During his teenage years Cat Stevens (Steven Demetre Georgiou) was heavily influenced by the Beates and the Stones but also the folk music of Dylan and Simon & Garfunkel. Steven's older brother searched for a record company interested to give him a record deal. So on the 10th of July 1966 the recordings for his debut album started. John Paul Jones played bass on the first 2 singles before John became a member of Led Zeppelin. The first single was "I Love My Dog" reachting #28 in the UK and #21 in the Netherlands followed by "Matthew & Son" which reached #2 in the UK and also #21 in the Netherlands. One of the songs for the debut album "Here Comes My Baby" was given to The Tremeloes and reached #4. "I've Found A Love" was covered by David Garrick but that one failed to chart. But the single "I'm Gonna Get Me A Gun" released by Cat himself as single reached #6 in the UK and #26 in the Netherlands. Cat Steven already proved to be a great song writer.

Matthew & Son - single cover
Photo for the "I Love My Dog" single.

The album is titled "Matthew & Son" after the success of the second single and was finally released in 1967 reaching #7 in the UK. Overall we hear a different sound from Cat Stevens than we are used to. The recognizable acoustic folk sound from Cat Stevens arrives with his third album "Mona Bone Jakon" in 1970. The music is more orchestrated and performed with a band here rather than accoustical. The song "Portobelle Road" however is fully accoustic with Cat on guitar and already hints in the direction to follow.

After this his second album was more of this but sold very bad. Although it includes the song "The First Cut Is The Deepest" which was a hit for Rod Stewart and at the time already covered by P.P. Arnold (formerly on tour in 1965 with Ike & Tina Turner) and in her version it reached #18 in the UK. In 2017 Yusuf/Cat Stevens rerecorded some of  the songs of this album but played them in the folk style we used to know from him on the album "Laughing Apple" which make them sound much better.

Original album cover
Matthew & Son (1967)
Matthew and Son / I Love My Dog / Here Comes My Baby / Bring Another Bottle Baby / Portobello Road / I've Found a Love / I See a Road / Baby Get Your Head Screwed On / Granny / When I Speak to the Flowers / The Tramp / Come On and Dance / Hummingbird / Lady

Matthew & Son

I Love My Dog

Here Comes My Baby