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Cat Stevens: Back Beyond

Yusuf / Cat Stevens

Mona Bone Jakon Tea For The Tillerman Teaser and the Firecat

‘These albums are a part of my history, my views of life and the lifestyle of my generation, so it is important that they are documented here in this book. I hope the messages of my songs will continue to be relevant, which they seem to be today.’ – Yusuf / Cat Stevens

On 24th April 1970, Cat Stevens released his pivotal album, Mona Bone Jakon. It was to be the first in a trio of albums, including Tea for the Tillerman and Teaser and the Firecat, that over the course of two years marked a momentous change in direction for Stevens. Iconic songs such as ‘Lady D’Arbanville’, ‘Where Do The Children Play?’, ‘Father and Son’, ‘Wild World’, ‘Peace Train’, ‘Morning Has Broken’ and ‘Moonshadow’ were all recorded at this time.

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of these three ground-breaking albums, Cat Stevens: Back Beyond is the official chronicle of the period featuring lyrics, photographs, illustrations, and the first-hand recollections of Yusuf / Cat Stevens.

'It has been a pleasure to work on this book. At its core, it's a celebration of three important albums that had a huge impact on who I am, both as a person and as a songwriter.' – Yusuf / Cat Stevens

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The Photography

Cat Stevens: Back Beyond

'I was always quite conscious that whatever I laid down musically it would be something that lasts. It was also the recording of my own life and of what I was going through at the time.' - Yusuf / Cat Stevens

In 1970, Cat Stevens returned to the music scene debuting his new catalogue of songs at the 10th National Jazz, Blues & Pop Music Festival in Plumpton. Tours of the US soon followed - featuring stripped-back, acoustic performances at venues such as the Fillmore East and the Troubadour - as Cat Stevens quickly captured the hearts of critical listeners, who latched on to the stories and expressions of self-discovery reflected in his lyrics.

Chronicling this period in Cat Stevens: Back Beyond, the singer-songwriter's lyrics, recollections, and drawings are published alongside the work of some of the world's most famous photographers: from David Bailey and Annie Leibovitz to Brian Aris and Barrie Wentzell, David Wedgbury, Joe Sia, Jeffrey Mayer, Gered Mankowitz, Michael Putland, and many more.

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The Manuscript

Cat Stevens: Back Beyond

'My songs serve as memory banks and I'm grateful for them. Without them, I wouldn't be here. My life is one endless song.' - Yusuf / Cat Stevens

In 1968, Cat Stevens' pop music career was cut short by a near-death illness followed by an extended period of convalescence. A new perspective on life emerged, offering the impetus to write, produce and release music free from the pressures of the music business and popular sounds of the time. These highly personal songs became a vehicle for his spiritual journey, born out of a new understanding of his own identity.

'The songs from that era were premonitions of the way my life was to go. They were like being in a room with your eyes shut and feeling the light of the dawn, and then opening your eyes and seeing the reality of the world.' - Yusuf / Cat Stevens

The pages presented above show how Cat Stevens: Back Beyond presents these song lyrics both typeset and handwritten in facsimile. The songs are accompanied by the author's own original illustrations and insightful written commentaries as he looks back and reflects on what the compositions mean to him, then and now.
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The Author

Cat Stevens: Back Beyond

'I really didn't want to leave this world without knowing where I was going. And that was where I started my search: looking into the self, trying to find that place of peace. Where nobody could bother you, not even death itself.' - Yusuf / Cat Stevens

In a career of over 50 years, Yusuf / Cat Stevens has written and continues to share his captivating songs with millions of fans worldwide. His albums Tea for the Tillerman and Teaser and the Firecat were certified triple platinum in the US. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2019, he has also received the Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Song Collection.

Heavily involved with humanitarian causes, in 2003 he received the World Social Award for 'relief work helping children and victims of war'. In 2004, he received the Man of Peace Award of the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates for his 'dedication to promoting peace.'

Most recently, Yusuf has recorded a reimagining of his album Tea For The Tillerman, reaching number 4 in the UK album charts, his highest chart position since 1976. Yusuf is also continuing his humanitarian efforts with the launch of his global Peacetrain initiative.

  • Cat Stevens: Back Beyond, Book and Record Boxed Set
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  • Signed by Yusuf/Cat Stevens
  • Cat Stevens: Back Beyond, Book & Slipcase
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  • Cat Stevens: Back Beyond, Book Front Cover
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  • Cat Stevens: Back Beyond, Limited Edition Book

The Limited Edition

Cat Stevens: Back Beyond

Cat Stevens: Back Beyond is published in a limited edition of only 1,500 numbered copies worldwide, each signed by Yusuf / Cat Stevens.

Quarter-bound in black cloth and vegan leather, with gold leaf blocking and gilded page edging, the book is presented in a slipcase within a felt bag. The large-format volume (245 x 310mm | 9 ½" x 12 ½") is printed on heavyweight 200gsm paper. The cover includes inset artwork inspired by an 1880's engraving commonly known as 'The Flammarion Engraving' by Yusuf/Cat Stevens. Each copy in the limited edition is hand-numbered and individually signed by the author, Yusuf/Cat Stevens.

All copies in the limited edition include an exclusive blue 7" vinyl featuring previously unreleased song structure demos for, 'I Think I See The Light' and 'If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out!' by Cat Stevens.

Cat Stevens: Back Beyond

Select from the following editions:

Cat Stevens: Back Beyond

Cat Stevens: Back Beyond

  • ISBN:
  • Limited:
    1500 copies
  • Signed by:
    Yusuf / Cat Stevens
  • Binding:
    Quarter bound in black cloth and vegan leather with inset cover artwork, gold tooling and gilt page edging
  • Box:
    Archival slipcase with gold tooling
  • Extras:
    7" blue vinyl disc with unreleased demos for 'I Think I See The Light' and 'If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out!'
Now shipping worldwide.
Limited Edition £345
Available from £113.85 per month. Learn more >

Cat Stevens: Back Beyond is the official chronicle of the two-year period in which Cat Stevens released his trio of groundbreaking albums: Mona Bone Jakon, Tea for the Tillerman, and Teaser and the Firecat. Featuring lyrics, photographs, illustrations, and the first-hand recollections of Yusuf / Cat Stevens.

  • Published May 2022
  • Page size: 245 x 310mm
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