1 9 7 4
February : February.
LP: Buddha and the Chocolate Box. Co-produced by Cat Stevens and Paul Samwell-Smith at Sound Techniques in London; reaches #2 USA and #3 U.K. The title refers to an epiphany Steve has had during an airplane flight: In one hand, he held a tiny statue of Buddha, a constant travelling companion; in the other, a box of chocolates. Halfway between the spiritual and material worlds. His religious conviction deepens. Steve moves from the UK and takes up residence in Rio de Janeiro, overseen by the famous statue of Christ atop Corcovado.
February : February.
Single: Oh Very Young/100 I Dream. Reaches #10 Stateside.
March : March 19.
Bamboozle tour opens in Glasgow. It is so named because of its association with “Buddha and the Chocolate Box” and its design which features bamboo reeds. The stage is also dressed in bamboo. (Steve’s house in Fulham boasts a Japanese garden, with bamboo, which he designed himself.) By this time, Cat Stevens is big business, playing to tens of thousands per night in America’s largest and most sonically vacant arenas. The band, the crowds, the limos, the halls and the ticket prices have all gotten bigger; Steve is still just one person, in the eye of the self-actualized hurricane.
July : July 17.
Bamboozle closes with a sold-out date at Madison Square Garden, NYC. Steve donates the proceeds to the international children’s organization UNICEF, which will soon name him its first pop music ambassador.
August : August.
Single: Another Saturday Night/Home in the Sky. Recorded during the tour at studios in Australia and Japan, Steve’s cover of the Sam Cooke classic makes #6 USA, #19 U.K.
September : September.
Saturnight, a live LP from the Bamboozle tour, is released in Europe and Japan as a UNICEF benefit. Recorded June 21/22 at Sun Plaza Hall, Tokyo.
November : November.
Single: Ready/I Think I See the Light (U.S.). It reaches #26.
December : December.
Tired of too much Rio sun, Steve spends Christmas in Switzerland, where he studies numerology, which has been introduced to him by Hestia Lovejoy, a woman he met in Australia. Here he writes the rest of his next album.