Cat Stevens Majikat on DVD
Cat Stevens was an influential musical force in the 1970s then
all of a sudden he seemed to disappear. This DVD will show you why he was so
influential, and why he quit the business.
Majikat is a live concert from 1976, about a year and a half before Cat Stevens
hung up his guitar. Its a terrific show, a wonderful concert featuring
some of his most famous songs, with Stevens moving from guitar to piano and
back again, accompanied by an excellent back up band that included musicians
who had also traveled with him on his journeys through the recording studio.
I was a Cat Stevens fan from Tea for the Tillerman to about Buddha
and the Chocolate Box, after which our musical tastes began to diverge.
But his older classics, including the masterful Father and Son (which
I loved as a son and now understand and love even more as a father), the mega-hit
Peace Train and his many other singles were beautifully catchy songs, performed
and recorded in a kind of minimalist way that differentiated his sound from
that of other rock performers.
Stevens was actually more folk than rock, kind of a 1970s throwback
to the folk wave of the late 50s and the 60s, a spiritual brother
to Peter Paul and Mary, Gordon Lightfoot, and the New Christy Minstrels, among
others. And thats fine.
But back to Majikat, a blast from the past you really should experience. Most
of the big hits are here, broken up by Stevens warm commentary (except
for one moment where he nearly flies off the handle because a roadie had taped
his microphone stand and he couldnt adjust it) and augmented by a perfectly
synchronized filmed accompanying the song Banana Gas. There's even a magic act,
sort of - and in fact, Stevens entrance onto the stage is part of the
magic act, and its a neat way to make a dramatic appearance!
Its a great DVD, a welcome addition to ones collection of musical
programs. Unfortuantely, its presented in the 4:3 aspect ratio (it was
probably originally meant for TV), so owners of widescreen televisions prone
to burn in will want to stretch and/or zoom the picture to fill the screen.
Thats what I had to do, but even then the picture quality is just fine.
But its the audio quality thats most important on such a disc,
and Im pleased to say that the sound is excellent. Its obviously
an analog source, but its very clean and real and features good dynamics.
You can choose from Dolby Digital or dts 5.1 surround, as well as Dolby Digital
stereo, and though your rear channels wont get a workout (indeed, most
of the sound comes from the center front), the music comes through loud and
I was also thrilled at the very informative contemporary interview with Stevens
(now Yusuf Islam), which gives you a chance to hear from his own lips his tales
of his career from beginning to the end, including his insights on his journey
You also get extra songs, including a animated version of Moonshadow
and a promotional video of Father and Son. You even get a reproduction
of the original program from the tour.
All in all, a nice walk down musical memory lane.
1.The Doves (Majikat Tour Theme)
4.Where Do The Children Play
5.Another Saturday Night
6.Hard Headed Woman
7. Miles From Nowhere
8.King Of Trees
12.Majik Of Majiks
14.Oh Very Young
17.Two Fine People
18.Fill My Eyes
19.Father & Son
Cat Stevens Majikat, from Eagle Vision
135 min. full frame (1.33:1, not 16x9 TV compatible), Dolby Digital 5.1, dts
and Dolby Digital stereo
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