The Cat Stevens Song-by-Song

The speakers: Yusuf Islam, Paul Samwell-Smith, Alun Davies, Gerry Conway, Mike Hurst

Disc 1 “The City”

Back to the Good Old Times. Yusuf Islam: I did this in Regent Sound Studios on Denmark Street; I paid for an hour’s session for somewhere between 5 and 10 pounds. My first major success at what I felt to be a catchy pop song for people’s ears. Just me and a guitar. My first time hearing my voice in echo was really something.

I Love My Dog. Yusuf Islam: My buddy Jimmy Mitchell had all these jazz records – Nina Simone and Roland Kirk – and he had an obscure one, Eastern Sounds by Yusef Lateef. The song “Plum Blossom” just had this great melody, and one day I wrote words to it. And I developed it. It became an important song for me. And later, after I became Muslim, I realized I had to own up and correct that, so I told Yusef Lateef about it, gave him a big cheque and in fact started paying him royalties.

Portobello Road. Mike Hurst: We needed a B-side for “I Love My Dog.” We also only had about 25 minutes of session time left. Two takes later, that was it. I mixed the two tracks in just over 20 minutes, on four-track. Thank God for my engineer Vic Smith, later to produce The Jam, and the tape-op, Roy Thomas Baker, who I believe also went on to greater things.

Here Comes My Baby. Mike Hurst: Actually, this was the first song I recorded with Steve at Pye Studios, Marble Arch, London. Steve had been signed just for this session by music publisher Bert Chalet; it was recorded, along with “Smash Your Heart,” “Come On And Dance” and one other, in full “budget” mode. There were only a handful of musicians, and the arrangements were done by one of Georgie Fame’s Blue Flames. It was at that point that Steve and I parted company, until he walked back into my life a few months later, after every record company in London had turned him down! I suppose we were meant for each other.

Matthew & Son. Yusuf Islam: I had a song called “Baby Take Me Back Home” which used that little riff. I had a girlfriend, and she was working for this big firm, and I didn’t like the way that she had to spend so much of her time working. The riff seemed to fit the words, Matthew and Son. There was a bit of social comment there about people being slaves to other people.

The Tramp. Mike Hurst: It is probably closer to his later work than most of the others. The only accompaniment was Steve’s guitar, bass and a single trumpet. It was simple and evocative and he loved it for those very reasons.

I’m Gonna Get Me a Gun. Yusuf Islam: From the very beginning, I wanted to write a musical. I had a kind of theme for a Mexican musical, and then I changed it to a story about Billy the Kid. I think this emerged out of that; the other one was “Northern Wind.”

School is Out. Yusuf Islam: At the time I was very intrigued by the Bernstein strings and staccato arrangements. That kind of thing influenced “I’m Gonna Get Me a Gun” and “School is Out.” Mike Hurst: I loved the massed strings playing in unison with the melody line of the verse, and if you listen closely to the closing riff into the fade, you can hear the strains of “America” from West Side Story.

A Bad Night. Mike Hurst: By anyone’s imagination, this was me going over the top, this time at Olympic Studios, Barnes. Steve had written the song with three tempo variations, and to me this was manna from heaven. The arrangement was stupendous, and the orchestra numbered some 35 players. I have always loved theatre, and I gave this my all. I’m not sure what Steve made of it. I suspect he always knew it was a step too far. The record was a stiff, only making top 50, but I have to confess I loved it then and I still do.

The Laughing Apple. Yusuf Islam: The message is almost like “Don’t Be Shy.” Instead of hiding away from life, smile and don’t be frightened of what’s gonna happen because ultimately you shouldn’t fret – let life take its course.

Kitty. Mike Hurst: The one track on the New Masters album that harked back to the early days. It had a big arrangement, written by Phil Denys, and some of the old excitement.

Blackness of the Night. Yusuf Islam: My folkie protest song, which I thought came out really nice. Again, it was a bit over–arranged, but still one of my favorite tracks from that time, because of the words.

The First Cut is the Deepest. Yusuf Islam: It’s an Otis Redding sort of thing – one of my first attempts at R&B, if you like. Mike Hurst: With Big Jim Sullivan on lead guitar, John Paul Jones on bass and Dougie Smith on drums, the result was gratifyingly different. I sang the chorus harmony with Steve, and as I remember I played rhythm guitar.

