Yusuf / Cat Stevens Unveils New Album
'KING OF A LAND,' OUT TODAY
Yusuf / Cat Stevens has released a new album of original music today, King of a Land, via BMG / Dark Horse Records. More than a decade in the making, the twelve-song collection serves as a deeply meaningful and moving self-portrait by one of popular music’s most enduring and beloved songwriters - touching on themes of unity, peace, joy, and childlike wonder.
A member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame, Yusuf had previously shared the album's lead single "Take The World Apart" - deemed a Song You Need To Know by Rolling Stone - as well as the title track "King of a Land" (an impassioned message for the recently-coronated King Charles III) and the "gorgeous" (Consequence) ear-catcher “All Nights, All Days” - which was inspired equally by Harold and Maude, Thomas More and The Traveling Wilburys. To celebrate the release of 'King Of A Land,' as well as his upcoming 75th birthday next month, Yusuf will make his Glastonbury Festival debut on June 25 - performing in the coveted "Legends" slot previously held by artists including Dolly Parton, Paul Simon, Diana Ross, and James Brown.
The roots of 'King of a Land' date back more than a decade to 2011; a project co-produced by Yusuf with his collaborator of over fifty years Paul Samwell-Smith. The record features a sixty-piece orchestra plus an all-star cast of musicians including bassist Bruce Lynch (Kate Bush), keyboardist Peter Vettese (Jethro Tull, Paul McCartney), drummer Russ Kunkel (Joni Mitchell, Carole King), background vocalist Kwame Yeboah (Stevie Wonder), and guitarist Eric Appapoulay (Neneh Cherry, Lionel Richie). Most of the tracks were written in Yusuf’s own garage-based home studio in Dubai and later recorded at premiere studios all over the world - Hansa Studios in Berlin, ICP Studios in Brussels, La Fabrique in the south of France, and Air and Angel Studios in London. The final mix-down took place at George Harrison’s private studio in his former home, Friar Park, and the album is being released through Dark Horse Records, Harrison’s label.
“We were very privileged to be in Friar Park,” remembers Yusuf, “and to be one of the first outsiders to enter that control room and mix an album. If you listen to some of these songs on this album, you’ll hear a kind of spirit of George.”
The enduring success of Yusuf’s legacy is built on a myriad of factors but key among them is the uncanny ability he has to translate his vibrant imagination into musical form. This is apparent throughout King of a Land - and, in that sense, this new collection carries on the spirit of his much-loved, award-winning, and chart-topping classics like "Peace Train," "Wild World," "Father and Son," "Morning Has Broken" and "The First Cut Is The Deepest."
King of a Land Album Tracklisting
1. Train on a Hill
2. King of a Land
3. Pagan Run
4. He is True
5. All Nights, All Days
6. Another Night in the Rain
8. Son of Mary
10. The Boy Who Knew How to Climb Walls
11. How Good it Feels
12. Take The World Apart