tommy

Member
Yusuf Islam /cat stevens
Born Steven Demetre Georgiou, the son of a Greek Cypriot father and Swedish mother, Yusuf Islam grew up above the family shop in London’s theatre district, situated at the northernmost junction of Shaftesbury Avenue and New Oxford Street, near the heart of London’s West End.

While studying at Art College he was auditioned by a record producer, Mike Hurst, formerly of the pop-folk trio the Springfields. The resulting tracks impressed the Decca Record chief so much that the young artist - now known as Cat Stevens - was selected to launch the new Deram Label, which also signed new British talent such as David Bowie and the Moody Blues.

Cat Stevens went on to become one of the biggest solo artists of the 1960s and 1970s, penning such classics as Matthew & Son, Moonshadow, Wild World and Father & Son and selling over 50 million LPs.

Following a bout of TB early in his career he undertook an ongoing search for peace and ultimate spiritual truth. After almost drowning in the Pacific Ocean at Malibu he received a translation of the Qur'an as a gift from his elder brother, David. His spiritual quest for answers was fulfilled and he embraced Islam in December, 1977. Six months later he changed his name to Yusuf Islam, walked away from the music business to start a new life and raise a family.

Today, Yusuf Islam is arguably one of the world's most famous converts to Islam. His pioneering work in the field of education resulted in securing a landmark decision by the British government to certify and support Islamic education throughout Great Britain. The three schools he founded in London’s Brent district – Islamia Primary, Islamia Girls' Secondary and the Brondesbury College for Boys – consistently top the borough’s examination league tables.

His U.N.-registered charity, Small Kindness, provides humanitarian relief, through direct aid as well as social and educational programs, to orphans and families in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and other regions of the world.

Since 1994 he has once again turned his attention to the recording studio, releasing ten albums to date under his Mountain of Light label. His Sarajevo concert in 1997, to celebrate Bosnian culture, was his first public appearance for 20 years. Recently he has contributed to a number of major charity concert events including Nelson Mandela's 46664 AIDS benefit concert at the close of 2003 in Cape Town where he coupled with Peter Gabriel and the Soweto Choir to perform Wild World, and also a fund-raising concert in Jakarta to aid the victims of the recent tsunami where he premiered a new song, Indian Ocean, inspired by the disaster.

In 2003 Yusuf Islam was awarded the 'World Social Award' for his humanitarian relief work. Previous recipients of this award include Pope John Paul II, Steven Spielberg, and Sir Paul McCartney.

More recently, in November 2004, he was honoured with the 'Man for Peace' award by a committee of Nobel peace laureates.

Yusuf Islam is currently working on a new album of spiritually inspiring songs as well as a stage musical based metaphorically on his spiritual journey
 

VWBug

I am a Turk
Yusuf Islam /cat stevens
Nice one Tommy. Thanks for sharing
Cat Stevens also is my favorite, his songs are classic as Beatles songs. I don't know why music was better in old days. May be we are getting old to listen new rap songs. lol.
 

Susan

Non Active Member
Yusuf Islam /cat stevens
:music: I think I have almost every tape that Cat Stevems recored, the below is taken from articles I have read over the years about him.

Cat Stevens, born Steve Georgiou in London, England, July 21, 1947, was the son of a Greek father and a Swedish mother. People close to him during his career always referred to him as Steve, not Cat.

Much of Cat Stevens' success came in the '70s, but his music career began years earlier, when he landed his first hit in England before he turned 20 with the song "I Love My Dog." The song was included on the album "Matthew & Son", released in 1967.

He had even more success with other songs from that album, namely the title track, which hit No. 2 on the charts, and "I'm Gonna Get Me a Gun," which reached No. 6. Another song, "Here Comes My Baby," became a hit for The Tremeloes, and the album itself landed in the Top 10.

The rather prolific young musician followed up Matthew & Son with "New Masters", also released in 1967. Although that effort did not reap as many rewards, one track, "Kitty," managed to wedge into the Top 50. Musician P. P. Arnold took another of the album's songs, "The First Cut Is the Deepest," to the Top 20, a song that later became a hit for Rod Stewart.

Just a year after both albums were released, Stevens was felled by tuberculosis and took a couple of years off from music.

