Only four Contraband titles were ever pressed on colored (blue) PVC: British Blue Jam (John Lennon/The Rolling Stones), Seventy Dollar Robbery (Dylan), Young Man’s Fancy (Neil Young) and this Cat Stevens release shown here. These were probably pressed around 1972 / 1973.
Side 1 Moonshadow/ On The Road To Find Out/ Where Do The Children Play/ Longer Boats (w. extra verse)/ Maybe You’re Right/ Miles From Nowhere (Side 1: 22:18)
Side 2: Peace Train/ Hard Headed Woman/ Father And Son/ Sad Lisa/ Changes IV/ Into White (Side 2: 21:20)
Quality rating: HW gave it a “Vgs”; one track is online and sounds “Exm” in my personal rating.
HW says “Live in Boston”, the internet attributes this as “Chicago 1972”, with nothing on the recording to base the city claim on it. There are no songs on here from Catch Bull At Four, the album he released in September of 1972 (some of the 1972 shows include “Can’t Keep It In” and “Sweet Scarlet” or “Ruins”). UPDATE: Now confirmed as having been taped at one of the two shows Cat gave at the Village Gaslight Cafe in Manhattan on either 30 November or 1st of December 1970.
Full set list:
On The Road To Find Out
Maybe You’re Right
Miles From Nowhere
Hard Headed Woman
Father And Son
Compare set lists here: http://www.majicat.com/programs/Cat%20Tours.htm
Comment from the net:
“I came by this tape by way of a trade with a Norwegian bootlegger a decade ago.
Quality is standard audience recording, cheap machine secreted in greatcoat. In spite of this, a great moment in time recorded for posterity. Whoever recorded it probably just wanted a souvenir of the show but it sounds as good as the vinyl boots around. The gig was from Cat’s second U.S. tour. The Gaslight was full to its 300 or so capacity. Nice intimate atmosphere!
The tape starts with some setting up of guitar mikes by the crew, you can imagine a few burly guys plugging leads in with plenty of bum cleavage showing! The audience are evident by their chatting, coughing and clinking glasses.
The punters respectfully hush for a perfect opening rendition of Moonshadow. Falsetto ending, decent applause.
Alun and Cat tune up and then into On The Road To Find Out. Powerfully sung over just the two guitars and Alun chipping in with vocals. A great sound and the crowd are appreciative.
Cat introduces Where Do The Children Play by saying he wrote the song about two years ago and dedicated it to kids. Larry Steele provides electric bass on this one and Cat and Alun parry acoustically. The version doesn’t deviate greatly from the studio version although there’s no percussion.
“Now my first hit over here” Cat purrs in an American accent to introduce Wild World to a few chuckles. The song is well received.
Again they tune up and Cat calls for Alun’s bass to be turned down. “A song about spaceships, y’know what I mean?” Cat has difficulty getting his old star studded Gibson in tune and says “wouldn’t it be great if you could just press a button and it would be in tune…guitars are only human anyway.” Assuming it’s his Gibson as he says it’s old fashioned – The Everly Brothers used the same model. A lovely guitar intro to Longer Boats and then my tape chews up slightly, a flaw on the original tape. A shame as the best song so far in my opinion. Cat sounding confident and great choppy timing. The extra verse adds a new dimension to the vague lyrics of the song. Perfection!
Cat takes to the piano for a few songs:
Maybe You’re Right – just Cat with Alun strumming, the piano and Cat’s voice carry the bluesy melody just right. The melancholy feel continues with Sad Lisa, sounding sparse without the violin. Miles From Nowhere completes the keyboards set, again very blues based and powerful.
Cat introduces Hard Headed Woman, you can tell they’re all having a good time.
Some tuning up then Peace Train chugs along with the audience clapping mostly in time. Cat and Alun harmonise exquisitely.
Straight into Father And Son, again it’s close to the album version. Cat’s voice descants between the split personality of dad and headstrong son. Alun’s contribution on guitar and vocals is superb – his sweet voice complementing Steve’s harsher tones.
There’s lots of audience chat as the trio take a breather.
Then Changes IV rocks with more crowd participation! It’s flamboyant and optimistic and you’re left wanting more as the tape shuts down. Sadly you’re cheated, there’s no encore preserved. At least someone had the good sense to record the show albeit crudely.“
This album was also released/re-pressed by someone in California (not Berkeley Records, as I had first thought):
As well as a WCF release (with wraparound slip sheet) with matching “Catnip” labels: