Cat Stevens – ‘CATNIP’ (WCF 727)/ ‘LIVE!’/’THIS GIFT BORN OF US BELONGS TO US ALL……

 

CATNIP was the first Cat Stevens bootleg, riding on the tails of the commercial success of his Tea For The Tillerman album and the “Wild World” 45 in 1971. CATNIP is most often found in the CBM version, released in 1972. This post will look at three of the four releases by distinct producers.

Stevens Cat Catnip w. B lbl

WCF produced two different versions of this (I don’t know which one came first). Here, the BOGART Records version.

Stevens Cat Catnip lbl alt

And the CATNIP Records version, with a wraparound insert saying “INCLUDED FREE POSTER” on the front and “CAT STEVENS LIVE” on the  reverse:

Stevens Cat Catnip

Stevens Cat Catnip b

Stevens Cat catnip fo

Perhaps the insert is supposed to be the poster? I have never seen this offered with an extra fold-out poster. Dittolino Discs would later copy this insert for their own version (see below).

Stevens Cat Catnip lbl

USA: late 1971 / early 1972

Was CATNIP a WCF original? I am not sure but if it wasn’t, which was the original version? There seems to be only this candidate left, after discounting CBM & Dittolino as copies:

Stevens C This Gift lbl A

With a what looks like a printed cover:

Stevens C TGiftBOUs

It is sometimes seen with this sticker (either this inspired WCF’s “poster” comment or it was the other way around):

Stevens C TGiftBOUs st

A typed and what looks like duplicated via a mimeograph, included track list:

Stevens C TGiftBOUs b

Stevens C TGiftBOUs t.l.

This CLS-42471 version also exists with blank white labels.

In December of 2016, the following comment was left under my CATNIP – the CBM version post (the link to that is at the end of this post, if you wish to review the original comment thread):

Me and two friends made the original recording of “Catnip”. It was recorded at The Gaslight in NYC around winter of 71-72 as I recall [ I still believe it was Nov./Dec. 1970 ]. We lived in Rochester, NY and on a trip to NYC took the opportunity to make a bootleg just for the fun of it. I recorded it on a Sony stereo cassette recorder and later copied it over onto a 2 track 1/4 inch tape so that mastering labs could use it easily, adjusting the equalization as best I could. Had it mastered in NYC at Audio Matrix and did a run of 1,000 pressings. Figured that would be it. Sold them ALL in Rochester!…so we ran another 1,000 and that was it as we had done what we set out to do. The cover is a photo produced by taking the 35mm. negative, contact printing a positive of it, then placing the two in the enlarger slightly out of register to make the final print. It’s usually assumed to be a drawing but it isn’t. I still have a few pressings still in their shrink wrap!…and still have the 2 track mastering tape also. ALL of the other issues of this are just copied from one of the original vinyl discs, so if you one of the originals it’s number X out of 2,000.

I’ve been asked if I believe that the person who had left the comment, Larry, was responsible for the above version and my response is by way of exclusion: Larry wasn’t behind WCF or CBM or Dittolino Disc, so which version is left (unless I am still missing the original one).

**

Here then is the Dittolino Disc version 1:

Stevens Catnip DD

Stevens Catnip DD b

 

And version # 2:

Stevens Cat Catnip Dittol 2655

Stevens Cat Catnip 2

Matrix: CS-A S-2654 / CS-B S-2655

**

Some of the CBM versions can be found in this earlier post.

Source: The recording is usually listed as Chicago 5/12/1971 (or Boston in HW) and despite the US date format written as May 12th ’71, which seems doubtful. I did attribute it to the Gaslight in NY’s Greenwich Village on 30 Nov./01 Dec. 1970 but I have so far not found any of the vinyl sources online for final confirmation (as we have a ply-by-play description of the Gaslight recording).

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 comments
  1. YesDays said:

    In a December 2016 post on this blog, “Larry” claims he was the producer of the original pressing of this material, and all other pressings were copies of his original disc. He also claimed it was recorded at a Cat Stevens show at the Gaslight in NYC during the Winter 1971-72. Do you think “This Gift Born of Us ….” was Larry’s production?

    • Thank you for reminding me, YesDays – I’d forgotten that already completely. In regards to your question, Larry wasn’t behind WCF or CBM or Dittolino Disc, I”m pretty sure of that having revisited what he had written back then. So, which known version is left (I won’t rule out that I’m still missing a version but at 2,000 pressed copies, this will have surfaced in the internet age)?

  2. JJ said:

    december post?…see the december 2016, but no post about this release…

    • YesDays said:

      I apologize for my faulty post above. Larry’s comments were posted in December 2016, but the associated blog post is from May 2013 and a post about the Cat Stevens “Catnip” title.

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