This segment, from Jan. 5, 2007, is part of our Vintage Cafe series, in which we revisit some of our best studio performances.
Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, recently returned to the world of popular music with An Other Cup, his first secular studio album in 28 years. The disc contains old songs that were never recorded, songs he wrote in the last couple of years, and songs that he came up with on the spot, once he reached the studio.
Cat Stevens ranked among the top singer-songwriters of the '70s, with sensitive and optimistic music on albums like Tea for the Tillerman and songs like "Peace Train" and "Moonshadow." Affected by a near-death experience in the late '70s, Stevens became a Muslim and changed his name to Yusuf Islam. He didn't touch a guitar for many years, until two years ago, when his son brought a guitar into the house. After picking it up in the middle of the night and discovering that he could still play, he felt the spirituality in his playing that he said had been missing from his music back in 1978. This week, Yusuf Islam was awarded the Mediterranean Prize for Peace, as he continues to re-enter the spotlight as a musician.