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Al Stewart / Year of the Cat box set

3CD+DVD box set • Features Alan Parsons remaster and 5.1 mix

Al Stewart / Year of the Cat deluxe edition

Esoteric Recordings follow up last month’s 24 Carrots reissue with an anniversary box set of Al Stewart‘s 1976 album Year of the Cat.

Scheduled for release in March next year, this 45th anniversary edition box set (taking a leaf out of the Parlophone/Bowie playbook) includes three CDs and a DVD and features a new remaster by original producer and engineer Alan Parsons. Alan has used the first generation master tapes for this process.

Bonus material includes a new mix of ‘Belsize Blues’, an outtake from the original sessions, and two CDs featuring a previously unreleased gig in Seattle in October 1976 (the same month the album was issued in America).

The DVD features a new 5.1 surround sound mix (also by Parsons) and a hi-res version of the new remaster.

The box set includes an illustrated 68-page book, with notes featuring an exclusive interview with Al Stewart, and four postcards and a replica poster.

A two-CD deluxe edition will also be issued which includes the remastered album and a single bonus disc featuring nine of the 15 live tracks.

Year of the Cat will be released on 26 March 2021.

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Al Stewart

Year of the Cat 3CD+DVD box set

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Al Stewart

Year of the CAT - 2CD deluxe

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Al Stewart / Year of the Cat deluxe edition

Year of the Cat 3CD+DVD box set

CD 1 YEAR OF THE CAT
RE-MASTERED BY ALAN PARSONS

1. LORD GRENVILLE
2. ON THE BORDER
3. MIDAS SHADOW
4. SAND IN YOUR SHOES
5. IF IT DOESN’T COME NATURALLY, LEAVE IT
6. FLYING SORCERY
7. BROADWAY HOTEL
8. ONE STAGE BEFORE
9. YEAR OF THE CAT

BONUS TRACK
10. BELSIZE BLUES
(RECORDED AT ABBEY ROAD STUDIOS IN SEPTEMBER 1975)

CD 2: LIVE AT THE PARAMOUNT THEATER, SEATTLE – OCTOBER 1976
ALL TRACKS PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED

1. APPLE CIDER RE-CONSTITUTION (LIVE 1976)
2. THE DARK AND THE ROLLING SEA (LIVE 1976)
3. ONE STAGE BEFORE (LIVE 1976)
4. SOHO (NEEDLESS TO SAY) (LIVE 1976)
5. NOT THE ONE (LIVE 1976)
6. ON THE BORDER (LIVE 1976)
7. BROADWAY HOTEL (LIVE 1976)
8. ROADS TO MOSCOW (LIVE 1976)

CD 3: LIVE AT THE PARAMOUNT THEATER, SEATTLE – OCTOBER 1976
ALL TRACKS PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED

1. NOSTRADAMUS (LIVE 1976)
2. SIRENS OF TITAN (LIVE 1976)
3. THE POST WORLD WAR TWO BLUES (LIVE 1976)
4. YEAR OF THE CAT (LIVE 1976)
5. SAND IN YOUR SHOES (LIVE 1976)
6. CAROL (LIVE 1976)
7. IF IT DOESN’T COME NATURALLY, LEAVE IT (LIVE 1976)

DVD: YEAR OF THE CAT – 5.1 mix and hi-res stereo mix
THE NEW 5.1 SURROUND SOUND MIX & ORIGINAL 96 KHZ / 24-BIT RE-MASTERED STEREO MIX BY ALAN PARSONS

1. LORD GRENVILLE
2. ON THE BORDER
3. MIDAS SHADOW
4. SAND IN YOUR SHOES
5. IF IT DOESN’T COME NATURALLY, LEAVE IT
6. FLYING SORCERY
7. BROADWAY HOTEL
8. ONE STAGE BEFORE
9. YEAR OF THE CAT

Al Stewart / Year of the Cat deluxe edition

Year of the Cat 2CD deluxe

CD 1 YEAR OF THE CAT
RE-MASTERED BY ALAN PARSONS

1. LORD GRENVILLE
2. ON THE BORDER
3. MIDAS SHADOW
4. SAND IN YOUR SHOES
5. IF IT DOESN’T COME NATURALLY, LEAVE IT
6. FLYING SORCERY
7. BROADWAY HOTEL
8. ONE STAGE BEFORE
9. YEAR OF THE CAT

