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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Ratings and Reviews

4.6 out of 5
37 Ratings
37 Ratings
soundgoddess ,

Harold and Maude

some of these great songs are in the film Harold and Maude, to great effect. It's a wonderful film with a great score.

phantomsoul ,

Folksy Famous

Cat Stevens isn't the greatest singer/songwriter ever, but he did make some emotional heartfelt music that sounds like he poured his sould into it. This album epitomizes that sound and should be heard by any fans of Cat Stevens.

SoggyDeadGirl ,

At his best

Not to take away from such phenomenal works like Tea For The Tillerman and Matthew & Son, both of which are very good albums. However, I find Mona Bone Jakon to be Cat Stevens best work. Sure he had hits with Teaser and Catch Bull, but musically and lyrically they do not compare to his earlier work, especially this one. If I didn't know better I'd think of Mona as part 2 of Tea for the Tillerman. However it is its successor both in time and excellence.

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