Jan 11, 2023
By Ian Rushbury
Catch Bull at Four was Cat Stevens’ (now known as Yusuf) sixth album in five years. Originally released in 1972, it continued his run of huge selling albums, and represents the high point of his rise to fame. Bolstered by the sole hit single, the uncharacteristically strident “Can’t Keep It In,” it was Stevens’ highest charting album (ignoring a multitude of compilation albums) of his career.
Overshadowed by his previous album, Teaser and the Firecat, Catch Bull at Four lacks the freshness and immediacy of its predecessor—it’s a good album, which really should have been a great one. Stevens tries to expand his palette on this album and with “O’Caritas,” he pushes the envelope forcefully into the left field. When his audience was crying out for some more earnest balladry, what he gave them was a flamenco inspired tune, sung in Latin. “Sweet Scarlet” and “Ruins” almost redress the balance, but unfortunately, they don’t stick in the memory in the same way that “Morning Has Broken” or “Wild World” did on his earlier records.
If you’re looking for the best of Cat Stevens, you’re better off looking elsewhere. Catch Bull at Four is pleasant and well intentioned but lacks the substance of its predecessors. (www.catstevens.com)
Author rating: 6/10
Rate this album
Average reader rating: 2/10
No ratings have been recorded yet.