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Baker's Dozen

Coal Into Diamonds: Anand Wilder's Favourite Albums
Nick Hutchings , October 7th, 2014 13:32

Following the release of his album Break Line The Musical with Maxwell Kardon, the Yeasayer man talks Nick Hutchings through an appropriately musical-themed top 13

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Cat Stevens - Tea For The Tillerman
The thing about Cat Stevens is I probably prefer Mona Bone Jakon as far as the songs and production goes, it's a little bit starker, a little rawer than the other ones, but the reason I picked Tea For The Tillerman was because of the song 'Father And Son'. It's not my favourite Cat Stevens song at all but it was written for a musical that was never made called Revolutia, a blended word of 'revolution' and 'Russia'. The song sort of doesn't make sense - why is this one guy singing both of these characters? It's Cat Stevens singing the high voice and the low voice - and you wondered, god, this guy was probably at the height of his worldwide fame and he's obviously a master craftsman, he can crank out the songs but why couldn't he get this musical made? Or maybe he didn't want to - it seems like he wanted to and it just never happened. Then he was like, oh, just put it out on the next album. And I think there's a couple of other songs that seem like they could be from that same musical - 'But I Might Die Tonight' I think is kind of similar. All these albums that I really love from the 70s and late 60s - David Bowie's Diamond Dogs or The Kinks' Arthur, and they are songs from musicals basically, but it doesn't make sense there's this one guy singing it. Maybe it's ego or something, but that's why I picked that album. I looked up on Wikipedia what the reviewers thought of the album and I think the Rolling Stone guy talked about "Cat Stevens' occasional overuse of dynamics", which was the thing we were trying to do with Break Line, make things dynamic - start small and get big, and it's just so funny that at that time a reviewer would be like, "I'm sick of all these dynamics - I want more compression!"


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