Cat’s third single went to number 6 with a bullet, but penny lane it ain’t.
Kronomyth 1.2: Tew’s a crowd.
Cat Stevens was the very model of a modish pop star, scoring his third UK top 10 single with I’m Gonna Get Me a Gun. It’s in line with the material from Matthew and Son (both tracks were later added to the US release of the album), featuring heavy-handed orchestration from Alan Tew. None of Cat’s early material has aged particularly well, in my opinion. It was a product of the times, with the emphasis on product, and you can’t help but pity the young man as the music machinery gears grind his soul into glitter.
The B side, School Is Out, is the better track and was even presented as the A side in Sweden. You get a glimpse of the real songwriter in the opening moments of acoustic guitar and vocals before Tew and his musical crew come rushing in. Honestly, I never understood the appeal of Cat’s early songs, as this seems miles removed from The Beatles, who had just released “Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever.”
Original 7-inch single version
A1. I’m Gonna Get Me a Gun (Cat Stevens) (2:15)
B1. School Is Out (Cat Stevens) (2:55)
Cat Stevens with Alan Tew (musical director). Produced by Mike Hurst.
Released on 7-inch single on March 24, 1967 in the UK, Italy and Sweden (Deram, DM.118) and the US (Deram, 45-85006) with regional picture sleeve. Reached #6 on the UK charts (charted on April 1, 1967 for 10 weeks).