Year of the Cat

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Year of the Cat
Studio album by Al Stewart
ReleasedJuly 1976 (UK), October 1976 (US)
RecordedJanuary 1976
Abbey Road Studios, London
GenreRock
Length38:55
LabelRCA, Parlophone (2014), Janus
ProducerAlan Parsons
Al Stewart chronology
Modern Times
(1975)
Year of the Cat
(1976)
Time Passages
(1978)
 
Jump to: navigation, search
For the cat in the Vietnamese zodiac, see Cat (zodiac). For the song, see Year of the Cat (song).
Year of the Cat
Studio album by Al Stewart
ReleasedJuly 1976 (UK), October 1976 (US)
RecordedJanuary 1976
Abbey Road Studios, London
GenreRock
Length38:55
LabelRCA, Parlophone (2014), Janus
ProducerAlan Parsons
Al Stewart chronology
Modern Times
(1975)
Year of the Cat
(1976)
Time Passages
(1978)
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic4.5/5 stars [1]
Robert ChristgauB−[2]

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,[3] its sales helped by the hit single "Year of the Cat", "one of those 'mysterious woman' songs,"[4] 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).[5]

Stewart had all of the music and orchestration written and completely recorded before he even had a title of any of the songs. In a Canadian radio interview he stated that he has done this for 6 of his albums, and he often writes four different sets of lyrics for each song.[6] 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.[7] When Stewart discovered that Hancock was not well known in the United States, he went back to his original title "Year of the Cat".[8]

Cover art[edit]

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.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks composed by Al Stewart, except where indicated.

1976 Original LP edition[edit]

Side 1

  1. "Lord Grenville" – 5:00
  2. "On the Border" – 3:22
  3. "Midas Shadow" – 3:08
  4. "Sand in Your Shoes" – 3:02
  5. "If it Doesn't Come Naturally, Leave It" – 4:28

Side 2

  1. "Flying Sorcery" – 4:20
  2. "Broadway Hotel" – 3:55
  3. "One Stage Before" – 4:39
  4. "Year of the Cat" (Stewart, Peter Wood) – 6:40

2004 Remaster bonus tracks[edit]

  1. "On the Border" [live] - 3:48
  2. "Belsize Blues" - 3:30
  3. "Story of the Songs" - 9:42

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

AlbumBillboard (North America)

YearChartPosition
1976Albums5[9]

Singles – Billboard (North America)

YearSingleChartPosition
1977"Year of the Cat"Singles8[9]
"On the Border"Singles42[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. Year of the Cat at AllMusic
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert (1990). Rock albums of the '70s: a critical guide. Da Capo Press. p. 373. ISBN 978-0-306-80409-0. 
  3. ^ Woodstra, Chris; John Bush (2008). All Music Guide Required Listening: Classic Rock. Hal Leonard. p. 208. ISBN 978-0-87930-917-6. 
  4. ^ Bogdanov, Vladimir; Chris Woodstra; Stephen Thomas Erlewine (2001). All music guide: the definitive guide to popular music. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 391. ISBN 978-0-87930-627-4. 
  5. ^ "Lord Grenville". Songfacts.com. Retrieved 2010-03-09. 
  6. ^ [1] CIUT’s Barry Livingston’s interview with legendary UK singer/songwriter AL STEWART, Thursday June 16th, 2011 at 7am
  7. ^ Dave Thompson, 1000 Songs that Rock Your World, Krause Publications, Iola, WI (2011). ISBN 978-1-4402-1422-6 p. 142.
  8. ^ Davies, John (2009). Lyrics and limericks. Dartford: Pneuma Springs Pub. p. 35. ISBN 978-1-905809-59-2. OCLC 751047053. 
  9. ^ a b c Strong, Martin Charles; John Peel (2004). The great rock discography. Canongate. p. 1460. ISBN 978-1-84195-615-2.