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47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
What an absolutely wonderful album! I am currently on my fifth copy (CD). The other four being vinyl and cassettes which subsequently wore out! I loved it the first time heard it 30 years ago and have never tired of listening to it! Every track is an absolute masterpiece. Not only is every track beautifully crafted in the musical sense but every song also has a lot of...
Published on 12 Jan. 2002 by rbcl11999@blueyonder.co.uk

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Really Nice Album - Well Worth buying
A really nice album with three brilliant tracks , Morning has broken, Moonshadow and Peacetrain - This is my first Cat /Yusuf album and I enjoyed it enough to want another one. I definately will be placing an order very soon !
Published on 12 Jun. 2011 by Ken


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47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 12 Jan. 2002
By 
This review is from: Teaser and the Firecat (Audio CD)
What an absolutely wonderful album! I am currently on my fifth copy (CD). The other four being vinyl and cassettes which subsequently wore out! I loved it the first time heard it 30 years ago and have never tired of listening to it! Every track is an absolute masterpiece. Not only is every track beautifully crafted in the musical sense but every song also has a lot of meaning lyrically and at various times of my life have related to each and every one of them. Not only was this a classic album 30 years ago but new generations (including my son) have been discovering it ever since! If I could only have one album in my collection this would be it!
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HIS BEST ALBUM, 2 April 2003
By 
Peter Uys "Toypom" (Sandton) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Teaser and the Firecat (Audio CD)
This legendary album contains at least four classics: Rubylove with its prominent bouzouki and verses sung in Greek is atmospheric and beautiful; Morning Has Broken sounds like a medieval hymn, a gentle lilting ballad with spiritual undertones; Moonshadow is a moving and melodic love song, while Peace Train, though less immediate, will grow on you. I don't know if Cat Stevens can be considered a "heavyweight" in the singer/songwriter genre, but he ceretainly reached a creative peak with these beautiful compositions. Never quite as melancholy as Nick Drake, nor as psychedelic as Donovan, Stevens touched all the right chords here with these simple but timeless songs, the sparse backing and his lovely vocals. This is definitely his best album and the music has stood the test of time very well.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peak of Cat Stevens... a forgotten gem from 1972., 3 Sept. 2005
This review is from: Teaser and the Firecat (Audio CD)
After a slew of personal problems, a false start as a 60's pop pin-up, and a near death experience, Cat Stevens began to find his song-writing feet with the wonderfully downbeat and introvert mini-masterpiece, Mona Bone Jakon. The songs were stripped down, emotional and delivered in a voice that would suggest some sort of re-birth... artistic or otherwise. This burgeoning skill for intuitive folk/pop would further progress with his follow up LP, the legendary Tea for the Tillerman, before finally reaching something of a peak with the album in question. Like Tillerman, Teaser and the Firecat finds Stevens once again in a sombre and reflective mood, as he lays down a series of songs that deal with love, loss, inner-peace and heartbreak.
As a result, Teaser takes on two different tones; there's the gentle and intimate songs in which Stevens sings of lost love and heartache, and then there's the songs that are more exuberant in style, mixing different world influences into the more characteristic Cat Stevens sound. Songs like The Wind, If I Laugh, How Can I Tell You, Morning Has Broken and Moonshadow belong to the first wave... with Stevens pouring his heartache and woe into songs with more minimal arrangements, often built around a gentle acoustic guitar, complimented by a dash of Rick Wakeman's understated piano or keyboards. The other songs, particularly Rubylove, Changes IV, Tuesday's Dead and the closing song, Peace Train, have a more band orientated sound that brings together the drums and bass, as well as instruments like the congas and bouzoukia, further complimented by some choral backing-vocals, handclaps and a hint of strings.
The range of different instrumental flourishes and creative music ideas here is vast and continually changing; from the sub-Dylan folk of opening track the Wind, to gentle ballads like How Can I tell You... there are the world-music touches as well, such as on the Greek themed rumination, Rubylove. This helps to build a mood that is both relaxing and ethereal... and if you were to perhaps read too much into the music, you could say that the overall mix of styles, ideas and lyrical subject matter suggest some far off time or other world in which love, peace and internal devotion win out over the feelings of longing and misery. This sense of innocence cut loose within the abyss of modern living is also reflected in Stevens' own illustrated cover art... the truest testament to the nocturnal sadness and childlike wonderment mirrored by the music.
The Wind establishes a tone for the album right away, with Stevens and guitarist Alun Davies indulging in a little dual finger-picking... creating a lovely little melody that encapsulated the sense innocence reflected in the lyrics. As a piece of music, it's as great as anything released by Leonard Cohen during his celebrated early period... only with lyrics that are more uplifting and less revelatory in the depiction of low-rent sleaze. The overall sentiment of the song is quite lovely, with Stevens intoning "I listen to my words, but they fall far bellow, I let my music take me where my heart wants to go... I swam upon the devil's lake, but never, never, never, never... I'll never make the same mistake, no never, n-ever, never!!", as the guitars gently pick away in the background.
