One of the most influential singer-songwriters of all time, Yusuf/Cat Stevens has today announced the release of his highly anticipated new album, The Laughing Apple, on September 15 under his Cat-O-Log Records logo exclusively through Decca Records, the same label that launched his career 50 years ago.
The Laughing Apple follows the common ‘60s template of combining newly-written songs with a number of covers – except that all the covers are from Yusuf’s 1967 catalogue. The Laughing Apple celebrates some of his earliest material, presenting the songs as he has always wished they had been recorded.
The Laughing Apple takes listeners to that little garden where the Tillerman sat under the tree, with a charming new illustration by Yusuf. That picture harks back to Tillerman’s younger days when he worked as an apple-picker. Yusuf also has illustrated each of the 11 songs on The Laughing Apple in his naive style, resembling a storybook — for those whose hearts have never really grown old.
Image by Danny Clinch
The new album also marks the return of Yusuf’s longtime musical foil, Alun Davies. Davies, whose graceful acoustic guitar is an essential component of Yusuf’s classic sound, first appeared on 1970’s Mona Bone Jakon and recorded and performed with Yusuf throughout the ‘70s. The Laughing Apple‘s newest songs — ‘See What Love Did to Me’, ‘Olive Hill’ and ‘Don’t Blame Them’ — possess the reflective insight of a spiritual seeker and the melodic charm that made Yusuf beloved by millions during the ‘60s and ‘70s and still speak to a younger, wide-eyed generation.