SOURCE: Atlantic Records

November 15, 2006 12:26 ET

Yusuf Offers "AN OTHER CUP"; First New Album in Nearly Three Decades From the Former Cat Stevens Out This Week

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- November 15, 2006 --Ya/Atlantic has announced the release of "AN OTHER CUP," the long-anticipated new album from Yusuf. This marks the first collection of modern pop songs in 28 years from the legendary British singer/songwriter formerly known as Cat Stevens. The album features the first single, "Heaven/Where True Love Goes."

"AN OTHER CUP" arrives in stores this week amidst a flurry of critical acclaim. Writing in The New York Daily News, Jim Farber lauds the album's "gorgeous melodies, shimmering arrangements and thoughtful vocals," going on to conclude, "How great to hear this sound coming back so profoundly after such a long pause." The Los Angeles Times' Ann Powers calls "AN OTHER CUP" an "exquisitely orchestrated" album that brings back "that vigorous, ruddy-cheeked sound," while pondering, "Can (Yusuf) recapture the welcoming seeker's voice he plied so well in nonsectarian hymns such as 'Morning Has Broken'? The answer gently conveyed here is yes... Such vulnerability brings people together, whatever they believe."

"The music picks up where Cat Stevens (born Steven Georgiou) left off," says Jon Pareles in the New York Times. "(Yusuf's) voice is a mellowed but recognizable version of his temperate baritone. The instruments, in tracks featuring his 1970s sidemen, are largely acoustic, and unlike most 21st-century pop productions, the music has natural dynamics, growing genuinely softer and louder. Many of the songs have the rhythmic springiness -- in his vocal phrases or the lilt of the band -- that was the secret of hits like 'Wild World.'" Elsewhere, Billboard hailed the album as "uplifting enough to satisfy even a 30-year thirst," while in Yusuf's native England, the Guardian's Mat Snow praised the album as "forty-four minutes of welcome surprise."

"AN OTHER CUP" -- the release of which coincides with the 40th anniversary of Cat Stevens' first hit record, "I Love My Dog" -- sees Yusuf joined in the studio by his longtime collaborator, guitarist Alun Davies, as well as such renowned guests as bassist Danny Thompson and the legendary Senegalese singer, Youssou N'Dour. Recorded in London, Los Angeles, Istanbul, and Johannesburg, the album was produced by Yusuf and Rick Nowels (known for his work with a diversity of artists, including Madonna, Nelly Furtado, Dido, and Santana). All the songs were penned by Yusuf, with the exception of a cover of the Nina Simone/Animals classic, "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood."

"I feel right about making music and singing about life in this fragile world again," Yusuf says of his return to the pop music world. "It is important for me to be able to help bridge the cultural gaps others are sometimes frightened to cross."

Born and raised in London, Cat Stevens became a British pop star in the mid-1960s, while also writing hits for other artists, including "Here Comes My Baby" and "First Cut Is The Deepest." In 1968, his blossoming career was suddenly derailed when he contracted tuberculosis. He spent a year recovering from his illness, and when he returned to recording, it was with new introspection and sensitivity.

Stevens reemerged in 1970, and the following year he made his U.S. chart debut with the acclaimed "TEA FOR THE TILLERMAN." Over the next seven years, he had seven top ten albums, including such classics as "TEASER AND THE FIRECAT," "CATCH BULL AT FOUR," and "BUDDAH AND THE CHOCOLATE BOX." Having reinvented his music, he wrote and performed such personal and reflective songs as "Wild World," "Father And Son," "Peace Train," "Moonshadow," "Morning Has Broken," "Oh Very Young," and many others. His music was also featured in the 1971 cult film classic "Harold and Maude." Truly a global superstar, Stevens became one of the most important figures in the folk-rock movement of the decade.

In the midst of his multi-platinum career, Stevens nearly drowned in the Pacific Ocean off Malibu, and experienced a spiritual turning point. Having received a copy of the Koran from his brother, he was inspired to remake his life. Converting to Islam, in 1978 he left the music world entirely, changed his name, and devoted his life to charitable and educational work.

Yusuf founded three Muslim schools in London, and his pioneering work resulted in a landmark decision by the British government to certify and support Islamic education throughout the country. His U.N. registered charity, Small Kindness, provides humanitarian relief to orphans and families in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, and other regions. He is also one of the few individuals to finance women to attend university in Baghdad. Yusuf has received a series of awards for his life's work, including the 2004 "Man for Peace," presented by a committee of all Nobel peace laureates.

The enduring music of Cat Stevens is actively sought out today, and his albums sell over 1.5 million copies a year. He was recently named ASCAP's Songwriter of the Year for the second consecutive year and was recognized for his enduring classic "First Cut Is The Deepest." The song -- which first appeared on 1967's "NEW MASTERS" -- has been covered by numerous artists, including Rod Stewart and Sheryl Crow, who earned a 2005 Grammy Award nomination for her rendition.

Track Listing Below

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            "AN OTHER CUP"

1.   "Midday (Avoid City After Dark)"
2.   "Heaven/Where True Love Goes"
3.   "Maybe There's A World"
4.   "One Day At A Time"
5.   "When Butterflies Leave"
6.   "In The End"
7.   "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood"
8.   "I Think I See The Light"
9.   "Whispers From A Spiritual Garden"
10.  "The Beloved"
11.  "Greenfields, Golden Sands"

         Produced by Rick Nowels & Yusuf

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