Upon his recovery, he realised that his original demos, with their lack of orchestration, were better than the heavy studio singles and albums. He re-emerged with a new style in 1970 with the album "Mona Bone Jakon" and hit the U.K. Top Ten with "Lady D'Arbanville." But it was his late 1970 follow-up, "Tea for the Tillerman", that made him an international success. The album hit the Top Ten and went gold in the U.S., producing the hit "Wild World." The L.P. "Teaser and the Firecat", released in 1971, did even better, including the hits "Peace Train" and "Morning Has Broken."

Stevens became so successful as an albums artist that, even though his next couple of albums did not generate big hit singles, they were still big sellers: "Catch Bull at Four" (1972) went to #1 and "Foreigner" (1973) reached #3. His 1974 album "Buddha and the Chocolate Box”, which included the #10 hit "Oh Very Young," reached #2.

As the focus of pop music drifted away from his acoustic style, Stevens' records were gradually less successful during the second half of the '70s. Cat Stevens made his final performance at the 1979 UNICEF Benefit concert, where he appeared as Yusuf Islam, having become a member of the Muslim faith.

Cat Stevens was no more, and as Yusuf Islam, he has been quoted as saying that he had written the record companies asking them to stop selling his music. He was not heard from for another ten years, until his name was again in the news, but this time for all the wrong reasons.

In his own words, Yusuf explains: "In February 1989 I was delivering a talk about my journey to Islam at Kingston University in London, when somebody (probably a disguised journalist) mischievously posed a question about Islam’s view on apostates and blasphemers. As a student who had studied the issue for the first time, I simply did my best by answering direct from legal texts, which I had read. Instead of reporting my response in context, which I naively expected, suddenly the headline in next day’s paper read “Cat Says Kill Rushdie!” Well, needless to say, all hell then broke loose and my political education had really begun.

Thank God the newspaper responsible, today, has since folded and is now out of circulation; unfortunately the monstrous myth it created still survives."
Some "classic rock" radio stations discontinued playing him as a result, though his music remains popular.

Although he no longer participated in recording pop music, Yusuf has recorded some Islamic children's music, which has been distributed through Muslim channels. In 1995 he did release an official new album "The Life Of The Last Prophet", which is a spoken word recording on the life of the prophet Muhammad. Included is a disc with three songs, one of which has Yusuf on vocals.

Even more recently Yusuf has completed production of an album to aid Bosnian Muslims entitled "I Have No Cannons That Roar."

He still takes an active role in anything the record companies do with Cat Stevens material, which would indicate that he is still interested in that part of his life. For example he chose the track listings for both "Footsteps In The Dark" and "Classics Vol. 24." He also chose the design for the recently released "Three" box set.

Yusuf offers his complete catalogue for sale out of his London office, (both Cat Stevens and Yusuf Islam titles and merchandise).

He also owns a number of his original master tapes, which he also keeps in his office, which is equipped with a full recording studio.

He has said that he feels that some of his songs were immoral, but he amends that by saying he realizes that nothing he did was really "bad."

The royalties from tracks he feels are "immoral" go directly to charity and do not pass through Yusuf's hands at all.

He lives off of investments from the wealth he had earned up to the point when he left the music business and does not use the royalties for himself directly.

He does use them for specific projects however.

Yusuf was in the news again on September 22nd, 2004 when he was escorted from a diverted transatlantic flight and refused entry into America by FBI agents.

Authorities said that his name showed up on a US terrorist watch list after United Airlines Flight 919 had taken off from London. The flight landed in Maine where Islam, who was travelling with his 21-year-old daughter, was detained and questioned.

After returning to London, Islam said that he had begun legal action against US authorities. "We have now initiated a legal process to try to find out exactly what is going on, and to take all necessary steps to undo the very serious, and wholly unfounded, injustice which I have suffered," he said in a statement. "The amazing thing is that I was not given, and have still not been given, any explanation whatsoever as to what it is I am accused of, or why I am now deemed an apparent security threat, let alone given an opportunity to respond to these allegations."

Some reports later suggested that a clerical error may have led to Yusuf's detention, as the person who was being sought by US officials has a similar name, but is spelled differently.

Regardless, Cat Stevens has left a musical legacy that will not be tarnished easily.

Susan
 

tommy

Member
Yusuf Islam /cat stevens
V.W .Susan.Jordan blue.

Looks like a lot of the forum members have the same taste in music.
Just something about this singer+man ..
I can listen to his music for hours on end.
Agree with you vw music todays music is rap..rap...and more rap.
 
Yusuf Islam /cat stevens
Enjoy the music of cat stevens.Ex used to sing and play guitar to several of his songs when he played in the local pub.
 
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