Yusuf Islam, aka Cat Stevens, teams with Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy for “The Devil Came From Kansas” — listen

On October 27th via Legacy Recordings, Yusuf Islam, aka Cat Stevens, will release his first new album in five years, Tell ‘Em I’m Gone. Splitting its 10 tracks evenly between original compositions and covers, the forthcoming effort includes contributions from Richard Thompson, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy’s Will Oldham, Tinariwen, Matt Sweeney, and Charlie Musselwhite. Islam first previewed the release with a rendition of Edgar Winter’s “Dying to Live”, and now he’s shared his collaboration with Oldham, a cover of Procol Harum’s 1969 “The Devil Came From Kansas”.

Islam’s take on the song finds the singer/songwriter engaging in pure power pop. Atop fuzz-laden power chords mixed in the light acoustic guitars, Oldham comes in as a backup vocalist, complementing Islam’s still-golden croon. Overall, the cover is fairly faithful and it even keeps the shredding guitar solo at the end.

Speaking with SPIN, Islam said of the rendition, “Procol Harum was one of my favorite bands.” He added, “They wrote some great songs and I wanted to sing something that respected their repertoire and I don’t know why but it was something that happened in Kansas when I was traveling. This was kind of apt for me and it reflected some of my memories.” Listen in below.


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