Bill Callahan, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, and Iranian-American experimental musician and labelmates AZITA have released a lovely cover of Yusuf / Cat Stevens’ track ‘Blackness of the Night’, originally taken from his sophomore 1967 album ‘New Masters’. Cat Stevens wrote that “‘Blackness of the Night’ was one of my first ‘protest’ songs for the ’60s… Growing up in London after the War, the memories were strong and bombed ruins still riddled the City. It also reflected the feeling of emptiness wandering the streets at night alone, pondering how to survive in a dark unknown future.”
This beautifully animated video conveys a powerful ecological message and is a great accompaniment to a re-imagining of the classic song from 1970. Written over 50 years ago, it remains as relevant as ever as the lyrics warn of the problems facing the world. Yusuf / Cat Stevens explains: “Looking at the world today and the message in this fifty-year-old song, it looks like the world never grew up.” It’s taken from ‘Tea for the Tillerman² ‘, due on 18th September, on which Yusuf / Cat Stevens makes the familiar songs new and relevant for today. Take note.
Yusuf (previously known as Cat Stevens) has announced the start of a series of reissues of his classic singer-songwriter albums, starting with the last to be released under the Cat Stevens name: 1978’s ‘Back to Earth‘. It was an album influenced by Yusuf’s newly discovered belief in Islam – as he says of the material “There are many intriguing messages in the songs and lyrics of this album; ‘The Artist’ has no words, because I couldn’t find the word to praise the Creator of this incredible universe enough; ‘Daytime’ gives a sense of the innocence I’d rediscovered; finally, ‘Never’ is befittingly the last track and is justifiably full of hopeful feelings.” Continue reading “Yusuf / Cat Stevens starts album reissue series”