11 Songs, 35 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Released in 1970, Mona Bone Jakon signaled the beginning of a fertile creative period for Cat Stevens that would stretch across seven albums in five years. Though the album doesn’t contain any of his biggest hits, there are several stellar singles (“Pop Star,” “I Think I See the Light,” and “I Wish, I Wish”) that are on par with his most well known songs, and they all feature Stevens’ gift for memorable melodies and his warm and distinct baritone. There’s an undercurrent of melancholy here that’s sometimes overt (“Maybe You’re Right,” “Trouble”) and other times wrapped in poetic metaphor (“Katmandu,” “Fill My Eyes”). The arrangements of these mostly acoustic folk tunes are generally spare and subdued, but even in these quieter moments his music radiates an emotional power and intensity that would become his trademark. Stevens arguably peaked on the two subsequent releases, Tea for the Tillerman and Teaser and the Firecat, but Mona Bone Jakon belongs in their august company.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Released in 1970, Mona Bone Jakon signaled the beginning of a fertile creative period for Cat Stevens that would stretch across seven albums in five years. Though the album doesn’t contain any of his biggest hits, there are several stellar singles (“Pop Star,” “I Think I See the Light,” and “I Wish, I Wish”) that are on par with his most well known songs, and they all feature Stevens’ gift for memorable melodies and his warm and distinct baritone. There’s an undercurrent of melancholy here that’s sometimes overt (“Maybe You’re Right,” “Trouble”) and other times wrapped in poetic metaphor (“Katmandu,” “Fill My Eyes”). The arrangements of these mostly acoustic folk tunes are generally spare and subdued, but even in these quieter moments his music radiates an emotional power and intensity that would become his trademark. Stevens arguably peaked on the two subsequent releases, Tea for the Tillerman and Teaser and the Firecat, but Mona Bone Jakon belongs in their august company.

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