SP-4702 Izitso
Produced by Cat Stevens with Dave Kershenbaum
Released on April 1977
UK CHART POSITION #18 . . . US CHART POSITION #7 . . . GOLD ALBUM (6/13/77)
Find it at GEMM
SP-4702 cover  

T he last time Cat tried something different without Alun Davies the results were lackluster (Foreigner), but not so Izitso. The songs feature the same inventive, rhythmic melodies that Cat excels at, this time rendered on keyboards and synthesizers rather than guitar. The album feels more contemporary as a result, at times reminiscent of Steve Winwood (“Crazy”) and Gentle Giant (“Killin’ Time,” “Life”). Although the album produced two singles -- “(Remember The Days of the) Old Schoolyard” and the instrumental “Was Dog A Doughnut?” (a precursor to Herbie Hancock’s “Rockit”) -- it’s tracks like “Life,” “Kypros” and “(I Never Wanted) To Be A Star” (last seen on the flip side of Numbers’ second single) that better define the album. While the melodies are as intelligent as always, the subject matter is no longer spiritual; Cat seems to be taking stock of his life this time, openly addressed on “(I Never Wanted) To Be A Star” and covered less directly on “(Remember The Days of the) Old Schoolyard,” “Life” and “Child For A Day” (yes, a lot of these song titles recall Gentle Giant). Cat’s post-Teaser efforts have found him sitting in two camps, sometimes returning to his old musical haunts (Buddha) and other times in search of new musical horizons. Izitso seems to do both, perhaps because the players involved differ from track to track. While it’s not a classic Cat Stevens album, Izitso is a stronger effort than Catch Bull At Four or Foreigner. His albums are essentially postcards along the road of life, and this signpost proved a pleasant a place to sing from.

SP-4702 inner gatefold SP-4702 inner sleeve
SP-4702 inner gatefold SP-4702 inner sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. (REMEMBER THE DAYS OF THE) OLD SCHOOLYARD    2:44
  2. LIFE    4:54
  3. KILLIN' TIME    3:30
  4. KYPROS    3:07
  5. BONFIRE    4:07
  6. (I NEVER WANTED) TO BE A STAR    3:01
  7. CRAZY    3:31
  8. SWEET JAMAICA    3:27
  9. WAS DOG A DOUGHNUT?    (Cat Stevens/Jean Roussel/Bruce Lynch)    4:14
  10. CHILD FOR A DAY    (David Gordon/Paul Travis)    4:25

    Words & music by Cat Stevens unless noted

CREDITS

CAT STEVENS -- Polymoog, piano, celeste, percussion, string arrangement, classical guitar, Ovation guitar, bouzouki, Baldwin electric harpsichord, Yamaha GX1, brass arrangement, grand piano, percussion loop, Fender Rhodes piano, ARP synthesizer, Yamaha E5AR organ, electric guitar, Wurlitzer electric piano, synthesizer programming, drums, acoustic guitar, cover design
BRUCE LYNCH -- bass, synthesizer programming
JEAN ROUSSEL -- organ, string arrangement, ARP flutes, Yamaha E5AR organ, electric piano, glockenspiel, Hammond organ, string synthesizer, vibraphone, piano, grand piano, ARP string ensemble synthesizer
Barry Beckett -- organ, electric piano, acoustic piano
Carla Benson -- vocals (8)
Evette Benton -- vocals (8)
Bill Berg -- drums
Elkie Brooks -- vocals
David Campbell -- brass arrangement
Pete Carr -- guitar
Chick Corea -- electric piano
Ray Gomez -- electric guitar (9)
Roger Hawkins -- drums
Tim Henson -- acoustic piano, organ
David Hood -- bass
Barbara Ingram -- vocals (8)
Jim Johnson -- rhythm guitar
Marjorie Lagerwall -- harp (8)
Suzanne Lynch -- vocal chorus, vocals
Barry Morgan -- additional drums
Weldon Myrick -- steel guitar (6)
Andy Newmark -- drums
Gene Page -- brass arrangement, string arrangement
Broderick Smith -- harmonica (8)
Reggie Young -- electric guitar (6)
Claude Dupras -- programming assistance
Nick Blagona -- engineer
Gene Eichelberger -- engineer
Ken Frieson -- engineer
Freddy Hansson -- engineer
Tom Jung -- engineer
John Kelly -- engineer
Paul Martinson -- engineer
Jerry Masters -- engineer
Dee Robb -- engineer
Mike Ross -- engineer
Mike Stavros -- engineer
Moshe Brakha -- photography
Eckford Stimpson -- cover design

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK April 1977 Island LP/CS ILPS 9451 gatefold cover, inner sleeve
US/CAN April? 1977 A&M LP/CS/8T SP-7402 gatefold cover, inner sleeve
GER/NET 1977 Island LP 28824 gatefold cover
US 1996 Mobile Fidelity LP 254 original master recording
US   A&M CD 546 891 digital remaster
EEC   Island CD IMCD 278 digital remaster

 

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