Happy Birthday Yusuf/Cat Stevens: Preview ‘Tea for the Tillerman²’ to Mark Music Legend’s 72nd Birthday

Rock Cellar Magazine StaffCategories:Latest News

Rock Cellar Magazine

Among the many who have deemed themselves singer/songwriters over the years, few have has as lasting an impact on culture as Yusuf/Cat Stevens, who celebrates his 72nd birthday today, July 21.

A truly unique creative spirit, Yusuf/Cat Stevens experienced monumental success, only to grow disillusioned with the whole concept — as he told Rock Cellar in an archival interview:

“Disappointment is part and parcel of the competition game, which is played in the music business. You’re never ever able to maintain that titillating moment of success when things are going so well, when you’re at number one. It doesn’t last.

And then people ask you and expect you to come up with something as equally unique. And sometimes they want you to repeat. That’s where I realized to satisfy my own artistic desires; I cannot stay in one place at the same time or continuously.

I had to risk a certain amount of sales in order to progress artistically. At the same time I think I was one of those artists that people went along with and there were a continuous number of fans who enjoyed whichever way I went.”

On Sept. 18, a special updated version of his 1970 album Tea for the Tillerman will be released as a means of celebrating the record’s 50th anniversary. Tea for the Tillerman² will be a faithful reimagining of the original album, as previewed recently with a new version of “Where Do the Children Play?”:

True to the visuals expressed in the video above, the making-of the clip was an entirely environmentally conscious effort, as shown in a series of behind-the-scenes videos released this week.

Per a press release:

The creation of the visual reflects the song’s prescient warning and environmental concerns. 90% of all props and scenery were made from recycled and upcycled materials to minimize production impacts on the environment wherever possible. This commitment led director Chris Hopewell to create an entire ocean made out of plastic waste recovered from a beach in South Wales. Later repurposing scaffolding, reclaimed wood and second-hand cans of paint from a local charity store, Hopewell transformed the otherwise landfill-bound materials into an entire set over a six week shoot.

I’d like the video to make people think about the legacy of what we’re leaving for future generations. We need a total re-think about the way we consume.” – Chris Hopewell

“‘Where Do The Children Play?’ is so relevant. It tells it like it is – that we need to change our ways. Looking at the world today and the message in this fifty-year-old song, it looks like the world never grew up.” – Yusuf / Cat Stevens

Happy birthday, Yusuf/Cat Stevens!

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