Cat Stevens, Tea For The Tillerman, Live 1971 (2008)
Studio: Wienerworld MVDV4778 [www.wienerworld.com]
Video: 4:3 fullscreen
Audio: PCM Stereo
Extras: Teaser and the Firecat (Animated Short)
Length: 36 minutes
This 1971 video of Cat Stevens comes from a live concert event that was taped in a very intimate studio setting at KCET in Los Angeles, and shows what an incredible talent he was, and how his songs still resonate with relevance even thirty-plus years later. It’s really sad to see how his career has gone down the tubes due to his personal choices, but hey, it’s his life and he needs to be the one making the decisions, even if that means giving up on a really promising career. I find it really hard to believe that his religious convictions can’t coexist with his musical art, but apparently that’s not the case. Anyway, it was really great for us old hippies to see him in action at the peak of his powers, and that alone gets this disc three and one-half stars. Unfortunately, the disc is quite obviously sourced from video elements in less than pristine condition, and it shows in the really poor video quality. I really sincerely doubt that much could probably be done to improve the image as presented here. The audio quality, on the other hand, is really pretty good – at least the disc isn’t a total loss.
The bonus feature is the animated short film “Teaser And The Firecat,” which I recall having seen only once, and way back when – a truly inspired bit of psychedelia. Unfortunately, it also suffers from the same poor image quality, which is really a shame. At a mere 36 minutes, and with the obvious quality issues, you may want to think twice about purchasing this disc, but for true fans, it’s great to finally see these videos made available.
TrackList: Moonshadow; On The Road To Find Out; Where Do The Children Play?; Wild World; Miles From Nowhere; Longer Boats; Father And Son; Hard-Headed Woman.
— Tom Gibbs