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One of the greatest singer songwriters of all time
It was 1967 when a fresh-faced young nineteen-year-old British singer-songwriter released his first album known simply as "Matthew and Son", an album which saw the title track reach number 2 on the UK charts. Roll forward 50 years, and this summer sees Yusuf Cat Stevens return to Australia for the 50th-anniversary tour and a chance for everyone to get onboard the Peace Train.
The 50th Anniversary Peace Train tour commences on Wednesday 22 November at Perth Arena and will travel to Adelaide's Botanic Park on Saturday 25 November, Melbourne's Rod Laver Arena on Monday 27 November, Roche Estate in the Hunter Valley on Saturday 2 December, Sydney's Qudos Bank Arena on Monday 4 December and finishes at Brisbane's Entertainment Centre on Saturday 9 December.
The Yusuf Cat Stevens story is one of the more remarkable in musical history, a story which saw this young teenager growing up in the UK amongst The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and a crowded collection of other artists all jumping onboard the emerging music scene to eventually becoming one of the most influential singer-songwriters of all time.
Following "Matthew and Son" in 1967 came hits with "Here Comes My Baby" and "The First Cut is the Deepest", and numerous appearances coupled with a touring schedule across the UK that ultimately took its toll on him when he contracted tuberculosis in early 1969. Many months of hospitalisation followed, and it was at that point that he began to understand inner reflection and meditation, and began to questions aspects of his life and spirituality.
It was the period from 1970 to 1975 when Stevens recorded and released some of the albums that would establish him as a leading singer-songwriter. His first comeback album, "Tea for the Tillerman" featured four massive hits with "Wild World", "Hard Headed Woman", "Where Do the Children Play?" and "Father and Son".
But it was the second album in 1971,"Teaser and the Firecat" that catapulted him to stardom with three hits that have remained classics for years in "Morning Has Broken", "Peace Train" and "Moonshadow", the latter spending fifteen weeks at the top of the Australian charts.
In 1975 after a near drowning in the Pacific Ocean, Stevens chose to leave music behind and pursued a path of education, humanitarian relief, religion, politicism predominately in the call for peace and unity. In 2006 Stevens returned to the music industry with the release of further albums and his second tour of Australia in 2010.
Image courtesy Wikipedia Commons / Velvetgoldmine82
Tickets for the Yusuf Cat Stevens 50th Anniversary Peace Train Tour are available from Ticketmaster for the Hunter Valley Concert, and from Ticketek for all other Concerts. The 50th Anniversary Tour is brought to Australia by Teg Dainty and Live Nation in association with Moonshadow Aus Pty.
Wednesday, 22nd November
Perth Arena, Perth Tickets: Ticketek
Saturday, 25th November Botanic Park, Adelaide
Monday, 27th November
Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne
Saturday, 2nd December
Roche Estate, Hunter Valley
Monday, 4th December
Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney
Saturday, 9th December
Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Brisbane