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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Tea for the Tillerman

Cat Stevens

1970

Tea for the Tillerman

Album Summary

Tea for the Tillerman is the fourth studio album by singer-songwriter Cat Stevens, released in November 1970.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.7

Votes

6130

Genres

  • Folk
  • Rock
  • Singer Songwriter
Reviews
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Mon Apr 26 2021
5

A perfect little package of 3-minute acoustic guitar pop gems. Great song writing, beautifully recorded, sequenced and presented. Has Father and Son on it - objectively an all-time great song.

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Mon Apr 05 2021
5

Mona Bone Jakon only began Cat Stevens' comeback. Seven months later, he returned with Tea for the Tillerman, an album in the same chamber-group style, employing the same musicians and producer, but with a far more confident tone. Mona Bone Jakon had been full of references to death, but Tea for the Tillerman was not about dying; it was about living in the modern world while rejecting it in favor of spiritual fulfillment. It began with a statement of purpose, "Where Do the Children Play?," in which Stevens questioned the value of technology and progress. "Wild World" found the singer being dumped by a girl, but making the novel suggestion that she should stay with him because she was incapable of handling things without him. "Sad Lisa" might have been about the same girl after she tried and failed to make her way; now, she seemed depressed to the point of psychosis. The rest of the album veered between two themes: the conflict between the young and the old, and religion as an answer to life's questions. Tea for the Tillerman was the story of a young man's search for spiritual meaning in a soulless class society he found abhorrent. He hadn't yet reached his destination, but he was confident he was going in the right direction, traveling at his own, unhurried pace. The album's rejection of contemporary life and its yearning for something more struck a chord with listeners in an era in which traditional verities had been shaken. It didn't hurt, of course, that Stevens had lost none of his ability to craft a catchy pop melody; the album may have been full of angst, but it wasn't hard to sing along to. As a result, Tea for the Tillerman became a big seller and, for the second time in four years, its creator became a pop star.

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Sun Jul 11 2021
5

A masterpiece by a musical genius. Cat Stevens is a master storyteller. Wish we could have more music by him, but his personal and religious choices are his own. Songs of my youth all abound here (it's before my time, but Cat Stevens was a mainstay in my house growing up). Wild World and Father and Son are some of the best songs ever to grace my ears and I get tears listening to them to this day. Some weaker songs make this a 4.5/5, but I just can't give this album, that meant so much to me growing up, anything other than a 5/5.

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Sat Sep 11 2021
5

Il est arrivé dans ce générateur avec un statut de favori, et force est de constater qu'il n'a pas déçu. Après une entame tonitruante, Cat Stevens ayant déjà creusé l'écart avec ses principaux concurrents (Gene Clark qui ?) au bout de quatre chansons décide de poser le jeu et faire courir ses adversaires. Une dernière action de classe en fin d'album avec Father And Son permet à Yusuf de terminer la partie sur une bonne note sans avoir été mis en difficulté une seule seconde.

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Fri Aug 13 2021
5

I don't know how you can listen to this and not have a smile on your face. Just a joy. Best track: Father and Son

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Wed Sep 08 2021
5

Great fan of this album- was all set to give it 4* (purely for preferring Teaser and the Firecat) but then listened again and was hit by the emotional depth, the wonderful melodies, the great simplicity of the songwriting and arrangements across the record. Bookends don't come much better than "Where do the Children Play" and "Father and Son" (plus the brilliant title track).

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Sun Jan 17 2021
5

In my opinion, Tea for the Tillerman (and his followup Teaser and the Firecat) are the two best folk albums of the 1970’s. Just great from start to finish. “Wild World” is an obvious standout and gives the album it’s needed pop hit, but “Father and Son” is one of the best songs - in any genre - ever written.

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Mon Oct 04 2021
2

A few good songs here and there, but otherwise utterly boring.

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Mon Feb 22 2021
5

5 stars!

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Fri Sep 25 2020
5

I mean, it's Cat Stevens

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Tue Sep 22 2020
5

Beautiful. Truly.

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Fri Oct 23 2020
5

Love this album

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Thu Nov 12 2020
5

Absolutely love this album. Spoke to many moments and thoughts currently experiencing. 11/11/2020

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Fri Nov 13 2020
5

In my collection already

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Sat Jan 02 2021
5

4.5/5, some of my favorite Cat Stevens songs on this one

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Mon Mar 08 2021
5

Really enjoyed way more than I thought I would!

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Wed Jan 13 2021
5

Listened to Cat Stevens multiple times before, but haven't heard any tunes in a while, so this is a quite pleasing listening experience.

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Fri Feb 26 2021
5

This is my favorite album of all time, must listen!

