- Released: January 19, 2004
- Label: Universal I.S.
Q - 2/04, p.1193 stars out of 5
- "Among the sweet acoustic strumming, charmingly disarming vocals and parping horns there's a fair bit of cynicism and vitriol."
- 2.I'm So Sleepy
- 3.Northern Wind
- 4.Laughing Apple
- 5.Smash Your Heart
- 7.First Cut Is The Deepest
- 8.I'm Gonna Be King
- 9.Ceylon City
- 10.Blackness Of The Night
- 11.Come On Baby (Shift That Log)
- 12.I Love Them All
- 13.Here Comes My Wife (Mono Single Version) (bonus track)
- 14.Bad Night (bonus track)
- 15.Laughing Apple (Mono Single Version) (bonus track)
- 16.Kitty (Mono Single Version) (bonus track)
- 17.Blackness Of The Night (Mono Single Version) (bonus track)
- 18.Lovely City (When Do You Laugh?) (Mono Single Version) (bonus track)
- 19.Image Of Hell (Mono Single Version) (bonus track)
- 20.It's A Supa (Dupa) Life (Mono Single Version) (bonus track)
- 21.Here Comes My Wife (Stereo Version) (bonus track)
- 22.Where Are You? (Mono Version) (bonus track)
- 23.View From The Top (Mono Single Version) (bonus track)
- 24.Kitty (Stereo Version) (bonus track)
- 25.Blackness Of The Night (Stereo Version) (bonus track)
This is his second album, with an additional 7 bonus tracks for a total of 19 tracks in all. It was prepared from the original master tapes.
Producers: Mike Hurst, Noel Walker, Cat Stevens.
NEW MASTERS features 25 digitally-remastered tracks by folksinger Cat Stevens and includes "The First Cut Is The Deepest."
New Masters is as uneven musically as its predecessor, Matthew & Son, was bold. It was recorded after Cat Stevens had enjoyed a trio of hit singles of his own and a pair of hits ("Here Comes My Baby," "First Cut Is the Deepest") as a songwriter, but also after he'd started drinking regularly and the hits had stopped coming as easily. As he had also broken with his producer, Mike Hurst, it was -- according to Andy Neill -- truly a lawyers' record, in the sense that attorneys were all over the studio during the recording, representing both sides of the dispute. And with the record label caught in the middle, the resulting album was allowed to die on the vine in 1967/1968 (though Decca was able to sell it in profusion when it was reissued [especially in America] when Stevens re-emerged as a popular singer/songwriter in the early '70s). In a sense, it's more of the same as Matthew & Son but, intrinsically, not as interesting as a late 1967 release, as the earlier record was as an early 1967 release. The quirky, folky pop sound is there, on songs like "Kitty" and "Northern Wind." Some of it's highly derivative -- "The Laughing Apple" owing a bit to "Greenback Dollar," among other songs -- interspersed with pop balladry ("Smash Your Heart") and whimsy ("Moonstone," "Ceylon City"), plus the author's version of his own pop-soul standard "The First Cut Is the Deepest." ~ Bruce Eder