I’m So Sleepy. Mike Hurst: This track, gentle and seemingly innocuous, says that Steve was tired of the way it had been. I think by this time we almost had the lawyers in the studios with us, and I knew it was the end.

Northern Wind. Yusuf Islam: It’s got a Ravel kind of buildup to it, and then these cowherd voices in the background singing ‘Billy, Billy.’ Like Fistful of Dollars or whatever.

Moonstone. Yusuf Islam: Almost a Middle Eastern fiction. I was having fun with lyrics and storylines; I lived round the corner from the British Museum, so it probably had some influence on that song, and the idea of finding some precious stone which if you rubbed it like Aladdin’s lamp would come to life, and flash and sparkle.

Come on Baby (Shift That Log). Yusuf Islam: It means going back to the woods, going back to the log cabin. It’s almost like a “Father and Son” thing where the husband is left with the child, in this case, and the wife has gone away. Maybe the wife wants to live in the city – it’s got a hint of “Wild World” as well.

Lovely City (When Do You Laugh?). Mike Hurst: I remember thinking what a ‘nice’ song this was, after the soul searching on many of the others. Fortunately there always has to be some light at the end of a gloomy tunnel.

Here Comes My Wife. Yusuf Islam: I was very into Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture,” which is where the intro comes from. I don’t remember coming out of hospital and doing any more session with Mike, but I obviously did. Maybe I was on too many antibiotics, I don’t know.

The View From the Top. Yusuf Islam: While I was in hospital, I actually tried to learn how to write music, arranging and putting down the dots myself. I’d worked on that song there, and most of the little lines, which were then transcribed into proper notes by the arranger.

Where Are You. Yusuf Islam: It reflected my infatuation with the melancholy French genre. There’s a hint of classical music in there, which I loved too. I was quite happy with it, although it wasn’t a great hit. It’s still one of my favorite tracks. Mike Hurst: There was a wall between us, and nothing would have broken it down at that time. We were young. I knew it wouldn’t chart and I think he did too. It was our swan song, and a sad one at that.

I Found a Love. Yusuf Islam: My attempt at writing a hit tune with a very thunderous chorus, around New Masters time. I think it was covered by Mike d’Abo.

If Only Mother Could See Me Now. Yusuf Islam: One of those demos I worked on in sort of a dank studio in East London. The story is a about man’s dream of flying. It also shows how a person can overcome his devilish tendencies and develop into a higher character and embrace more angelic qualities if he’s lucky. Somewhere between New Masters and Mona Bone Jakon.

Sun’s in the Sky: Yusuf Islam: Again, one of those songs which I produced in the kind of twilight period. Kind of towards the end of the Decca days. Slight tones of Greekish influence in there.

Honey Man. Yusuf Islam: My friend Ken Cumberbatch had a little riff on the piano, and we worked on a couple of songs together; this was one of them. Elton came in to put on the piano. We did it in Pye Studios, just off Marble Arch, during a period where I was making demos on my own. I was getting much more involved in contributing to the arrangement directly in the studio, instead of having it written by someone who comes and delivers it on the day of the session.

The Joke. Yusuf Islam: The group that was on it was the same group that did “Wild World” with Jimmy Cliff. I found this group in Fulham, with a nice reggae feel. I used them on “Wild World” with Jimmy, and then on “The Joke,” which I had hanging around as a song.

Disc 2: The Search

Time/Fill My Eyes (demo). Yusuf Islam: Two songs that linked harmoniously; I think “Time” was too short and that’s where the idea came. “Fill My Eyes” is a hidden gem of a song, and one of those I just like hearing again.

I’ve Got a Thing About Seeing My Grandson Grow Old. Yusuf Islam: This was in that transition period when I was beginning to write a softer, more reflective type of song. It was me starting to want to get back to the sound of my own demos, and doing things myself with my own licks on guitar, without relying on a session man. In the middle I do ‘aho, ho’ which is very Buddy Holly. It didn’t quite fit into any particular style. The middle of my crossroads.

The Day They Make Me Czar. Yusuf Islam: That’s Alexi, the child of Nicholas, the last czar. It was never properly recorded. The script to the musical Revolussia was partly written by Nigel Hawthorne, who became a Sir! A musical allows you to develop different styles of music, to match the different characters and moods.