BONUS TRACK
10. BELSIZE BLUES
(RECORDED AT ABBEY ROAD STUDIOS IN SEPTEMBER 1975)

CD 2: LIVE AT THE PARAMOUNT THEATER, SEATTLE – OCTOBER 1976
ALL TRACKS PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED

1. APPLE CIDER RE-CONSTITUTION (LIVE 1976) (PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED)
2. THE DARK AND THE ROLLING SEA (LIVE 1976) (PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED)
3. ONE STAGE BEFORE (LIVE 1976) (PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED)
4. ON THE BORDER (LIVE 1976) (PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED)
5. BROADWAY HOTEL (LIVE 1976) (PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED)
6. ROADS TO MOSCOW (LIVE 1976) (PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED)
7. YEAR OF THE CAT (LIVE 1976) (PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED)
8. SAND IN YOUR SHOES (LIVE 1976) (PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED)
9. IF IT DOESN’T COME NATURALLY LEAVE IT (LIVE 1976) (PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED)

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teddzz
SDE Reader

It’s finally for sale in Canada. But now that I look at the YOTCbox choices again I wonder I whether a purchase is worth the expense. For the the 3cd+Dvd etc I have to say NO! Too expensive. I’m not that interested in “live” material since I have my own memories of seeing Al in person. The book? I have 2 books on Al (bio book and a foto book) already. I don’t have 5.1 available to me.
So it’s down to the 2cd version. I am really curious as to the (expectation of) high quality re-master by Alan Parsons. But here there is also the “bonus”? track which was on the 2001 issue. Don’t need it again (re-mix or not). Anyway, why would you add a track to an already perfect (IMHO) album? As to the “live” disc….If I must buy it with the re-master then…..What a poor selection of tracks from the 2-cds in the box!! At least give me the Best Of’s (ie – Nostradamus Sirens Of Titan Soho etc from the YOTC era which would make it a pleasant listen (every now and then).
That’s my opinion/thinking right now on this. Down the road my need to know how great the Parsons’ re-master actually is may make me shell out for the 2cd. We shall see.

SDE Resident

Hello, I have bought this luxury edition in amazon italy, and it seems that there are availability problems. Paul, is it an edition with a short quantity? Thank you.

Noud1961
SDE Reader

I think Amazon Netherlands has the same “problem”. Ordered it last december and now I got some emails that it’s delayed while it’s available in different other shops, even Amazon Germany.
I think the real problem is that Amazon sold it to cheap and now don’t want to deliver.

John

Oh yeah, there is a god! I have been praying for a 5.1 release of this album for the last 15yrs & even nagged his management about it a few yrs back. Great news!! Please do the same for Time Passages…..

Bill Z

I’ll buy this for the live set. I saw the YOTC tour at Bushnell Hall in Hartford, CT, and the show was terrific. The great Tim Renwick featured on lead guitar.

Colin

Glad to see some of the old cuts. I’ve got Al Stewart’s first 6 albums on vinyl and it be great to see and hear some of his earliest songs

Somersetgrumpy

Great to finally have deluxe edition of this classic 1976 Al Stewart release and a 4 disc package as well and let’s hope a glorious sumptuous 68 page booklet to accompany it. Four discs for £50 (+ postage of course) is on the expensive side especially when disc 4 is a DVD and not a Blu-ray with 5.1 versions of the three cd’s. One bonus track is a shame – I’m sure there were others that never made the final album which would make a pleasant addition to this package. It’s disappointing especially as Post World War II Blues and Nostradamus have been culled from the live cd’s but compared to other artists deluxe packages I guess it’s a reasonable cost.
It’s also good to know that Alan Parsons has been in charge of the remastering. Technology has moved on so much in the 44 passing years but I’ll be interested to see if the sound quality eclipses my 2001 remaster which sounds pretty good on my Bryston/PMC kit.

