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Matthew and Son (album)

Matthew and Son
Matthew and Son cover.jpg
Studio album by
Released10 March 1967
Recorded14 July 1966 – 1 February 1967,
Decca Studios, West Hampstead, London
GenreFolk rock, baroque pop
Length34:03 (Original UK release)
29:07 (Original US release)
39:09 (1988 reissue)
54:06 (2003 reissue)
ProducerMike Hurst
Cat Stevens chronology
''Matthew and Son''
New Masters

Matthew and Son is the debut studio album by English singer-songwriter Cat Stevens, released in March 1967.


Stevens began writing songs during his early teenage years. His earliest influences included the sound of early British bands, such as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, influenced by popular American rhythm and blues music. At the same time, folk influences from artists such as Bob Dylan and Simon & Garfunkel left a strong mark on him, along with some of the musicals being performed so close to his childhood home in Soho that he could often hear them drifting through his room. Stevens's older brother, David Gordon, attracted the attention of music producer Mike Hurst, formerly of the Springfields, in the hope of finding a producer interested in his younger brother's music. After a demo was recorded, a deal was struck between the two.[1] The album was not released until 1967; however, recording began on 10 July 1966, with a few advance singles appearing around that time.

Advance singles

Although the album was not released until 1967, the first advance single, "I Love My Dog", was released in 1966. It was initially recorded only by Stevens' guitars, piano and vocals. Hurst, however, encouraged Stevens to add a staccato and tympani–and–viola arrangement; this was something that had not been done before on pop music songs. Session bassist John Paul Jones played on the first singles two years before becoming a member of Led Zeppelin. The lyrics for the B-side of the first single, "Portobello Road", were written by Kim Fowley, who encouraged Stevens to compose a melody for the song. The single initially reached No. 28 on the UK charts, followed by "Matthew and Son", the next single and title track, which went to No. 2 on the UK charts, making Stevens into a popular and clean-cut teenage crooner.[2]

Release and reception

Matthew and Son was released in 1967, eventually reaching No. 7 in the UK. The album track "Here Comes My Baby" was initially recorded and released by the Tremeloes, and was a hit, reaching No. 4 in the UK. "I've Found a Love" was covered by British singer David Garrick but failed to chart, while Stevens's own "I'm Gonna Get Me a Gun" reached No. 6.[2]

"Here Comes My Baby" was used in the Wes Anderson film Rushmore.

Music critic Robert Christgau of The Village Voice later called Matthew and Son "a rarity: a forgotten record that shouldn't be",[3] and said that both its title track and "I Love My Dog" were "two rock songs we should have heard more of in 1967".[4] AllMusic's Bruce Eder gave it three-and-a-half out of five stars and said that "it's very distant from the sound that Stevens was ultimately known for, and in many ways, it's more dated than what he did for Island/A&M, but it's much more self-consciously accessible, arranged in different styles".[5]

Track listing

All songs by Cat Stevens, except where noted.

British LP and CD releases

1."Matthew and Son"2:46
2."I Love My Dog"2:23
3."Here Comes My Baby"2:58
4."Bring Another Bottle Baby"2:44
5."Portobello Road" (Cat Stevens, Kim Fowley)2:29
6."I've Found a Love"2:32
7."I See a Road"2:11
8."Baby Get Your Head Screwed On"2:22
10."When I Speak to the Flowers"2:25
11."The Tramp"2:11
12."Come on and Dance"2:10
[6] Bonus tracks (1988 CD reissue)
15."School is Out"2:55
16."I'm Gonna Get Me a Gun"2:11
[7] Bonus tracks (2003 CD reissue)
15."I'm Gonna Get Me a Gun (Stereo Version)"2:14
16."School is Out (Stereo Version)"2:59
17."I Love My Dog (Mono Single Version)"2:26
18."Portobello Road (Mono Single Version)" (Cat Stevens, Kim Fowley)2:30
19."Matthew and Son (Mono Single Version)"2:50
20."Granny (Mono Single Version)"3:12
21."School is Out (Mono Single Version)"2:56
22."I'm Gonna Get Me a Gun (Mono Single Version)"2:16

American LP release

All tracks are written by Cat Stevens.

1."Matthew and Son"2:46
2."I Love My Dog"2:23
3."Here Comes My Baby"2:58
4."Bring Another Bottle"2:44
5."I've Found a Love"2:32
6."I See a Road"2:11
7."I'm Gonna Get a Gun"2:11
8."School is Out"2:55
9."Baby, Get Your Head Screwed On"2:22
10."When I Speak to the Flowers"2:25



  1. ^ "Yusuf Islam: The Artist Formerly Known as Cat Stevens", BBC. Interview with Alan Yentob, May 2006.
  2. ^ a b Islam, Yusuf (2008). "Yusuf Islam Website, 1966". Official Website of Yusuf Islam. Retrieved 9 November 2008.
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert (19 November 1970). "Consumer Guide (14)". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
  4. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). Rock Albums of the '70s: A Critical Guide. p. 372. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
  5. ^ Allmusic review
  6. ^ "Cat Stevens – Matthew & Son (CD) at Discogs". 14 July 1988. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
  7. ^ "Cat Stevens – Matthew & Son (CD, Album) at Discogs". 19 January 2004. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
  8. ^ "Cat Stevens – Matthew & Son (Vinyl, LP, Album) at Discogs". Retrieved 13 November 2011.

External links