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Review from the TV show:
As the first anniversary of the late night TV rockers approaches, and the news of prime time music shows also breaks, it’s equally exciting to see the first attempts at screening entire shows built around strongest pop stars. ABC-TV’s " In Concert" has been first through the gate with "Moon and Stars," screened November 6 in the series' usual late night slot.
|Cat Stevens - France Single 1973|
Visually, the show was also a tasteful effort, free from the surplus of quick cutting and "action" slots that have often plagued rock on television and proved distracting rather than compelling. The current addiction to star filters – that turn points of light on the image into prismatic flares – was probably the only flaw here, being rather overused.
Yet, the show itself hit many lulls, despite some strong changes of pace provided by Linda Rondstadt and Dr. John. Each performing a Stevens' composition, and by one of the show’s highlights, an excellent animated version of Stevens’ drawings of Teaser and the Firecat riding an moonshadow (and naturally framed by that song). The shows flow was broken by the necessary flurry of commercial breaks. Late night shows have long been plagued by those breaks, but here it was the sheer frequency that proved the problem.
Stevens is a dark and quiet personality and the show was virtually without any spoken comment. While small screen addicts might have been disappointed by the lack of chatter, it was a refreshing departure from the usual inanity of forced conversations that are often included to provide humor or personality. There may well be artists who in such a special could talk to us as well; Stevens seemed more comfortable just singing and it helped give the show a more natural feel.
That’s how eager the hundreds of Cat Stevens fans were to groove on his music.
The memorable occasion was the taping of the "In Concert" segment starring Cat Stevens, on the ABC Television Network’s "ABC Wide World of Entertainment." The show marks Stevens’ American television debut and is his first American appearance in a year.
His powerful performance put to rest rumors that the 25-year old star’s absence from the stage was due to a recurrence of the respiratory ailment that hospitalized him several years ago.
It was the inevitable conflict between art and commercialism that eventually took its toll on the young singer-composer, who was born Steve Georgiou. Following instant stardom at the age of 17, came the unending TV interviews, recording sessions, performance dates, tension, hassling and bad feelings.
|Cat Steven's Guitar|
"And every time, in would go my music and out would come their music — technically perfect and perfectly antiseptic. It was my music and they would kill me with it."
During his convalescence Stevens came to grips with the problem that so often plagues creative artists.
"Once you’re a success it becomes very difficult to judge things; people love anything you do," he says. "But it’s important for me to try new things, different things, even if they fail."
When Stevens left the hospital and returned to a recording studio he was assured complete artistic integrity. He came out with "Mona Bone Jakon" (1969), an album that swept across Europe and rose into the Top Ten in France. He played to sellout crowds in Holland and Germany, and did a national television concert in Paris.
This year, Stevens recorded "Foreigner," the first album on which he is also producer, and the LP is currently rising to the top of the charts. It features "Foreigner Suite," an 18-minute tour de force he performs on "In Concert."
Cat Stevens - ABC In Concert 1973
With Dr. John & Linda Ronstadt
Aquarius Theather, Hollywood, California Aired November 9th, 1973 Quality A+
01. Father and Son (4:02)
02. Wild World (3:25)
03. Morning Has Broken (3:20)
04. 18th Avenue (4:34)
05. Moonshadow w/Story (5:28)
06. (Dr John) - Pop Star (6:00)
07. King of Trees (4:07)
08. A Bad Penny (3:53)
09. (Linda Ronstadt) - Fill My Eyes (3:05)
10. (Linda Ronstadt) - First Cut Is The Deepest (2:56)
11. The Boy With The Moon and Star on His Head (6:16)
12. The Hurt (4:45)
13. Foreigner Suite (20:15)
1. Cat Stevens
2. Cat Stevens