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Mon Mar 08 2021
5

My mom wore through 2 Lps of this one. I really enjoy it too.

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Sat Oct 09 2021
5

Flawless.

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Wed Oct 13 2021
5

Far be it from me to come barging back in here and start throwing my weight around but this is so good. I've always thought Cat Stevens has some good tracks but existed all on one level, a sort of airy fairy very light folk sound. I've had him all wrong, this album is really really good. When Wide World came on I was pleased to hear this was a Cat song, but Sad Lisa really got me listening. From then on there are regular gut punches and tear jerks. It's got a rich, full sound and his voice has a wonderful quality that can jump from lightness to great depth at the spin of a wheel.

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Fri Nov 12 2021
5

This is an absolutely amazing start to this project! This is my first time ever listening to Cat Stevens. Such clean guitar acoustics and soulful lyrics.

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Mon Jun 07 2021
4

Yusuf/Cat Stevens has a great voice and great lyrics. Not a single instrument is out of place on this album.

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Mon Aug 16 2021
4

Cat Stevens reflects on the world in front of him as he sees it, asking fundamental questions and offering humble advice. He tends to come at you slowly and then all at once with a jolt of emotion as if his patience has run out. It’s during these 0-60 moments with this sense that he’s betrayed or surprised himself with outburst that he carries a unique sincerity. Where do the children play. Miles from nowhere. On the road to find out.

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Mon Aug 30 2021
4

Classic Cat right here. In my adolescence I used to think this guy was corny as fuck, but in my adulthood his earnest charm has been slowly eroding my defenses and, at 40, I reckon I could say I'm a fan. I'm a guitar teacher and have taught his tunes for years, but it was more from wanting to share the wider repertoire of guitar with students than from being a fan. Well... rock on... no, that's not right.. folk on, Mr. Cat!

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Sun Sep 12 2021
4

This is pretty much the gold standard for singer songwriters of the 1970s, both for it's quality and for its themes of reflection and search for meaning. Beautiful, melodic songs, with balanced, elegant arrangements. There's something in Stevens' delivery that makes him seem like he was beamed in from another time, long ago - a pop star Thoreau come to tell us, "Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!" He's still on the journey himself at this point, of course. But it's delightful to ride along with him for a while. Listen in a sunny window, cup of tea at hand. Fave Songs: Wild World, Sad Lisa, Father and Son, Hard Headed Woman

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Thu Nov 18 2021
4

The over-amped mic capturing the plectrum scraping the strings on "Wild World" is, in my opinion, the single worse recording decision in the history of popular music. Otherwise a great album

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Thu Oct 15 2020
3

I've never really been a Cat Stevens fan, TBH. He's a little too chill for my taste. That said, the songwriting is pretty damn solid. This album was apparently his big "here I am world" moment and it shows with songs like "Wild World" that have stood the test of time and been covered a thousand times. Mostly, this album is kind of ho-hum for me. It's not offensive or exciting. It just... is.

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Thu Aug 19 2021
3

Folk music framed as a children's book: whimsical, playful, and a bit intense at times. Stevens is particularly good at building songs with this intensity, giving it a sort of build and fall. To that extent, I think Stevens is an excellent songwriter. That being said, it doesn't resonate with me very much. No fault of the music, it just doesn't stick with me.

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Wed Oct 13 2021
2

Less spaced-out than Donnovan, less insincere than James Taylor, Stevens is undeniably melodic, consistently rhythmic and surprisingly not annoying; everything I'd expected he wouldn't be. Given how insanely catchy the closer/title track is, I'm shocked it's only lasts a minute. But given his virility as a folk-pop peddler, leaving them wanting more is exactly the right thing to do.

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Fri Nov 20 2020
5

Yes

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Tue Feb 02 2021
5

A favorite of mine!

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Sat May 15 2021
5

oh baby baby baby naaaaaaaadaa

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Tue Jan 26 2021
5

Well that was a classic. Finally.

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Fri Jan 15 2021
5

It’s full of heart and soul. Incredible guitar work and earnest vocals. Father and Son made me tear up.

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Fri Feb 19 2021
5

One of my favorite albums, a must for anyone who likes Cat Stevens or classic 70s folk music Highlights: -Where do the Children Play? -Hard-Headed Woman -Wild World -Sad Lisa -Miles from Nowhere

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Fri Mar 05 2021
5

Beautiful album, was a favorite in my younger years and still holds up.

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Sun Jan 31 2021
5

I find it amazing how each song on this album stands out from the other stylistically. Songwriting at the highest level.

