Cat Stevens: “Matthew and Son” (1967)

The granny-winning artist goes from “I love my dog” to “I hate my job.”

Kronomyth 0.8: There ain’t no party like my nana’s tea party.

I have never understood the appeal of Cat Stevens’ early songs. I guess it’s one of those “you had to be there” things. Hits like “I Love My Dog” and Matthew and Son were inoffensive, tuneful, appreciably clever I suppose. And the arrangements were, if not exactly hip, at least contemporary in a country that couldn’t get enough of Tom Jones.

“Matthew and Son” is a vignette of an employee at the unscrupulous enterprise of Matthew & Son. The arrangements by Alan Tew give the song a dramatic feel, but the lyrics might have been more evocative (compare this, for example, to Kim Fowley’s lyrics on “Portobello Road”). The B side, Granny, is also a catchy number that recounts a young man telling his Granny that he’s in love and asking for advice. Honestly, the more I listen to these songs, the more I’m reminded of those early Ministry albums.

Original 7-inch single version

A1. Matthew and Son (Cat Stevens) (2:46)
B1. Granny (Cat Stevens) (3:08)

Original 7-inch EP version
A1. Matthew and Son (Cat Stevens)
A2. Granny (Cat Stevens)
B1. I Love My Dog (Cat Stevens)
B2. Portobello Road (Cat Stevens/Kim Fowley)*

*Israeli version switches A2 and B2.

Back-to-back hits 7-inch single version
A1. Matthew and Son (Cat Stevens)
B1. I Love My Dog (Cat Stevens)

The Plastic

Released on 7-inch single on January 12, 1967 in the UK and Germany (Deram, DM.110), the US (Deram, 45 DEM 7505) and Belgium (Deram, DM.4) with regional picture sleeve. Reached #2 on the UK charts (charted on January 14, 1967 for 10 weeks). Also released as four-track 7-inch EP in Israel (Pax, ISEP 2023) and Portugal (Deram, EPDM 1000)

  1. Re-packaged with “I Love My Dog” as back-to-back hits 7-inch single in Australia (Decca, DL 25598) and France (Deram, 15.000 M) with regional picture sleeve.

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