“‘Mona Bone Jakon’ is another name for my penis,” Stevens told French magazine Pop Musique in a 1972 interview. “It’s the name I give it. It’s not some sort of secret vocabulary, it’s just something I made up.” The album was written while Stevens was convalescing after his bout with TB. During that time he studied classical music, metaphysical literature and meditative self-reflection. The result was a deeply personal unfolding of a spiritual awakening.
Mona Bone Jakon and Tea for the Tillerman found Yusuf/Cat Stevens taking charge of his music, and transcending the sounds of its era. They were the first record he made with producer Paul Samwell-Smith, formerly of Yardbirds. Besides the deeply romantic songs “Lady D’Arbanville” and “Trouble,” the album includes the spiritual “I Think I See The Light,” and the cheeky “Pop Star.”
This 50th anniversary set is completed with a live 12″ etched vinyl EP of the rare audience recording of “Live At Plumpton Jazz & Blues Festival” from August, 1970, and with a Blu-ray disc featuring the original promo video of “Lady D’Arbanville.” It will also include eight live TV performances, and a selection of memorabilia including the Island Records press kit, two Island press photos, a replica 1970 Plumpton Jazz and Blues flyer, a Cat Stevens tour sticker and “dustbin” greetings card and pop art print in a card envelope.
You can see what’s in the box here:
The classic Tea for the Tillerman is known for timeless songs like “Where Do The Children Play?,” “Father and Son,” “Wild World,” and “On The Road To Find Out.” The Super Deluxe Edition box set features the previously unreleased “Can This Be Love?,” which was written by Cat along with “Father and Son” for a proposed musical project “Revolussia” in 1969. It also includes 25 live performances, 5 previously unreleased tracks recorded Live At The Troubadour, 4 previously unreleased live performances from the December 8, 1970 show at Fillmore East, and 6 previously unreleased live from British, French and German TV performances over 1970/71.