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Cat Stevens Opens His ‘Chocolate Box’

Cat Stevens’ ‘Buddha and the Chocolate Box’ became his fourth consecutive top three LP on both sides of the Atlantic.

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Teaser And The Firecat Cat Stevens

It was one of those albums that adorned vinyl turntables and living rooms throughout the 1970s, from the moment it was released on 19 March 1974. We’re talking about Buddha and the Chocolate Box, the Cat Stevens LP that entered the US chart on 13 April that year, and became the latest in a distinguished line including Tea For The Tillerman, Teaser and the Firecat, Catch Bull At Four and Foreigner.

Listen to Buddha and the Chocolate Box right now.

That last-named album had marked a departure for the London-born singer-songwriter in that Stevens produced it himself, whereas the previous titles in that sequence were overseen by the in-demand and much respected former founder member and bassist with the Yardbirds, Paul Samwell-Smith.

For Buddha, they combined forces, and for the fourth time in a row, the result was an album that made the top three in both the UK and the US. It spent three weeks in runner-up spot on the American chart, held off the top spot only by the original soundtrack to the hottest movie of the season, The Sting.

Oh Very Young Cat StevensThe album also made the top ten throughout much of Europe and reached the top five in Australia; in the UK, it was certified both silver and gold on the same day in early July, less than four months after it hit the shops.

Buddha contained nine new compositions by the artist now known as Yusuf Islam. They ranged from the opening ‘Music,’ a forceful track with a typically powerful message (“think about the light in your eyes, think about what you should know!”, implored the increasingly spiritual and insightful artist) to the tender and charming ‘Oh Very Young.’ Released as a single, that piano-led track reached No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Billboard’s review was warmly approving. “Cat Stevens is back with the kind of material he does best,” wrote the magazine. “Perhaps the best thing about this set is that it is chock full of potential singles with easy melodies and relatively simple themes. Stevens depends more on keyboards here than he did on his last set, but this adds to the album’s lush, full sound.”

Buddha and the Chocolate Box can be bought here.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Cheryl Thomas

    March 20, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    I just love you and your works of art. You calm me down, you allow me to be spiritual through your music and share your joy with my younger daughter(24). You bring such peace to a crazy world, and it’s been a crazy world sense back in the ’70’s when I first became aware of your music. Keep on creating light for those of us, sometimes stuck in the dark <3

  2. Blobby

    April 15, 2017 at 10:13 pm

    Teaser and the what?!? 😉

  3. Joyce Hoffmann

    March 19, 2019 at 4:33 pm

    Oh, Yusuf. I love this entire album. I comment to you that your lyrics paired with your music iare definite works of art and God’s wonderful gift He gave to you to share with us.
    Also Happy Feast Day. March 19 is the feast of St. Joseph, husband of Mary. I know you chose the name because of Joseph from the Old Testament. His elder brothers were jealous and and sold him into slavery in Egypt. But both Josephs were good men.

  4. Mark Reiman

    March 20, 2019 at 1:08 pm

    Actually, one of my favorite Al us is Another Cup of Yusuf. The songs on that CD have so much meaning and I’ve played them in my church. UCC Holland

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