It's really the kind of pop-music that doesn't exist any more... thoughtful and uplifting. Music today is all about aggression and making money; it's no wonder half the world is on ASBO's and the like!! Besides The Wind, other highlights for me include the two reflective songs that deal with unrequited love. The first, If I Laugh features, again, a gentle guitar melody, with a hint of backing instrumentation to give it a bit of weight. The lyrics are heartbreaking, with Cat sorrowfully singing "If I laugh, just a little bit, maybe I can forget the chance that I didn't have, to know you..." before going on to further the story of this young man consumed by thoughts of a love he'll never know. The same theme is continued in more detail on the lengthier, though no less beautiful, How I Can I Tell You.
This is one of my very favourite Stevens songs, standing alongside The Wind, Don't Be Shy, Father and Son and If You Want To Sing Out..., with the minimal instrumentation giving way to some heartbreaking lyrics that encapsulate the feelings of unrequited love better than any other song I can think of ("wherever I am girl, I'm always walking with you, I'm always walking with you, but I look and you're not there... whoever I'm with I'm always, always talking to you, I'm always talking to you, and I'm sad that you can't hear... it always ends up to one thing honey, when I look and you're not there"). Morning Has Broken and Moonshadow are both classics, if a little over-familiar form years of radio play, whilst Tuesday's Dead, Bitterblue and Peace Train offer the more up-tempo side of Stevens' character to help raise the spirits after the soul-searching reflection of some of the songs on what would have been the original LP's side one.
Teaser and the Firecat is a great album... as many have said elsewhere, it's perhaps Stevens's best studio album, continuing the themes and musical ideas he had developed previously on fine albums like Mona Bone Jakon and Tea For the Tillerman, both of which are essential if you appreciate the music found here.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars cat is best, 5 Dec. 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Teaser and the Firecat (Audio CD)
If you want to buy a Cat Stevens album then surely you need look no further. This album captivates you from the start, moody and melancholy to the very end, with the occasional upbeat tempo played down by the lyrics. If you've recently split up with your partner or just thank the lord for a new day (or pray for a 'love train') this has to be the album to mellow out to.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The complete album?, 1 Aug. 2003
This review is from: Teaser and the Firecat (Audio CD)
Not a weak song to be found, this album repays endless listening. If you've never heard it before, I envy you! Buy it and be blown away - beautiful voice; great lyrics; sublime meoldies; minimal arrangments. It all adds up to a superlative example of the singer-songwriter's art. When I first bought this album it was for the well known 'wind' 'morning has broken' and 'moonshadow'...but when I heard it through for the first time I was immediately struck by Peace Train, Rubylove, If I laugh and Tuesday's Dead...every one of these is a gem.
Buy it. It's an album you will go back to again and again and again...
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HIS BEST ALBUM, 7 May 2003
By 
Peter Uys "Toypom" (Sandton) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Teaser and the Firecat (Audio CD)
This legendary album contains at least four classics: Rubylove with its prominent bouzouki and verses sung in Greek is atmospheric and beautiful; Morning Has Broken sounds like a medieval hymn, a gentle lilting ballad with spiritual undertones; Moonshadow is a moving and melodic love song, while Peace Train, though less immediate, will grow on you. I don’t know if Cat Stevens can be considered a “heavyweight” in the singer/songwriter genre, but he certainly reached a creative peak with these beautiful compositions. Never quite as melancholy as Nick Drake, nor as psychedelic as Donovan, Stevens touched all the right chords here with these simple but timeless songs, the sparse backing and his lovely vocals. This is definitely his best album and the music has stood the test of time very well.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In a class of his own, 16 July 2000
By 
This review is from: Teaser and the Firecat (Audio CD)
The quality of the sound, and the writing genius of a man some 30 years ago shows how much they could do, that modern artists very rarely can do. Cat Stevens was years ahead of his time, and his music is so full of talent, meaning, and so very genuine, in a modern world full of electronic equipment, it's so good to hear songs with the 'real' instruments for a change. All you performers out there, can learn lessons from this artist. The only reason I gave this 4 stars out of 5 is because there weren't enough songs on it, as there weren't on the original L.P. So there are good things to be said about C.D.'s nowadays! What a talented man, what a genius. If you liked Cat, then buy it, you'll enjoy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another gem to go with 'Tea for the Tillerman', 30 Jun. 2007
By 
This review is from: Teaser and the Firecat (Audio CD)
I just reviewed 'Tea for the Tillerman' and the same comments apply to this album too. If I could only own 2 of his albums, it would be this and 'Tea for the Tillerman'. I wasn't so keen on 'Tuesday's Dead' or 'Bitterblue', but still give it 5 stars as they're not bad tracks at all - they just don't stand out as individually for me within the album.

