Cat Stevens/ Yusuf’s landmark 1970s album Tea for the Tillerman² Reimagined has been redesigned for the modern age, with the cover art depicting the two toddlers streaming the latest music and gaming on their mobile phones.
Half a century to the year since the release of the multi-platinum selling album, the 11-song recording will be re-released on September 18.
"Like it was destiny waiting to happen, Tea for the Tillerman² (T4TT²) feels like the timing of its message has arrived again," said Yusuf.
The reflective, oaken-voiced singer-songwriter enjoyed his greatest commercial success in the 1970s with a number of mega-selling folk-rock oriented albums, recorded under the name Cat Stevens. Most of the eleven songs on Tea for the Tillerman were written by the then 22-year-old musician in and around his native Soho in London.
Stevens’ hit songs Father and Son and Morning has Broken endured for decades after their release. These and other of his songs have featured on film and TV soundtracks and a long list of artists have interpreted them.
The singer has experienced controversy in his life since his name change to Yusuf Islam and in 2004 he was denied entry to the USA. In 2004, at the age of 57, the singer was presented with a Man of Peace award by Russian president Mikhail Gorbachev
In 2009, the singer forgave Coldplay for allegedly stealing his melody for their hit tune Viva La Vida. He was scheduled, pre-Covid, to play Live at the Marquee Cork in June of this year and tickets went on sale last November.
T4TT²'s redesigned album cover features the original iconic tea-time scene. The premise is that the eponymous Tillerman has returned from outer space to a baleful, somewhat threatening world. The two toddlers, Grady and Timmy, are still playing beside him, but this time they are streaming the latest music and gaming on their mobile phones.
The concept for Tea for the Tillerman² grew out of a conversation between Yusuf and his son about how to celebrate the album’s 50th anniversary. "Though my songwriting adventures were never limited to Tillerman, the songs on that album certainly defined me and pointed the way for my mysterious life’s journey, " says the singer.
He added: "Tillerman has grown and developed its own gravitas and influence on music history and as the soundtrack to so many people’s lives."
The album will be available on CD, LP, digital and streaming formats through UMC on September 18.