Monday, 14 January 2013

Al Stewart - Year of the cat

Crazy, but I am more anxious about the four girls who are on the verge of their out of sight surgery than I was about my own this time last year. We are like a group of hostages, anxious for each other’s safety and eventual ransom payment or escape but knowing that as close as we feel now most will vanish into their own worlds and may never be heard of again…

Real life takes up most of my time now but we are shut up in quarantine with colds and I am being distracted by playing on the computer. Dipping into someones’s past blog posts I came over a link to music from history, my history.

Thanks for the link carolyn.

Forty years ago I was a lonely student having taken the chance to escape the family home and move hundreds of miles away to a strange country with the hope that I would find some freedom to finally be myself and find a sustainable future. well that last part did not go well... Part of this journey is finding your own music, I was brought up with middle of the road “light music” on the house radio all the time and could only search something more to my liking on a tinny transistor radio. This was a time when the only Pop could be found for a few hours late at night with a feint signal from Radio Luxembourg. Modern youth just would not understand!

In my new city with ever lengthening hair and hippyish clothes I could finally get within touching distance in concerts by The Who, Yes, Deep Purple and Emerson Lake and Palmer etc. if I wanted to get noise and excitement but it all paled into insignificance when I saw this guy who just turned up with his guitar and touched my soul. I wore his LPs flat with repetition and sadly they went out when I finally discovered hi fi and started collecting pristine new discs and I don’t now why I never replaced these favourites. When I first got iTunes I did seek his music but it was not there,I tried seeking CDs in local music shops but he was never there either, probably out of fashion! Now that resources are limited I hardly ever look now, best not get tempted! But one link to YouTube has let me spend a day of nostalgia and discovery for he is still active if not as pretty as when I saw him in our youth...  



  1. I remember it well. Wasn't it from the early seventies? You must also remember Carly Simon and Cat Stevens too. I have an Al Stewart album somewhere in my collection but I haven't played it for an age. Happy days eh Caroline?

    Shirley Anne x

  2. Yes, early seventies before the world was monetised...

    Life seemed so much simpler then, simpler was a choice available which seems to have now been withdrawn...

    Carly Simon, Coming Round again is the only disc I have and still gets played though the CD version has a few seconds abruptly slashed off the end by some halfwitted idiot doing the digital transfer! Makes a huge difference.

    cat Stevens took to religion and lost his musical interest...

    I remember thinking far back in time that pop in it's many forms would be something which my generation would always have in their life and keep up to date but most of the last two decades has failed to impinge on my consciousness while so much of the older work stays fresh and interesting.

  3. Wouldn't Al Stewart have made a lovely woman? Just sayin'...

    I do have a soft spot for him. I still have four of his LPs, and three of them saw a lot of time on the turntable. 24 Parrots, you can have, the decline had begun. Pandering commercial nonsense.

    The other records, as well as having smart melodic songs, are marvels of production and arrangement. Great musicians. My intelligence was never insulted. Thanks for the memories, C.

  4. OK, this motivated me to finally plan to explore his catalog beyond his two hits here in the States. It's always fun to dig into the back pages of an artist with an extensive history, so thank you for the inspiration, Caroline!

    == Cass

  5. Oh, I love this post! Year of the Cat is just a beautiful song. I do have a number of his songs and played his stuff all the time on the radio.

    Oh, and Leslie....yes.

    Calie xxx

  6. FAB 208!!!

    It always faded at the best part of whatever was playing.

    I loved this song too. I seem to remember hearing it at the beginning of the year and thinking it was a good omen for me.

    I used to stay up after everyone had gone to bed to watch 'The Old Grey Whistle Test"

    Thanks for triggering lots of good memories


Many thanks to all who ever joined in the conversation and to those who took the time to follow my zig zag to a new life..

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