Friday, October 18, 2013

Song #391 of 9999 - Year of the Cat by Al Stewart

It's time for me to take a night off and hand the keys to the blog over to yet another of my super-cool friends. Coincidentally, tonight's blogger is the wife of last week's guest Glenn Case! Rachael Layne is a very talented singer and just about the nicest human being on the planet. She is the pretty half of the duo Glenn and Rachael, SongFight royalty who appear on Glenn's newest album Throw Money, singing their tender duet "Need Stilts." You can check it out here.

Song #391 of 9999

Title: Year of the Cat
Artist: Al Stewart
Year: 1977
Album: Year of the Cat

"Year of the Cat" is the title track of the 1976 album Year of the Cat. The "Year of the Cat" single reached #8 on the Hot 100 in Billboard in March 1977, which is why I am able to squeak by in picking this song to fulfill my 1977 song selection. [Editor's Note: We'll allow it. ;) ]

I have picked this song because it is one of my all-time favorites. While I don't play any musicial instruments myself, I love this composition from a listener’s perspective. I am mesmerized by the piano work as soon as this song begins. There are many lengthy instrumental sections in this song including (but certainly not limited to) cello, violin, piano, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, synthesizer, and saxophone. While the variety of instruments could potentially prove overwhelming, the mix is crafted in such a way that it adds to the “story” of the song.

For me, the lyrics are the real magic throughout the song because they are so descriptive. I honestly get lost in the words. The song is essentially from the perspective of a tourist who seems to have met an interesting local who is utterly intoxicating. One of my favorite lines is “She comes out of the sun in a silk dress running like a water color in the rain.” As the song goes on the tourist “loses” his bus ticket and will “unexpectedly” be staying longer than planned.

Should you choose to venture into Al Stewart’s fantastic catalogue of music, "Year of the Cat" is a very good place to start.

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