A true Seventies singer-songwriter—Cat Stevens gave hushed, mesmerizing performances.
Stevens’ body of work is one of sophistication, truth-seeking and creativity informed by spirituality. His music was both what he was looking for and his way of looking.
Art Garfunkel Inducts Cat StevensArt Garfunkel of Simon and Garfunkel Inducts Cat Stevens at the 2014 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
Art Garfunkel Inducts Cat Stevens00:05:56
Cat Stevens Acceptance Speech00:09:54
Hall of Fame Essay
Use the fewest words, sing in the quietest voice, place fingers on strings with the lightest touch. Such are the apparent strategies of Cat Stevens.
In his classic songs, there’s a hush at the core, a whisper willed by a singer in search of focus. Take “The Wind.” The vocal that sits at the song’s center doesn’t seem so much performed as channeled, as if it’s emanating not from the singer, but from the inner mind of the listener.
The only accompaniment: two acoustic guitars that stroke and trace the vocals, forming chords that curl into rounds. Listen closely and you’ll hear a third element - uncredited, but palpable.
Sensitivity with a bass voice
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