I guess most Al fans would like to see the same treatment of “Time Passages” to include the live tracks (Time Passages Live 1978) that appeared on disc 5 from 2005’s “Just Yesterday”, although this can still be found but not cheaply! Now there must be additional live tracks to add to that!
As other contributors have said, there is much more to Al than the classic YOTC and Time Passages which were released during his peak. “Russians & Americans” is another release worth of a deluxe release and his later releases are worth checking out.
Hoping to actually see him live in October 2021 in Bath with his new band The Empty Pockets – you never know he may not tour UK again.

Dave M.

I’ve looked on the Amazon UK site and can’t find any information on the region encoding of the DVD. Does anyone have any idea if the 5.1 DVD will play in US DVD players? Thanks. Dave

Howard C Keese

Same question here. Amazon is the U.S. doesn’t have the deluxe set listed yet, just the two CD set so I’ll have to import it.

Thanks.

Ex-Oligarch

The song “Year of the Cat” is damn near perfect, all six and a half minutes of it. I remember listening to the radio back in 1976 and being completely captivated by the lengthy instrumental break, as piano and swelling strings gave way to electric guitar, then dropped back to saxophone and the original chord sequence. It’s an exemplary bit of writing, arranging, recording and performance, and I’ve returned to it many times in the decades since.

“On the Border” is great as well, and the rest of the album is very good, despite Stewart’s somewhat fey voice. I was too young to see the tours of 1976 or 1977, but audience tapes display energetic performances from a polished band. Stewart’s part studio, part live album in 1981 was a bit long on competence and short on energy, so I’m looking forward to hearing the earlier tour in what I hope will be decent fidelity.

Fogarrach

One of my favourite album covers, knowing and quirky, beautifully brought to be.

And the music on the LP itself is really homely. Al’s wonderfully perfect success song, year of the cat, perhaps makes it hard for people to appreciate how knowing and quirky and beautifully written all his other stuff is.

A while ago, in fopp, I got the 5cd “just yesterday”. I can’t remember the price but there was an incredible song playing as I bought it.

Thus I’ll stick for now. (Especially as the studio stuff is my major interest, and I know a 5.1 will be released within a year.)

Am I the only person who thinks that live stuff is a discreet niche interest, and seldom listenable more than once or so?

Timm Davison

I’ve got nothing to say about this Al Stewart set (except for maybe the fact that I’ve seen a ton of good shows at the Paramount in Seattle), but I wanted to wish you, Paul, a happy Christmas for putting this out regularly, and showing me ways with which to part me from my money! Merry Christmas!

Tom Walsh

Happy Christmas Paul and the wider SDE family…best site on the net!

Gareth

Oh Al, did you have to delete Nostradarmus and Post World War II Blues from the 2nd CD!

Merry Christmas Paul and thanks so much for keeping me entertained, informed and full of buying ideas through a tough old year.

Todd G

What? No vinyl version!!! Weird …
About the posters; I agree on the Lennon from Imagine which hung on my bed room wall as a teenager, but also the Harrison poster from All Things Must Pass. Classic!

-SG-

Love how this reads: Year of the Cat Box. Hopefully there is no “buried treasure” inside.

Michael Wilson

Now that is funny!

Bill Hicks

Delighted to see more Al Stewart coming out. As MelodicMusicIsTheBestMusic points out, there’s lots more than The Year Of The Cat. In fact, all his albums are enjoyable. When he played the Royal Albert Hall a few years ago, he explained that the title Year Of The Cat came from a book of philosophy lent to him by his then girlfriend. “In fact” he added nonchalantly, “She’s here tonight”. So cool.

Minnesota Geoff

This will make up for missing them in Lincoln, NE
at Pershing..Fall ’76. The video from old Grey Whistle,
confirms a tight band, ready to deliver a memorable tour-stop!

Geoff with a G

Minnesota Geoff. Heh. I guess that makes me Wisconsin Geoff

Derek Langsford

I presume the DVD is as for the Ultravox Vienna Box. The stereo is 96/24 LPCM, but the 5.1 will be just Dolby 5.1 (not hi-res).

Steven Roberts

Guessing this box will follow the format of the Be-Bop Deluxe 5.1 sets.