"How can I tell you" and "The Wind" are beautiful songs, emotional, with lyrics we can all relate to.

A friend bought me the "Greatest Hits" which I have to say I found mildly disappointing. It was like reading a favourite book in disjointed segments . You're expecting page one - and you get page four - whether that makes sense or not I don't know - but the songs don't flow as nicely or as entirely as on these 2 albums, which are complete in themselves.

Just stop thinking about it and buy it. You won't regret it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hot Cat, 14 Feb. 2008
By 
D. J. H. Thorn "davethorn13" (Hull, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Teaser and the Firecat (Audio CD)
Three great albums in one year is some going. 'Teaser' may be the last of the trio but is no pile of leftovers. Cat Stevens was on a roll, possessed by the knack of marrying simple, but beautiful guitar arrangements to lyrics that tugged at humanity, and sung by a voice that felt as if it was in the room with you. If it's inferior to 'Tea for the Tillerman,' it's only because there isn't as much of it, running to just thirty-two minutes.

The brief, reflective 'The Wind' is classic Cat, as is the bashful 'If I Laugh.' 'Rubylove' is a joyous, bouzouki-led love song, whereas 'How Can I Tell You' is poignant. All of these songs possess fine melodies. Only 'Changes IV' of the songs in the first half is aggressive, though its menacing shadow is effective. This, together with 'Peace Train' is a reminder of the naive, Utopian dream of perfect freedom and harmony so many songs of the era professed. Still, it's a warm thought.

In the second half, the simple philosophy of the hit 'Moonshadow' stands out, the pleading 'Bitterblue' and 'Peace Train' give it a run for its money. For all its pleasantries and memorable piano riff, 'Morning Has Broken' reminds me of cold school assembly mornings, while I could never quite grasp 'Tuesday's Dead,' even if it does sound great.

After this, Stevens continued to make good quality albums, but forsook the simple arrangement in favour of a band with a drummer, and the results were never quite as impressive. Any Cat Stevens collection should start with this and 'Tillerman.'
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cat with the cream, 3 Sept. 2011
By 
GlynLuke (York UK) - See all my reviews
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Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Teaser and the Firecat (Audio CD)
Listening to Cat Stevens now after years of only hearing the odd track on the radio,
I`m struck by several things. He had a terrific voice, he wrote marvellous songs, he
had an urgency about his voice & music that is irresistible, and he wasn`t quite like anyone else around at the time (late 60s/early 70s).
This 1970 release seems to me his most immaculate, most rounded record, each song a carefully written expression of joy, grief, hope...
The Wind is a brief, perfect opener - lovely, and a foretaste of the lyrical and musical delights to come. It contains a favourite line of mine:

"I never wanted water once..."

The next four songs are quite beautiful. Rubylove features duel bouzukis - Cat had a Greek father, after all - and a memorable vocal, one verse sung in Greek. None of the songs here (or on any of his albums for that matter) outstay their welcome. He not only had an urgency in his soulful baritone voice, but a welcome respect for brevity.
If I Laugh is a song once heard never forgotten. I`ve rarely heard his voice so poignant, as if he`s dredging the words from his very soul.

"If I laugh, just a little bit
maybe I can recall the way
that I used to be before you
and sleep at night - and dream"

Seldom has a love lost sounded so sadly tender, the sound of a man tentatively
trying out life again after losing someone...
The gutsy Changes IV and gentle, mournful How Can I Tell You are equally unforgettable, while Tuesday`s Dead is Cat back in fierce-voiced mode, a rhythmic uptempo number that is another highlight of this impeccable album.
Morning Has Broken & Moonshadow will need little introduction to most people, and are good to hear again, bringing home to me what a genuinely fine singer he was, surely one of the best of his era. His voice has such a tough, soulful timbre, heard to advantage on both the `rockier` songs and the delicate ballads.
I`d never heard Bitterblue before. My loss. It`s gorgeous.
That this career-best album should bow out with the great song Peace Train is almost too good to be true. Talk about urgency - a great performance of a great song. (Dolly Parton does a superb version on one of her live albums.)
From Mona Bone Jakon through Tea For The Tillerman to Catch Bull At Four, Cat Stevens made four imperishable collections of songs that will be listened to as long as life lasts. I admit I`d forgotten how well-crafted his compositions are, and what an individual voice he was.
By a whisker this is, to my mind, his very best set of songs.
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Teaser and the Firecat
Teaser and the Firecat by Yusuf/Cat Stevens (Audio CD - 2000)
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