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Sun Jan 31 2021
5

Chefs kiss emoji

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Thu Jun 10 2021
5

Instant 5 stars for me. This is one of my all time favorites, and one I revisit frequently. Another one I have a hard time even putting into words. What can be said about Father and Son? or But I Might Die Tonight? Spent the day listening to various mixes of this album. Tea for the Tillerman 2 is wild. Love the addition of strings.

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Wed Mar 31 2021
5

Really liked this! Wish the title track was a proper song rather than a minute long

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Thu Apr 15 2021
5

Needs no description. It’s just so fucking good through and through.

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Wed Apr 07 2021
5

Beautiful.

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Tue Feb 09 2021
5

i ADORE "wild world", so I'm quite biased :)

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Sat Jun 19 2021
5

Heel leuk album. Je zou denken dat Sufjan Stevens en Cat Stevens familie zijn van elkaar, omdat de muziekstijl wel wat weg heeft van elkaar. Toch is er blijkbaar geen verwantschap tussen de twee.

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Tue Feb 23 2021
5

I liked it. Sincere, simple, beautiful.

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Tue Mar 02 2021
5

Bloody great, will listen again :)

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Tue Feb 23 2021
5

Me gustaron todas las canciones, la verdad. Sintetiza muy bien toda la buena vibra hippie setentera a la que el indie dosmilero le debe tanto. Mención honorífica para “Hard Headed Woman” <3

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Thu May 13 2021
5

Good guitar album with excellent texts.

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Thu Jun 10 2021
5

I liked this more than I thought I would. Easy listening all the way through but with enough variation between songs to keep me interested.

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Wed Jun 23 2021
5

The easiest way for me to describe this album is simple, it’s basically the beauty of a Studio Ghibli film condensed into an album, and no I’m not just saying that cause the album art kinda reminds me of them. Anyways, it’s a lovely little folk album.

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Wed May 26 2021
5

Awesome

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Fri Apr 16 2021
5

I. Love. This. Album. SO MUCH. Cat Stevens is so good, and I have always loved them. This album is EXCELLENT. 5 stars xD

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Thu May 13 2021
5

Another 5 star album

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Thu Feb 18 2021
5

Perfect for a Sunday-afternoon listen. Find it on vinyl if you can.

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Fri May 07 2021
5

Solid good album. All songs blend together. One or two noticable songs.

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Tue Jun 29 2021
5

Banger after banger

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Tue May 18 2021
5

Father and son is top. The rest of the album is really good.

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Thu Jun 10 2021
5

An album that was part of the soundtrack of my life growing up. In addition to Cat Steven's great voice, the songs touch on basic universal human feelings. A classic that doesn't age.

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Fri Jun 25 2021
5

An old favorite of mine. I love the golden age of Cat Steven's and this is his very best. 5 stars

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Thu Jul 08 2021
5

Excellent album, he had a lot to say and he was on the money, where will the children play indeed.

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Sun Aug 08 2021
5

Honestly loved this. Great album front to back

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Tue Aug 17 2021
5

9/10. I like Cat Stevens.

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Tue Aug 17 2021
5

Loved this. 9

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Wed Sep 01 2021
5

My favorite Cat Stevens album

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Sun Sep 05 2021
5

zaebumba

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Sat Oct 02 2021
5

Classic, no one quite like Cat Stevens.

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Sat Oct 02 2021
5

The last track! 😍 I want it to go on forever, but it doesn’t. The chorus! I play this track over and over. What a baller move to end this album on that unresolved chord. I associate Cat Steven’s with so many pieces of video media as well. “This is Us” uses him almost obsessively. And the title track of which I am enamored is from “Extras”. All in all, good vibes on this album and some substance

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Wed Oct 13 2021
5

Chill album. Good background music but full of depth if you want to listen closely. The two big hits on the album bring some extra energy as well

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Wed Oct 13 2021
5

Chill album. Good background music but full of depth if you want to listen closely. The two big hits on the album bring some extra energy as well

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Tue Oct 19 2021
5

Basically perfection

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Tue Nov 09 2021
5

hard headed woman wild world father and son

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Fri Nov 12 2021
5

A true classic in my opinion. This album brings me a lot of joy

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Sat Nov 13 2021
5

Pretty much perfection.

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Thu Nov 18 2021
5

nice music to listen when you're bored

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Mon Nov 22 2021
5

Great album. The titular track is a personal highlight, and of course wild world slaps from beginning to end

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Wed Nov 24 2021
5

I remember discovering Cat Stevens as a high schooler. Best decision I ever made. This has been, and still remains, one of my favorite albums to put on when I'm having a bad day.

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Tue Dec 07 2021
5

Much more enjoyable than I had expected. Some absolute bangers on here, particularly Miles From Nowhere. Saved 5/11 songs onto my Spotify.

