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Yusuf/Cat Stevens Announces New Album ‘King of a Land’ – Rolling Stone


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Yusuf (f.k.a Cat Stevens) has spent much of the past decade crafting his new album King of a Land, and he’ll lastly reveal it to the world on June 16. Ahead of the release, the artist shared the video for its lead single, “Take The World Apart” on Wednesday.

“Looking at the jagged journey of my music, beginning as I did in the 60s, I would say this new record is a mosaic,” Yusuf said in a declaration. “A very clearly defined description of where I’ve been and who I am.”

He informed Rolling Stone that peace is the driving concept behind the whole record. “Peace is my first stop and it’s my last stop,” said the singer-songwriter. “So many of my songs are illustrations of the search for a state or spiritual station where we can escape conflict. Peace is an all-embracing state of existence, and it has outward and inward dimensions. Freedom from material needs brings some form of peace, however, the inward state is not achieved by material stuff. The barometer of the inner self is the heart. Many people call the lack of inner peace ‘mental stress’, whereas the origin of this ailment is a heart which has lost its spiritual home. I was lucky enough to have searched in the right place.”

King of a Land, which is Yusuf’s very first album that consists of brand-new initial tunes considering that 2014’s Tell ‘Em I’m Gone, was produced by previous Yardbirds bassist Paul Samwell-Smith. The bassist’s working relationship with the singer-songwriter returns to 1970’s Mona Bone Jakon. Sessions started in 2011 at Berlin’s Hansa Studios, where David Bowie tape-recorded “Heroes” and U2 cut Achtung Baby. Over the years, they relocated to ICP Studios in Brussels, Belgium; La Fabrique in Provence, France; and to Yusuf’s home studio in Dubai. The brand-new album was blended at George Harrison’s previous English estate, Friar Park.

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“We were very privileged to be in Friar Park, and to be one of the first outsiders to enter that control room and mix an album,” Yusuf said.

“George Harrison has been an immense influence on me spiritually from the very beginning. He pioneered certain thoughts and ideas, which stretched way east, and that was very important,” he continued. “If you listen to some of these songs on this album, you’ll hear a kind of spirit of George.” In February, Yusuf commemorated what would have been George Harrison’s 80th birthday with a cover of the Beatles’ Abbey Road traditional “Here Comes the Sun.” 

Yusuf and Samwell-Smith put together an excellent grouping of artists for the upcoming record, consisting of bassist Bruce Lunch, keyboard gamer Peter Vettese, and drummer Russ Kunkel in addition to Yusuf’s long time partners Kwame Yeboah and Eric Appapoulay.

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On October 19, 2022, at the Turk Telekom Arena in Istanbul, Turkey, Yusuf played his very first public program considering that the pandemic begun. On the album release date in June, he’ll dip into England’s Glastonbury Festival. There are no other dates on the books, however a news release assures that this will be a “wave of celebratory activity” around King of a Land.


King of a Land Track List:

1. “Train on a Hill”
2. “King of a Land”
3. “Pagan Run”
4. “He is True”
5. “All Nights, All Days”
6. “Another Night in the Rain”
7. “Things”
8. “Son of Mary”
9. “Highness”
10. “The Boy Who Knew How to Climb Walls”
11. “How Good it Feels”
12. “Take The World Apart”

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