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BACK TO EARTH ANNIVERSARY EDITION, REMASTERED TO STUNNING EFFECT AT ABBEY ROAD STUDIOS. In 1978, after having sold millions of records and become one of the biggest international artists of the 1970s, Cat Stevens decided to step out of the rock star spotlight and walk away. That year, he was to release his final album under that name. The appropriately-titled Back To Earth was his parting gift: an album that saw the London-born singer saying farewell to his fans, while obliquely explaining his decision to quit in songs such as 'Last Love Song' and 'Just Another Night'. "What's going on behind the appearance of stardom or the stage itself can be a completely different world," he says now, "and that's what it was a lot of the time. I kept my sanity and I kept my eyes open." Back To Earth was indeed a remarkable return to form, reuniting Stevens with Paul Samwell-Smith, the producer of his landmark, multi-platinum albums Tea For The Tillerman (1970) and Teaser And The Firecat (1971), as well as continuing his creative partnership with long-time guitarist Alun Davies. Musically, the album was a blend of the acoustic balladeering and spiritually-questing style that had made the singer a worldwide star, along with more distant echoes of his years growing up as Steven Demetre Georgiou in London's West End. Tracks such as 'New York Times' and 'Randy' recalled the influence upon him of the UK capital's theatre land, and - since parts of the album had been recorded in New York City - Broadway. "There was this other side of me which was the sort of musical composer," he remembers. "I loved musicals and I was surrounded by them where I lived. So, I had Bernstein in my blood." Long overdue for re-evaluation, Back To Earth is a brilliant and fascinating album capturing Yusuf/Cat Stevens at a defining point in his life.