Sony Music Entertainment Australia and Legacy Recordings are proud to announce that iconic singer-songwriter and 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Yusuf / Cat Stevens has joined the label's storied musical family.
To kick off this exciting new chapter in Yusuf's career Sony Music Entertainment will release his first new studio album in five years, entitled Tell -Em I'm Gone, on October 31st. Recorded across the globe, including Los Angeles, Dubai, Brussels, and London, the album features 10 brand-new studio recordings, including five original tracks and five carefully-chosen cover songs. Tell 'Em I'm Gone features musical contributions from Richard Thompson, blues harmonica legend Charlie Musselwhite, singer-songwriter Bonnie -Prince' Billy, Tuareg group Tinariwen, and guitarist Matt Sweeney. The album was produced by Yusuf and Rick Rubin and was mixed by Yusuf and Paul Samwell-Smith.
The worldwide premiere of -Dying To Live', the first single from Tell -Em I'm Gone is available now at RollingStone.com here: Dying To Live
This new relationship with Sony Music Entertainment and Legacy Recordings will include brand new recording projects, existing catalogue titles, previously unreleased live material, and a treasure trove of audio and video from Yusuf/Cat Steven's personal archives. The new album, Tell -Em I'm Gone is the first piece of a larger relationship that will continue over the coming years.
On Tell -Em I'm Gone, Yusuf returns to the roots of his teenage musical inspiration: American blues and R&B, using these genres to explore humanity's climb to freedom with songs that recall the spirit of his earliest days as a nascent singer-songwriter in London. Each track on the album revives the age-old themes of freedom and peace that have marked more than four decades of Yusuf's musical career. Stunning originals like -I Was Raised In Babylon' and -Cat And The Dog Trap' plus covers of blues-pop and American song standards -Big Boss Man' and -You Are My Sunshine', and a moving version of Edgar Winter's -Dying To Live', find Yusuf as strong of voice and as engaging a performer as ever.
'Although I was to venture through many lyrical terrains, melodious valleys and cadences during my fifty-year musical and spiritual exploration, and though many would agree that I have covered a lot of ground, there was always one path I meant to take. Hidden in the background behind my renowned troubadour persona lurked an R&B alter-self waiting to be let free," Yusuf says of the new album. 'What's powerful and profound to me, is the overall message which emerged lyrically. It suddenly stared me in the face: the innate struggle for Freedom! Isn't that what most human beings dream of? Music and the Blues particularly was a means of escape for many chained to the destiny of the rich and powerful."
"Yusuf continues to make music that resonates in its beauty and universally empowering themes," says Adam Block, President, Sony Music's Legacy Recordings. 'It's both humbling and thrilling to be given the opportunity to have him become a member of the Legacy family. We look forward to working together to create new platforms for Yusuf's future recordings while celebrating his remarkable career with stories we'll tell from the artist's personal archive."
Having first found fame as a teenage heartthrob singer in 1960s England, Cat Stevens gained worldwide acclaim for his intimate and affecting works in the 1970s. His compositions -Wild World', -Peace Train', -Father and Son' and -Morning Has Broken' remain staples of the folk genre. Following a conversion to the Islamic faith in 1977, Stevens retired from the music business to work with and support causes in education and humanitarian relief. In 2006 Yusuf returned to pop music with the album An Other Cup. Yusuf was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March 2014.
-Tell -Em I'm Gone' is available now for pre-order at physical and digital music retailers
Tell -Em I'm Gone Tracklisting:
I Was Raised In Babylon (Yusuf)
Big Boss Man (Luther Dixon-Al Smith)
Dying To Live (Edgar Winter)
You Are My Sunshine (Jimmie Davis-Charles Mitchell, arr. Yusuf)
Editing Floor Blues (Yusuf)
Cat And The Dog Trap (Yusuf)
Gold Digger (Yusuf)
The Devil Came From Kansas (Gary Brooker-Keith Reid)
Tell -Em I'm Gone (originally 'Take This Hammer," arr. Yusuf)