Yusuf Islam, known formally simply as “Yusuf” and formerly as Cat Stevens, has announced the forthcoming release of a reimagined take on his 1970 super-hit studio album, Tea for the Tillerman.
To be appropriately titled, Tea for the Tillerman 2, the forthcoming project due out on September 18th via UMe will hear the British singer-songwriter explore the 11 songs featured on the original album in a new light, with 50 years added of life experience. Tea for the Tillerman 2 “Upends many of the familiar arrangements, while staying blessedly true to the mission of the album,” according to the original announcement shared by Billboard on Thursday.
To recapture the spirit and energy as heard in the Tea for the Tillerman sessions, Yusuf reconnected with the album’s original producer Paul Samwell-Smith for the new album, which was recorded last summer.
UMe shared the first track to appear on Tea for the Tillerman 2 to go with Thursday’s announcement with the updated take on “Where Do the Children Play”. Listen to the new recording on the old tune below.
Yusuf/Cat Stevens – “Where Do The Children Play?”
[Video: Universal Music Group]
“Paul [Samwell-Smith] has got into the mode now where he knows he can criticize me, but he has been very careful about how he does it,” Yusuf also told Billboard when discussing revisiting his old material. “I’ve trained Paul a little bit and he trained me because I know the kind of thing he likes so I won’t waste my time there, I’ll get straight onto it. We get on so well together. Hand in glove. It’s a perfect relationship and I love the man.”
Yusuf continued in discussing the album’s 50th anniversary arriving at such a turbulent time in the world, “When some people have lost the spiritual link to their lives, music can play an important part. So from that point of view, I think that the sentiments from the album are incredibly important to us today. It shows that there are human beings still around. That’s important.”
Yusuf has been living in Dubai since the start of the pandemic earlier this year. The British-born singer-songwriter also tells readers he’s kept busy finalizing his autobiography, which he’s also illustrating, and likely due out sometime later this year.
Read the entire interview here. Scroll down for the updated album artwork to be featured on Tea for the Tillerman 2.