Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums of All Time - Rated 208/500!
One of the all-time most classic audiophile records is Cat Stevens' Tea for the Tillerman from 1970. There are so many things perfect about this release. First and foremost, it's a masterpiece of a record. It's that rare record that couples breathtaking sound with hit after hit after hit. In fact, to list the hits would be to list the entire song list.
The Absolute Original Analog Masters were used, and the tapes were in impeccable condition! The tapes were last used in December 1999 when Ted Jensen at Sterling, along with producer Paul Samwell-Smith, remastered the Cat Stevens catalog for CD.
In 1970, Lee Hulko at Sterling Sound cut Tea For The Tillerman for A&M Records in the U.S. and Island Records in the UK using a Telefunken M10 tape machine and a Neumann VMS 66 lathe with a Neumann SX68 cutterhead. Hulko started Sterling in 1968 and was its original mastering engineer. He's considered among the first engineers to advance mastering from just transferring music from tape to lacquer to an art where attention is paid to all the details that result in better sound. Hulko's original mastering notes were also found from more than 40 years ago!!! It's incredible, but Sterling still has all of their notes filed away.
So, this album was originally cut at Sterling - as were all of the early original Cat Stevens albums - and the tapes were last used at Sterling. How appropriate then that Quality Record Pressings should go back to Sterling for this monumental reissue. Using the original tapes, George Marino handled the mastering this time. He used an Ampex ATR-102 tape machine, another significant point of interest. While Ampex has long been revered for their sound, they had never made a preview version so that a mastering engineer could cut a lacquer from an Ampex machine. Mike Spitz at ATR Services made a unique preview modification for Sterling so that they could cut this record using an Ampex. Marino then used a Neumann VMS 80 lathe with a Neumann SX 74 cutterhead.
Tea For The Tillerman is one of Cat Stevens' finest albums and a gem in the crown of early 1970s singer/songwriterdom. Stevens manages to have his cake and eat it too, simultaneously achieving pop accessibility and artistic relevance. The feel is decidedly gentle and spare. Apart from the occasional string section, Stevens is accompanied only by a three-piece band as he sings his introspective lyrics with appreciable favor.
"With its chamber-pop arrangements, Tea for the Tillerman is one of the British folkie's most ambitious albums. Both the hit single "Wild World" and the bleak ballad "Hard-Headed Woman" find him condemning his ex, Patti D'Arbanville who later shacked up with Mick Jagger." - www.rollingstone.com
Super Audio CD
SACD Stereo SACD Layer
This Hybrid SACD contains a 'Red Book' Stereo CD Layer which is playable on most conventional CD Players!
Mastered by George Marino at Sterling Sound!
Cut from the Absolute Original Analog Master Tapes!
Cat Stevens, guitar, keyboards, vocals
Alun Davies, 2nd guitar
John Ryan, bass
Harvey Burns, drums
Jack Rostein, solo violin
Del Newman, string arrangement
1. Where Do the Children Play?
2. Hard Headed Woman
3. Wild World
4. Sad Lisa
5. Miles From Nowhere
6. But I Might Die Tonight
7. Longer Boats
8. Into White
9. On The Road To Find Out
10. Father And Son
11. Tea For The Tillerman