Lady D’Arbanville. Yusuf Islam: It was one of the unique songs that stood out, even lyrically. The name itself was intriguing. Not only that, but it was based on a real life story and it had a unique melody and arrangement. It sounded like that even when I played it alone – the drums just helped emphasize what I was doing anyway on the body of the guitar.

Trouble. Yusuf Islam: Describing the tragedy of my illness and how it took me out of the limelight and the whirling of the business. And again re-stating that conviction that I would not lose control this time around.

Pop Star. Alun Davies: I’d long had that little bassline riff, and it fitted right in. And then there’s that sort of manic bit which sounds stitched on when it comes charging in. I love Mona Bone Jakon; I think it’s an unpolished gem. It’s so raw in places.

Katmandu. Yusuf Islam: It’s the mystical East, the mirror of the illusionary world I had in my mind of that place where you could escape to. Where everything would be perfect, and warm and comfortable, just like you read it in the storybooks. And in a way I’ve never been there. Still haven’t been there. Paul Samwell-Smith: Peter Gabriel came into the studio, very young and very, very nervous. He almost couldn’t play the flute ’cause his lip was shaking, and his hands were shaking. I had to go out and tell him don’t worry, it’ll be alright.

Lilywhite. Paul Samwell–Smith: We had a limited string section, on a limited budget. We had 12 strings, which is just enough to make a decent noise, so we got them to play it twice and we tracked them. Del Newman conducted them – at the end, they go off on our their own, there’s no click and no beat. They’re floating away in the distance. And then Del did the same thing again, and he stayed so accurately within the timeframe that only if you put headphones on can you hear one side of the strings getting ahead of the other.

Where Do the Children Play? Yusuf Islam: Harking back to my time in Shaftesbury Avenue, where there was no real playground nearby. And even in my school we played mostly in the basement. And the lyrics speak for themselves about ecology, and the looming dangers of an over-technologicalized society, that was basically it.

Wild World. Paul Samwell–Smith: We did the backing track quite early on, and then he went off and recorded it with Jimmy Cliff. That had been released, and then I wasn’t all that interested in ours. But we put the track on, and it sounded bloody great. So we finished it and stuck it on the album.

Sad Lisa. Yusuf Islam: We ran the piano through the Hammond organ amp and got a very intriguing sound. “Sad Lisa” was one of those little awkward riffs which I’d worked out upstairs on the piano at home. One of those lonely moments when these songs start flowing.

On the Road to Find Out. Yusuf Islam: In retrospect, it’s perhaps the clearest prophecy of what was to happen to me. And it just always felt right, the tempo, the words they somehow just spanned out in an inspired way and told my story, before I’d even experienced or understood it. Buddhism was teaching me to look within, and not to be too concerned with the external world. And that’s an important mission for a human being. Alun Davies: A lot of these were recorded in the same way, with the guitar part central to the song. I can visualize the little corner at Morgan, head to head, just the little screen between us. We were so close musically you couldn’t get a fag paper between us.

Father and Son. Yusuf Islam: It was one of the 12 songs or so I’d written for Revolussia. It came early on, where the son has decided to leave home and join the revolution. His father was a peasant farmer who didn’t see life in any more than the one dimension he’d lived up to that point, and here was a son who saw a way forward and a new life waiting for him. Paul Samwell-Smith: It was Steve’s idea to sing it as two people. It was always part of the song. My only contribution was to get a girl to come in and sing absolutely in unison behind him on those backing voices. She came in with her mum, who was chaperoning her.

Love Lives in the Sky. Yusuf Islam: “Land o’Freelove and Goodbye” in the developmental stage, where I hadn’t resolved certain lyrical issues. But it was so strong a melody, I wanted to get it down. It had one of those sort of melancholy Greek melodies, which I had hanging ’round my head for many years. It came out in different ways – I think “Peace Train,” “On the Road to Find Out” and “Land O’Freelove and Goodbye” are married, in some sense, with the same family of tones and chords.

Don’t Be Shy. Yusuf Islam: They’d used my music as a background to the script-writing of Harold and Maude, and then they couldn’t extract it! I liked the idea. It was funny enough and serious enough to fit my music. Here was a youngster who was rebelling, very much like me, and the storyline reflected my morbid sense of humor and jokier side.

If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out. Yusuf Islam: These were songs I had floating around, and probably I could’ve worked longer on and come out with more of a refined composition, but it was very much the mood at the time to be melodic and simple at the same time. And that’s all they wanted, was something new and melodic. And they suited the film.