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Tue Dec 07 2021
5

schöne Songs, erinnern an die Jugendzeit

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Thu Dec 16 2021
5

I went through a Cat Stevens phase last year and listened to this one a few times. This might be his best, and it's very listenable end-to-end with "wild world" and "father and son" the clear hits. I'm going to check out the "father and son" 2020 remake where he sings with his 22-year old self!

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Mon Dec 27 2021
5

Great album ands made better on a quiet Sunday morning. There are some amazing tracks on here. Emotional and though provoking.

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Sat Jan 08 2022
5

A true classic. Beautiful.

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Thu Jan 13 2022
5

This was great, varied and powerful lyrics

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Mon Jan 17 2022
5

Beautiful songwriting and great lyrics, but the dynamics are really what got me. Stevens is equally powerful whether he be a whispering breeze or a howling gale. In a genre that can often find itself with the dynamics of a snack pack of vanilla pudding, this was quite refreshing.

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Tue Feb 01 2022
5

Clássico.

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Fri Feb 11 2022
5

Pop folk done right, perfectly even in places. It doesn't matter that Wild World and Father & Son have been played to death by others. This has the title track and the sublime Into White.

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Sat Feb 12 2022
5

An absolute masterpiece. It's a flawless album from end to end. Cat has a remarkable talent for drawing listeners in and connecting with them while bearing his soul. And he does it with beautiful pop-folk arrangements, gorgeous melodies, and emotional poignant lyricism. He stirs my soul in a way that no other artist can. I adore this album!

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Tue Feb 15 2022
5

Simply beautiful. I loved this so so much.

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Tue Feb 15 2022
5

Fundamental, um dos prediletos da casa. Sequência magnética.

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Sat Feb 19 2022
5

This healed my soul a little bit.

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Wed Mar 09 2022
5

Decent, some nice hits

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Fri Mar 11 2022
5

Behold, the power of association! I won't share the story here as no one would care except me, but this album has one of the most acutely direct associations with a time in my life and a person (sweet and melancholy memories wrapped in nostalgia) that it is more challenging for me to just hear the album on its own. That's perfectly fine, of course, as art is that which we experience as art, music is that which we experience as music, and we can never separate our subjectivity from the experience. This is hardly the only album or song for which this kind of memory flood rushes in -- everyone has a long list, I know. And there are times when a song, artist, or album has a strong association but the music doesn't hit us the same way. This album stands up well for me. I love the songwriting, and it's all performed superbly well. I feel like I'm listening to some real poetry and storytelling, and the music accompanying the lyrics is compelling to me. I'm a bit overdone with 'Wild World,' but that's just because it's been everywhere for so long. I particularly love 'Where Do The Children Play?', 'Miles From Nowhere', and 'On The Road To Find Out'.

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Fri Mar 11 2022
5

For those who like Hal Ashby and Wes Anderson films. Your mileage my vary if you have Daddy Issues. It makes me worry about whether or not I've done well by my son. It also just makes me miss my dad.

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Sun Mar 20 2022
5

This is actually my first time listening to a Cat Stevens album, this was very good really enjoyed it somewhere between a 4 and a 5, then, 2nd last track father and son, wow straight into the five star album bucket. What a song and what an album, this is a must listen to Folk album…

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Tue Apr 19 2022
5

Cat Stevens and this album has been in regular rotation in my life from before I could form memories. Yet I hadn’t listened to the whole album in decades. When the opening notes of the album started, I got goosebumps and all the bad in the world melted away by a voice that has comforted me since I could barely walk. I cannot overstate how much I love this album. Another reminder to forget about all those greatest hits collections and get back to spending some real quality time with great albums. The prodigal son returns and TEA FOR THE TILLERMAN has been waiting to welcome me home.

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Tue Apr 19 2022
5

Wonderful to spend time with this old favorite.

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Tue Apr 19 2022
5

Love it!

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Tue Apr 19 2022
5

How happy I was to listen to this today. I wish I had better words to talk about it. It's beautiful. It's both nostalgic and timeless. A few limited observations among many: The lyrics of "Into White" intrigued me. I love the build-up in "Miles from Nowhere" as his search progresses. And as the father of a teenage son, "Father and Son" caught me by surprise and took the wind out of me.

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Sat Apr 23 2022
5

An old favorite of mine. I love the golden age of Cat Steven's and this is his very best. Starts with the epic where do the children play continues with great song after great song peaking at the tear jerking Father an Son. And my old A & M vinyl sounds FANTASTIC! 5 🌟

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Sat Apr 23 2022
5

Top album classique. A ecouter dans ca vie. 5*

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