Tuesday, June 1, 2010

JDIZZY's 365 # 23: Trouble

Trouble - Cat Stevens (1970)

Cat Stevens was never supposed to be a Singer/Songwriter. Cat was a British pop star who, in the wake of the Beatles, rode the waves of masterfully orchestrated sketches about dogs, offices, and first cuts to the upper reaches of the British singles chart. Then, he contracted tuberculosis, took a much needed sabbatical, and announced his return with Mona Bone Jakon. No one could have guessed what would hit their ears when the needle touched vinyl. This was mature, personal songwriting that would spark an entire generation of singers to "keep it real", for lack of a better phrase. While littered with stellar tracks, this album also paved the way for Tea For The Tillerman and Teaser And The Firecat, which would both be released in quick succession. Ryan Adams fans take note: The fact that three albums worth of good material was released in just over a year is impressive, but Cat put out three stone classics, not only of his career, but of an entire genre.

And sitting there ever so quiet at the end of side 1 of MBJ is this sad but powerful song of lost love. What strikes me about it though is the narrator's acceptance of the end. He knows his lover's feelings have changed permanently so he resigns to make a quick end of it, stating "You have made me a wreck, now won't you leave me in my misery?". If all of us look back on a particular "bad ending" that a significant other has brought about, these words ring true not just as something similar we've experienced, but the exact thoughts we have had. Thus, Stevens taps into our collective psyches, and this song continues to hold its power after countless listens.

Harold and Maude, one of the best films ever made, has a soundtrack entirely made up of Cat Stevens songs.It uses all of "Trouble" during a very important part of the film. Here is that wonderful clip!

Sing it Eddie!!

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