01) . . . UK CHART POSITION #2
Find it at GEMM
SP-4519 cover  

T he cat’s pajamas. These are the songs that made Cat Stevens a star: “Peace Train,” “Moonshadow,” “Hard Headed Woman,” “Wild World,” “Morning Has Broken.” Stevens released some fine music after those recordings, but it’s the achievements of Teaser and Tillerman that he’ll be remembered for at the end of the day. The remaining tracks are the hits that sustained interest afterward, many of them magical in their own right: “Sitting,” “Oh Very Young,” “Can’t Keep It In.” Greatest Hits is also notable for a new track, “Two Fine People,” which followed in the restless footsteps of “Ready.” As “Another Saturday Night” confirmed, Cat was falling into the same trap of indulgence that Marc Bolan set for himself with self production, adding female backing singers and bruising his delicate muse in the move to a more contemporary sound. Paul Simon made the transition better and CS&N wasn’t around to worry about it, but for many artists the mid ‘70s saw the loss of an innocence that defined their earlier work. In the minor complaint department, Greatest Hits doesn’t function as a useful compass through Cat’s catalog. Catch Bull At Four isn’t nearly as catchy as “Sitting” and “Can’t Keep It In” would indicate, Foreigner is excluded entirely (would it have hurt to add “The Hurt?”) and Mona Bone Jakon is tossed out (“Lady D’Arbanville” holds a higher rank among hits than “Father & Son”). And, perhaps more alarming, the charming “If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out” from Harold & Maude is forgotten. That one omission is the difference between a very good compilation and a great one. As compensation, the record originally came with a lyric sheet/poster mapped out to the twelve months. It took less than two months for this to sell 500,000 copies as the Cat Stevens juggernaut kept a rollin. That it’s still popular today speaks to the timeless quality of his music.

SP-4519 back cover SP-4519 lyric poster
SP-4519 back cover SP-4519 lyric poster

TRACK LISTING

  1. WILD WORLD    3:19
  2. OH VERY YOUNG    2:35
  3. CAN'T KEEP IT IN    2:59
  4. HARD HEADED WOMAN    3:47
  5. MOONSHADOW    2:48
  6. TWO FINE PEOPLE    3:32
  7. PEACE TRAIN    3:44
  8. READY    3:13
  9. FATHER & SON    3:38
  10. SITTING    3:11
  11. MORNING HAS BROKEN    (E. Farjeon/Cat Stevens)    3:17
  12. ANOTHER SATURDAY NIGHT    (Sam Cooke)    2:27

    All songs written by Cat Stevens unless noted

CREDITS

David McMacken -- cover illustration
Roland Young -- tiger

return to CAT STEVENS discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US/CAN June 20, 1975 A&M LP/8T SP-4519 lyric poster
UK June 20, 1975 A&M LP/CS ILPS 9310 lyric poster
AUS'L 1975 Island LP L35581  
FRA 1975 Island LP 9101 646  
GER 1975 Island LP 89101XOT  
VEN   Ariola LP 77000  
YUG   Jugoton LP LSI73041 poster
MEX 1977 Island LP LA026  
BRA 1986 Island LP 6047 208  
US/CAN   A&M CD/CS CS-4519  
US July 2000 A&M CD 546 889 digital remaster

 

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