The Wind. Paul Samwell-Smith: We did it in an afternoon – just guitar and voice. If you hear the little wind chimes, they’re two coins. If you balance a large coin on the tip of each middle finger, and you then touch them together, they’ll ring. It was very quick – we didn’t even bother to book percussion, we just got some coins out of our pockets.

Moonshadow. Yusuf Islam: I’d taken a kind of solitary holiday in Spain, in a town which didn’t have much electricity. So there weren’t many streetlights. I’d gone out that night, and it was a very bright moon, and it was literally the first time I’d discovered that the moon casts a shadow. I’d been a city dweller to that point, and I’d never really noticed it before.

Morning Has Broken: Alun Davies: He’d discovered this book, Hymns Ancient and Modern, that was our hymn book when we were at infants’ school. He liked it because it was non–denominational. Paul Samwell-Smith: It was extraordinary to watch Cat Stevens and Rick Wakeman working together on the piano, working this part out between them. And every time they came up with an astonishing line, I’d rush out into the studio and say things like ‘That sounds fantastic!’ And they’d look at me like I was a bit mad and say ‘Yeah, yeah, OK, but leave us alone now.’ By 9 that night it was recorded, mixed, finished, everything. The record company didn’t want to put Rick’s credit on the album, so for all these years very few people knew it was him playing piano.

How Can I Tell You. Paul Samwell-Smith: The guitars are Alun Davies and a guy called Andy Roberts. I think it’s my favorite track of all. What I did was really set up the session so that there was an incredible atmosphere. Cat Stevens just sang, and he sang it live with the guitars. The female voice is Linda Lewis.

Peace Train. Paul Samwell-Smith: I think it was one of the first tracks we did on 24–track, and it got to be a mess. The mix was extraordinary. Cat Stevens standing on a chair in the back of the studio shouting ‘Autoharp!’ ‘Reverb on guitar!’ and trying to conduct us as we mixed it.

I Want to Live in a Wigwam. Yusuf Islam: The message reflects my wandering soul, looking at different houses, different dwellings. At the end, it says we’ve gotta get to heaven, gotta have a guide. And somebody had gone and written the wrong lyrics somewhere – they said ‘we’ve gotta get to heaven, gotta have a dime.’ That was horrendous. The most important part of the song is the end, where I said I’m glad I’m alive.

Disc 3: The Hurt

Crab Dance: Alun Davies: He used to play with that a lot. It was a dressing–room tuneup. Without the aid of a guitar tuner, you sort of strike from the fifth fret and tune up right through there. He actually wrote a song based on that, and I think “Crab Dance” came from that.

Sitting. Yusuf Islam: Some of the most profound of all my lyrics, in some sense, because it tells the story of my search. And also conveys an awareness of my audience. I knew who I was writing for – if not by face or by name, I knew their spirits.

Angelsea. Paul Samwell-Smith: We had Gerry on a circular podium, which was just big enough to take Gerry and his drum kit. If he’d made a false move, he’d fall off! There was Gerry going completely bananas, overdubbing drums to this track. The drums are astonishing. Alun Davies: That was the best thing out of France. Lots of scrub guitars. In terms of recording, it was full of energy.

Silent Sunlight. Paul Samwell-Smith: I was always trying to get him to keep it as simple as possible. I’m sure I said let’s just keep it voice and piano. He was starting to play live a lot, and you change your emphasis when you play live – you need to have bass and drums and guitars and lights and stuff around you. That’s how you get the show to happen.

Can’t Keep it In. Gerry Conway: He recorded his guitar and vocal in the upstairs studio at Morgan, and then for some reason we had to transfer to the downstairs studio, where I put the drums on. At the end, there’s a kind of a metallic sound – the only sound Steve could find to fulfill what was in his head was a metal tea tray from the canteen. He had it miked, and at the end of the song he’d throw it at the floor. It was dodgy to get it to drop on the floor at exactly the right moment, so it took a few takes.

18th Avenue. Paul Samwell-Smith: I loved the percussion bit in the middle. That’s Cat Stevens and Gerry Conway both playing speakers – there were two studio speakers about knee-high in the middle of Studio One at Morgan, and they made nice clatterey sounds, with drumsticks and a nice wooden speaker to hit.

