on 24 January 2011
This album probably doesnt get the recognition it deserves as one of Cats best albums. A much overlooked classic. After a rather shaky effort with Foreigner, Cat Stevens here returns to his winning formula, bringing his former session musicians back on board, including the great Alun Davies, the man responsible for the beautiful acoustic guitar melodies in his earlier albums. This change back to Cat's previous form is even heralded in the long and pondorous title, reminiscent of the earlier albums teaser and the firecat, tea for the tillerman etc. Cat pledges his commitment to music in the opening and closing tracks. Highlights include Music, Ready, and King of Trees, a heartfelt lament about a tree. Also Sun/C79 is fantastic, definately one of my favourite songs of his. This album could probably be said to be his last truly classic album, sadly Cat Stevens was never this good again.
on 21 March 2001
Although I can recall waiting eagerly for the release of this album back in the seventies, it's only in recent years that I have come to appreciate how original and thought provoking it really is.Containing one of Cat's best songs in 'Oh Very Young', the album overall demonstrates that Cat had not lost his ability to write beautiful songs.The gorgeous 'King Of Tree's' and 'Home In The Sky' would have sat nicely on either the 'Firecat' or 'Tillerman' albums.All other tracks are also of a high standard and its possible this was his last real classic album.Admittedly not as brilliant as the 'Firecat' or 'Tillerman' albums it still warrants 5 stars for me as its beautifully unique in its own right.The high quality remaster has added new life to this old recording and its thoroughly recommended.One to savour!
As with his previous two albums, Cat Stevens opts for a standard rock band format, playing keyboards for the most part. 'King Of Trees' is outstanding, lyrically and musically, sad but incisive, opening with a beautiful, extended instrumental passage. 'Oh Very Young,' the one track to make it on to the 'Very Best Of' collection is the nearest he gets to his 'Tillerman'/'Teaser' days, a gentle, wistful song about a short, but cherished time in our lives. 'Sun/C79,' 'Bad Penny' and 'Home In The Sky' are the best of the rest, all tracks that become more endearing with each listen.
Unfortunately, the remaining tracks are less impressive. 'Music' has an insistent, almost gospel feel, but the subject matter is cliched, as is 'Jesus' and the over-simplistic 'Ready.' 'Ghost Town' is an interesting idea, but not especially memorable. Even so, as with all of Stevens's albums, 'Buddha' is a high-quality production.