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CAT STEVENS [ The definitive career biography ] Paperback – 21 Mar 1985

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Product details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Proteus,( New York ,U.S. ); 1st edition (21 Mar. 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0862761816
  • ISBN-13: 978-0862761813
  • Product Dimensions: 29.5 x 21.8 x 1 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,114,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon.com: 2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A joke - right? 10 Aug. 2013
By Dr. Dean - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
$374.00 for 96 pages? Everything listed in the summary can be found on wikipedia. This is a joke - right?
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
How Cat Stevens Became Yusuf Islam 9 April 2007
By Robert A. Williams - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Chris Charlesworth completed this nicely done 94-paged biography on Steven Demetri Georgiou in May, 1984 with the assistance of Steve himself. After the Table of Contents is an Introduction followed by six chapters and discography of Cat Stevens's albums and singles.

Chris tells us that Steve was born to Ingrid Wickman of Sweden and Stavros Georgiou, a Greek Cypriot father who owned a Greek restaurant just north of Cambridge Circus in Central London that was geographically distant from the hub of London's Greek community. From an early age, Steve was writing privately - "funny little stories"(p9) and later songs. Steve attended Drury Lane Roman Catholic School for his primary education, then went on to Northampton Secondary Modern School where he ran afoul of a bully. Steven finished his secondary education at Hugh Middleton School in Islington. Apart from an artistic talent he seems to have inherited from his mother's side, Steve showed no aptitude for formal education. He did try a year at Hammersmith Art College, but spent most of his time practising his guitar on the fire escape and was asked to redo the year which Steve decided against.

He wrote a song "I Love My Dog", which nobody in the music racket liked apart from Mike Hurst who was really Michael Longhurst-Pickworth. Mike took a chance and gambled on the 18-year-old kid and his song. It was a hit on the pop charts and Cat Stevens was off and running with his second hit "Matthew and Son", which rose to Number 2 on the British Charts. Less than two years later he had his contract with Mike Hurst declared null and void (because he signed it as a minor), then he was stopped abruptly in his tracks by tuberculosis.

While Steve was recuperating at a nursing home, he wrote more songs that were more folk than pop with an undercurrent of religious/spiritual yearning. In 1969, he and Mike Hurst tried once more to click while producing a record titled "Where Are You". The small string section was a compromise between Hurst's desire for big instrumental arrangements and Steve's desire for vocal accompanied by guitar only. They could not click and parted ways.

1970 saw Cat Stevens rise like the mythical Phoenix, while adhering to his own winning folk-style. By 1978, he had made 10 albums with his last titled "Back to Earth". Steve had been a secret Muslim for two years after his brother David came him a copy of the Last Testament - The Recitation ("Al-Qur'aan" in Arabic). The following year, he publicly testified at London's Regents Park mosque that he was of submission to God ("mu-Islaam" or "muslim" in Arabic). He did not follow the example ("sunnah" in Arabic) of the last Prophet, peace be upon him, and keep his name. Instead, Steve chose the Arabic names of Yusuf Islam. Cat Stevens became history and Steve, now Yusuf, recorded no more music for mass consumption up to when this book was published.

An interesting look at a very popular entertainer's journey for spiritual truth, which can be also be read through his songwriting in the decade he produced songs. I higly recommend this volume as the definitive career biography of the singer Cat Stevens.
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