Al Stewart – Year Of The Cat (1976) – Lp
Alastair Ian “Al” Stewart (born 5 September 1945) is a Glasgow-born English singer-songwriter and folk-rock musician who rose to prominence as part of the British folk revival in the 1960s and 1970s. He developed a unique style of combining folk-rock songs with delicately woven tales of characters and events from history.
Artist: Al Stewart
Title: Year Of The Cat
Label: RCA Records
Catalog# RS 1082
Year of the Cat is the seventh studio album by Al Stewart, released in 1976 and was produced and engineered by Alan Parsons; it is considered his masterpiece, its sales helped by the hit single “Year of the Cat“, “one of those ‘mysterious woman’ songs,” co-written by Peter Wood. The other single from the album was “On the Border”. Stewart wrote “Lord Grenville” about the Elizabethan sailor and explorer Sir Richard Grenville (1542–1591).
Stewart had all of the music and orchestration written and completely recorded before he even had a title for any of the songs. In a Canadian radio interview he stated that he has done this for six of his albums, and he often writes four different sets of lyrics for each song. The title track derives from a song Stewart wrote in 1966 called “Foot of the Stage” with prescient lyrics about Tony Hancock, one of Britain’s favourite comedians who tragically committed suicide two years later. When Stewart discovered that Hancock was not well known in the United States, he went back to his original title “Year of the Cat”.
While Stewart is known for his guitar virtuosity, the song is recognized for producing amazing interplay of multiple guitars, piano, saxophone, violin and drums.
The cover design, by Hipgnosis and illustrator Colin Elgie, depicts a woman who has an apparent obsession with cats. She can be seen in the mirror dressing up as a cat for a costume party, and all of the items on her dresser have feline motifs.
1. Lord Grenville (5:02)
2. On the Border (3:23)
3. Midas Shadow (3:16)
4. Sand in Your Shoes (3:04)
5. If it Doesn’t Come Naturally, Leave It (4:30)
1. Flying Sorcery (4:22)
2. Broadway Hotel (3:58)
3. One Stage Before (4:41)
4. Year of the Cat (6:37)