Foreigner Suite. Yusuf Islam: In the beginning, it was never intended to be one song. It was a few songs which were all in the same key, which suddenly struck me could be linked together. So when I went into the studio, I knew I was going to string it together, but I recorded them separately and then linked them in the mixing. Foreigner was me trying to escape the regimented formula of writing I’d fallen into.

The Hurt. Yusuf Islam: It was the only single-sounding thing on the Foreigner album. It’s got a soulful kind of root to it. I was always a fan of Atlantic Records, and I wanted a bit of that sound. We recorded the vocal backings at Atlantic Studios in New York.

Music. Yusuf Islam: It hints towards the incredible power of of Divine recitation. But I didn’t think about it in those religious terms. Rhythmically, I was trying to achieve a Cajun ‘Allen Toussaint’ flavor, like a New Orleans shuffle. Which I compelled Gerry Conway to learn!

Oh Very Young: Paul Samwell-Smith: He told me he wrote that for my son Nicholas. I liked the song, and for some reason it was very easy to work on. I always wanted to put a banjo on it, and we actually tried. This poor guy came in and tried for two or three hours to put a banjo solo on it, but it sounded like some hillbillies from the studio next door had strayed in through the wrong door.

Sun/C79. Yusuf Islam: “Sun” was a very short song that kind of reached its limit with two verses. Although I was never very proficient on the synthesizer, I always seemed to find interesting little riffs and sounds. The “C79” lyrics were just something to sing until I found something better, but I never did find anything better. So I developed a story around it.

King of Trees. Paul Samwell-Smith: It was one of my major favorites, and I wanted to turn it into an epic, with strings and tympani, the complete works. I was always trying to get that basic track down of his voice and piano, but I could never get it down to the point where I could start to embellish it.

Lady D’Arbanville (live version). Gerry Conway: For most of the evening, you were in an unparalleled position of playing every song that came up was a big hit. It was just a pleasure to sit and play songs the whole audience knew inside out, and loved. You were party to this whole thing, and all you had to do was to play them as nicely as you could.

Another Saturday Night: Alun Davies: It started off as a soundcheck song – “give us guitar, Alun; now give us a bit of vocal. Now your guitar.” We recorded it in Australia. Steve didn’t actually play on it, he produced it and the band played it very much like we’d been playing it at soundchecks. We did the horn thing in Japan, with a Japanese brass section.

Disc 3: The Last

Whistlestar. Yusuf Islam: I had rented one of these wood and glass chalets in Rio, and I had a piano and 4-track recorder shipped in, and that’s where I wrote most of the songs for Numbers. I’d heard somebody – maybe it was Chick Corea – doing that sound of a whistle in unison with the piano, where you can’t quite discern what’s the piano and what’s the whistle.

Novim’s Nightmare. Yusuf Islam: The storyline of Numbers gave me the chance to explore different styles, pertaining to the characters of the Polygons, who represented One to Nine, plus Zero. So Novim, Number Nine, he was the deep thinker who used to go off alone, and think, and read the Big Book of Ben. He discovered this riddle there which predicted the end of Polygor.

Majik of Majiks. Gerry Conway: At Morin Heights, the whole studio is just glass windows. So in some respects it’s distracting, because you look out on a winter wonderland – trees and snow and a lake. Singers tended to do their vocals in the evening when it was dark. Most nights, when we were finished, we would go to the Bell Theatre and rent skis, because they had five or six floodlit ski trails. It was a small town, so at midnight everyone would be out skiing, even small children. And of course everyone was better than us.

Banapple Gas. Yusuf Islam: That’s the comical side to the Numbers story, connected to Trezlo, who was responsible for caring for the banapple trees. Alun Davies: Steve was always very free with his advice and his latest fads, with all of us. So if he was vegetarian for part of a tour, he was a dangerous person to go out for a meal with – “still eating dead cow, Alun?” He was a great advocate of having pure oxygen, and he had an oxygen mask – something not many of us were privy to packing in our suitcases before we’d go on the road! Whether this was banapple gas or not, I don’t know.

Blue Monday. Yusuf Islam: Fats Domino, to me, must’ve been the inspiration for reggae and that bluebeat sound. I think I heard that song somehow in the background of my childhood, and I just hooked onto it. Gerry Conway: I flew to Denmark, and we met up for the first time after quite a long break. Steve had a collection of songs – some unfinished, and some things that he wanted to try – and we collectively put these tracks together, but we weren’t quite sure what for. It was almost as if the band didn’t exist any more, but we were all there together anyway.

