This year marks the 50th anniversary of Yusuf / Cat Stevens’ classic album Tea for the Tillerman. To celebrate, he’s re-recorded the album in full. Fittingly titled Tea for the Tillerman², this new version is due out September 18th.
All 11 original Tea for the Tillerman songs appear on this forthcoming update, including fan favorites like “Where Do the Children Play?”, “Hard Headed Woman”, and “Father and Son”. While Yusuf sought to retain the spirit of these 1970-era tracks, many of them — such as “Wild World” and “Longer Boats” — were given surprising makeovers; the latter cut, for instance, features rapper Brother Ali.
In an interview with Apple Music, Yusuf said he wanted to re-work the album to better reflect how he feels in 2020. He explained,
“The truth is I sat down with my son one day, we were talking about what can we do to celebrate the 50th. And he came up with the idea of recording it again. And I said, ‘Well, why not?’ So it began from there and of course, the background reasons are because when I’m on stage, people want to hear those songs. I kind of want to sing it the way I feel today and the way I want to do it today. I don’t want to just be a repeat button. So therefore that was another reason. And today technology, I must say, that the sound of the album is incredible. I think it’s great. Tillerman was always great. They used it as a kind of a sample of a hi-fi in the old days. But today, it’s just got even better.”
For fans itching to hear this new take on Tea for the Tillerman, Yusuf is sharing his alternate version of “Where Do the Children Play?”. Listen in below.
Tea for the Tillerman² Artwork:
Tea for the Tillerman² Tracklist:
01. Where Do the Children Play?
02. Hard Headed Woman
03. Wild World
04. Sad Lisa
05. Miles from Nowhere
06. But I Might Die Tonight
07. Longer Boats
08. Into White
09. On the Road to Find Out
10. Father and Son
11. Tea for the Tillerman