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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 8 March 2017
Gift for my husband , very pleased with it
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on 26 April 2017
Had it on vinyl (many) years ago. Gets even better with time!
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on 15 April 2017
what an album
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on 15 May 2017
Very good album
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on 29 May 2017
I knew what expect
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VINE VOICEon 6 September 2003
Unusually for a singer songwriter of such importance and talent,Cat Steven's career as one of the great romantic balladeers of the 1970's began at a creative pinnacle and slowly ran down from then on.
'Mona Bone Jakon' Cat's first 1970 album is still argueably his best followed by two more five star albums...'tea for the tillerman' and 'teaser and the firecat'.
Unfortunately,despite offering moments of quality,'catch bull at four' fails to live up to his impressive opening salvo of five star albums.
By no means a dud but by no means a gem either.
Perhaps the huge success Cat had achieved in the US with 'Firecat' and the number 1 'Peace Train' single had taken the edge off his creativity ?
For those new to Cat Stevens,start at the top with 'Jakon' and work your way chronologically through to 'catch bull'.Then you won't be disappointed.....
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on 20 December 2006
This was the first Cat Stevens album I acquired, and it remains my favourite. Having grown up hearing him on the radio in the late 60s and into the 70s, I was sufficiently accustomed to his songs not to feel the need to explore his music further. Until a friend played me side 2 of this album.

What I heard was quite different from the gentle troubadour of 'Peace Train', 'Oh Very Young' and his other well known songs. This was much darker, edgier and introspective, tinged with a sadness not found in his other material.

The likes of 18th Ave and Freezing Steel speak of alienation and bewilderment, expressed with confusion and a degree of wry humour; Sweet Scarlet was heart rending from the moment I heard it and remains so to this day; and O'Caritas and Ruins conjure visions of fire and death, melancholy and regret, none of which I had associated with Cat before.

By contrast, the 1st side is somewhat lighter, but no less satisfyngly different from his previous work. Sitting speaks of his fear of being left behind but confronts it with the boldness and courage to overcome the challenge. Gentler ballads remain in the forms of Boy... and Silent Sunlight, but Angelsea is a bright and restless song of celebration, with bursts of hitherto unheard synths and backing vocals (from the likes of Linda Lewis!). Likewise the sparkling Can't Keep It In, with its electric guitar and organ is a stronger and more forthright expression than most of his earlier work, and amidst the more sombre tone of the majority of the album, seems to stand as a powerful statement of his intent to move forward regardless.

For me, this is an album that shows a man growing beyond the style (and lifestyle?) which had nurtured his initial succes, in spite of criticism from others who wanted him to remain the perfect folk pop minstrel, preserved in 60s aspic. A beautiful and courageous record.
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on 22 April 2009
Cat Stevens' Catch Bull at Four is possibly the best Album he made way back in the 70s. Having recently bought this CD {i gave my original record away years ago and regretted it ever since)I cant stop playing it!
"Sitting" is crisp and raunchy, the lyrics are quite superb eg: "I keep on wondering if I sleep too long. Will I ever wake up the same or something..." Listen to the classic "Boy With A Moon And Star On His Head"
Yes it is a tad long but worth it for the punchline at the end!
Cat Stevens can be raunchy one moment, tender and gentle the next even in the same track, but always with very strong melodies and wonderful lyrics.
I highly recommend this Album.
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VINE VOICEon 13 January 2002
Originally released in 1972, this was Cat Stevens' sixth album and it was his most commercially successful. It's a very good CD and it certainly deserved its success. That success came in part from the merits of this album but also because it followed on from Tea For the Tiller Man and Teaser and the Firecat which had both been very well received.
Fans can argue long and hard over the merits of the three albums but the truth is that, whichever is the best, they are all very fine indeed and together they represent the peak of the artist's output. Catch Bull at Four has a harder edge than the other two. It is most noticable in the vocals and lyrics but the music too is a little heavier.
The best known song on the album is "Can't Keep It In" but that is mostly because it is the easiest one to play on the radio as it is catchy and sticks in the mind. For me, the highlight of the CD is "The Boy With The Moon And Star On His Head" a lyrical and romantic fantasy that is as good as anything else that Cat Stevens has ever recorded. It deserves a place alongside the finest English folk ballads from the days of "Greensleeves" and John Dowland.
Highlighting any of the songs on this CD means not mentioning others and that is sure to do an injustice to many songs. Everything here is memorable and distinctive and the only answer is to buy the CD, concentrate on the songs and appreciate one of the true highlights of seventies music.
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on 7 November 2003
It is unfortunate that many reviewers of 'Catch bull at four' have tended to regard it as a poorer quality album than its two predecessors 'Tea for the tillerman' and 'Teaser and the Firecat'. I feel that this does the album a great injustice; no artist should be expected to remain unchanging in style, and if he had simply stayed with a winning formula after the success of 'Teaser' Cat Stevens could have rightly criticized. However, Stevens demonstrated integrity and vision throughout the early years of the 1970s, with each of his first five Island Records albums showing a clear progression and artistic development, even if on occasions (perhaps most notably 'Foreigner') this was not always commercially successful.
After achieving a very focused and concise style on 'Teaser', Cat Stevens understandably wanted to experiment with more unusual song structures and ambitious arrangements, and the result is a somewhat more stylistically diverse album than its predecessors. As a result it is, if anything, a stronger, more musically satisfying album, and includes new elements such as electric guitar, synthesizer, female backing vocalists and the accomplished keyboard work of Jean Roussel. At the same time, the album retains much of what made Cat's earlier work appealing, and also includes the welcome re-appearance of the bouzouki to add its distinctive sound to 'O Caritas'.
The mood of the album is at times somber, reflecting Stevens' continuing spiritual pilgrimage at this time, and his deep feelings perhaps show through most in the opening track 'Sitting' and the bleak closing song 'Ruins'. Though there are a couple of weaker tracks (such as 'Boy...' which has a pleasant arrangements but a rather tedious, over-long lyric, and 'Angelsea' which is perhaps too dominated by synthesizer sounds), these can be appreciated as valid musical experiments, and are more than compensated for by other very appealing up-tempo tracks (such as 'Sitting', 'Can't keep it in' and 'O Caritas'). The album contains several lovely ballads, such as 'Sweet scarlet' and the madrigal-like 'Silent sunlight', whilst the more complex song structure of '18th avenue', with its orchestral interlude and changing rhythms, hints at the direction Cat would take with his next album 'Foreigner'. The whole package is enhanced by the crystal clear remastering, and restoration of the stylish original album artwork. Altogether, 'Catch bull at four' can be regarded as a very satisfying album which, along with 'Tillerman' and 'Teaser' ranks among Cat Stevens' best work.
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