Doves. Yusuf Islam: It was one of those little piano ditties I couldn’t write words to. It was too fast. I think I wrote it in Hawaii, in a rehearsal sometime. It eventually became the theme song for the Majikat tour, while the magic act was doing its thing.

Hard Headed Woman (live)/Tuesday’s Dead (live). Yusuf Islam: It was a very heavy tour, too massive and unwieldy. We had so many boxes and flight cases that had to be shipped overnight and in the auditorium early next morning. Actually, the pace of it was not that mad; we took some breaks for taking a breath and gathering our energies. But it was all around the world, so it was still very exhausting. Gerry Conway: I know the good intentions were there, to put on a good show. Because when people go to a show, they’re looking as well as listening. That was a difficult tour – the one before it was just incredible, but the second one was almost the reverse. It was hard. But it wasn’t for lack of trying.

Ruins (live). Yusuf Islam: Touring was never my ideal mode of expression, because you’d always be trying to simulate something you’d done before. Whereas recording enabled you to do something new all the time. But at the same time, when it sounded right, when it lifted off, it was a great feeling, a great buzz when the songs resounded. And I think this performance was luckily one of the best!

(Remember the Days of the) Old Schoolyard. Yusuf Islam: I remember recording the synthesizer part in Canada. It was one of those tracks which I took around with me and finished bits here and there, in different studios around the world. It was started in Massachusetts – Andy Newmark plays drums. The singer is Elkie Brooks.

Life. Yusuf Islam: Many of the songs on Izitzo were influenced by my time in Brazil, and the music there. It was very much a jazz thing, with the incredible chords, dischords, rythyms and harmonies that Brazilian music evokes.

(I Never Wanted) To Be a Star. Yusuf Islam: The need for fame is nothing more than wanting to be appreciated, and that was the thought behind the song. I understood then that my whole urge to be recognized was only seeking some confidence, that I have some value. Stardom is like that – people need to be reassured that they’re wanted.

Child For a Day. Yusuf Islam: I felt it was easy to associate with this song and make it mine. I hardly ever sang anyone else’s compositions, but this was my brother David’s song and I wanted to do it. I think I recorded it originally in Muscle Shoals, and we gave it a sort of country feel.

Just Another Night. Yusuf Islam: It talks about the fickle part of the show business public; not necessarily the diehard fans but those who usually switch on to a person only because it’s fashionable to do so. I was saying in that song, if you really need me, I’m around.

Daytime. Alun Davies: We went to stay at a place in France to write, and we put a lot of work into the lyrics. That’s a nice song. Yusuf Islam: Alun had a lovely little guitar lick which started it off. I love the image of ‘The innocent are here’: Every generation, it’s a new invasion of white boats from a land of purity. Paul Samwell-Smith: ‘Daytime’ was very experimental. We recorded he and I singing one note at a time, and put them on separate loops. So that when you raised a fader, you had one of 12 notes being sung. Bit like a mellotron, same principle.

Never. Paul Samwell-Smith: He brought to Morin Heights the tapes of almost all the work he’d done over the period. We listened to what we had there, and picked what we could work on and what we couldn’t. I came in to help him put it together, and finish what he needed to finish.

Last Love Song. Yusuf Islam: More or less my epilogue. I had discovered the ultimate composition in the Qur’an. I didn’t have to make any more monuments, and so it was that simple: Last love song.

Father and Son (live version). Yusuf Islam: I was hesitant to do this show, but the cause was so right that ultimately I said yes. My wife was actually expecting, and nobody knew, and that made it even more poignant. I didn’t want to have a big band, so I got my friends: Alun was ready at the drop of a hat to join me, and Richard Sharpey had played piano on my brother’s album Alpha Omega. It was a tremendous feeling from the audience, overwhelmingly warm. It was a ‘Welcome Back to the Stage’ for many, but it was obviously my day of departure.

God Is the Light. Yusuf Islam: I gave this song to Raihan to sing. In the studio, I sang the lead line to show them how it was done, and they said they’d never improve on it! So they left my vocal in.

The words convey the message I learnt as a Muslim: that the creation of one single leaf displays more power and wisdom than all of man’s abilities put together. I do acknowledge, however, that the value of my work is perhaps a word which somebody takes to heart – and then guides them.

@2001 Universal Music