I’ve been crossing my fingers hoping that Cherry Red will announce a standalone hi-res blu-ray – as has been the case with all the Alan Parsons boxed-sets (and AP did produce Year of the Cat, so there is connection of sorts) – but nothing so far.

Steve Rhodes

“Poster” ? and any of the additional memorabilia that comes with deluxe super priced sets. For me is looked at once then put back in the box never to be looked at again, until a few years later when short of cash I take loads of photos to seek on eBay. Luckily the poster are still in brilliant condition.

On the other hand if they were sensibly priced from the start without all the extra gubbins, I’d be able to buy more and not feel compelled to resell having no resale value .

WILLIAM ENGLAND

What exactly do record companies think we do with posters? The majority of which come folded…
Over to you SuperDeluxers… has anyone done more than thought “that’s nice” and put it back in the box???

John MC cann

Actually bob Dylan at budakan came with a poster in the 70s,I had it on my bed room door for years!,so theirs that,

Andrew Lindsay

Good question
My favourite LP/Box Set poster remains Lennon at the piano from the Imagine LP; only that and a poster of the After the Goldrush gatefold have been framed and displayed on the wall. The rest remain boxed.

Steven Roberts

It’s tat, pure and simple – the sole purpose of which is to further justify the expense of the box.

You know it, they know it, and they know that you know it.

The only question that matters is – do you like the album enough to pay it anyway?

Jules

Seeds of Love should’ve included a poster. Basically, anything with detailed art that doesn’t look as good shrunk down to CD size (though I don’t know how this box set will look).

MelodicMusicIsTheBestMusic

Great to hear about Al Stewart on here again Paul he’s such a superb artist, Top quality intelligent songwriter with a majority of his songs about history and plenty of excellent melodies etched into them…Personally I prefer “Time Passages” the follow up to this album and again it’s produced by Alan Parsons, but I will still be adding this box set to my collection without a doubt…There’s a lot more of Al’s music to be discovered further than just Year Of The Cat and anyone who’s interested to delve deeper into his back catalogue will certainly be rewarded.

Guido

Great album with brilliant production by Alan Parsons.
As Long as there is no Blu-ray for the 5.1 I‘m more than ok with my MFSL Vinyl.

Carl

Been waiting for a decent remaster of this one of my favourite albums ever. There is a remaster on a private label that is ok but i have great hopes for this. 2CD for me though , hate live tracks.

James Last

the original was superb and in no need of a remaster.
none of the subsequent remasters, including the awful mobile fidelity improved on the original.

Jurgen

Great album and since I bought a surround system a few months ago I buy this box set. Is there a difference between “the first generation tape” and “the original master tape”?

Chris Squires

Wow, that is slim pickens. One bonus track and a live gig for £55. Ok there is a book and a Hi-Res DVD but when they have to be used to justify a package you know you are up against it.

The Eagles now have closure.

Chris Squires

Fair enough, I guess for those, like me without surround sound, it can turn the tables from good value to average or worse.

The same goes for those who are forced to buy vinyl who don’t want it. It’s a choice for the individual buyer to make.

I’ll get me coat….

SimonH

Hah! Same here:)
It’s worth pointing out that there is a very good remaster already available. I picked mine up sealed (!) in a charity shop for £1.50… Crazy!
Am buying this because I love the album and agree the price is fine. Just compare with some of the other things you routinely pay for.
Paul, but isn’t the Yello disc amazing sounding?! Wow it’s good.

Hans lindskog

Hello, this reissue look very interesting, does anyone know IF this set Will be the same format as the recent bebop deluxe box sets also from cherry red? Best regards hans

Kevin O

It’s probably just an oversight on the label’s part, but at that time the venue was called the Paramount Northwest Theater. The “Northwest” was dropped sometime during the 80s, I believe.

Gregg P

Kevin O is correct; briefly known as the Seattle Theatre when it opened in 1928, it has been known as the Paramount for most of its life since the 1930s — except for the era from 1971 until about 1979, when the then-owners did call it the Paramount Northwest. After it was sold and refurbished, it re-opened in 1981 as just the Paramount once more. (I’ve been a Seattle resident since 1984.)