Yusuf / Cat Stevens has shared an endearing cover of ‘Here Comes The Sun’ in tribute to George Harrison, with gorgeous cover art designed by Yusuf’s eight year old granddaughter. The release marks the anniversary of what would have been George Harrison’s 80th birthday this week, and comes in tandem with the announcement of an exciting new partnership with Dark Horse Records, the boutique record label founded by George Harrison and operated today by his son Dhani and David Zonshine. Listen to ‘Here Comes The Sun’ here.
Speaking about George Harrison’s profound influence on his own musical and spiritual journey, Yusuf says:
“George Harrison was beginning to explore Eastern mysticism around the time I was hospitalised with TB, in 1968. Lying in bed, I had a lot of time on my hands and ended up reading a Buddhist book called The Secret Path. That was the beginning of my own search for the light.
While most of my generation were just into the music, I was a bit like George, where music became the key to something much higher. Following the rages of the 60’s, his consciousness was awakened, and George transcended to levels not many people ever get to experience. You can hear it in his lyrics, and see it in the way he lived and dealt with the material world – looking for a way out.
George was one of the first to put on a charity concert for the poor, at the time millions of Bangladeshis were fleeing from conflict and becoming refugees. It was a brave thing to do, and against all establishment rules.
I’m happy to sing one of his songs, especially as it represents the returning of light and hope to a seriously dark and broken world.”
In welcoming Yusuf / Cat Stevens to the Dark Horse Record label, Dhani Harrison said:
“I’m thrilled to welcome Yusuf / Cat Stevens to the Dark Horse Records family. Not only is Yusuf a great musical legend but his songs could not fit the Dark Horse mythos any better. From his back catalogue, through to the new music we can’t wait for you to hear. Yusuf is without question one of the most influential singer-songwriters of all time, It is a great honour to be able to give his music a home on our humble yet historic label.”
Yusuf has already teased that a brand new Yusuf / Cat Stevens album is coming, which he says will transport listeners into the positive, imaginative world of hope and peace that defined his work in the early ’70s.
Dark Horse Records will be re-releasing seven legacy albums from the Yusuf / Cat Stevens catalogue, owned by Yusuf’s own Cat-O-Log Records company. DH Merchandise will also operate the Yusuf / Cat Stevens official store, building upon a line of innovative existing products, many of which were designed by Yusuf’s own daughters to capture the spirit and style of their father’s musical legacy.
Yusuf / Cat Stevens is one of the most influential musical artists of all time. His signature, era-defining sound places him amongst a golden generation of British singer-songwriters whose music continues to resonate and inspire to this day. Yusuf’s peerless catalogue with classics including ‘Peace Train,’ ‘Father & Son,’ ‘Where Do The Children Play?’, ‘Wild World’, now streamed over 473 millions times on Spotify alone, and many more, has seen him inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
‘Here Comes The Sun’ is the latest in a new lineage of cover versions and closely follows ‘Tea for the Tillerman²’, which saw the classic album re-imagined for a new age. Released in 2020 to a wave of critical acclaim and debuting at Number 4 in the Official UK Albums Chart, the album marked Yusuf / Cat Stevens’ ninth UK Top 10 LP, and his highest charting studio album release in over 40 years.
Above all, Yusuf’s music reflects a quest for spiritual enlightenment, inner development and a passion for the natural world that continues to resonate with fans globally. Alongside his music career, Yusuf / Cat Stevens dedicates his energy to philanthropy and education. His charity work has seen him receive numerous prestigious international accolades including the World Award for “Humanitarian Relief Work Helping Children And Victims Of War” and the Man of Peace Award, voted for by The Nobel Peace Laureates. His continuing efforts to support those in need are currently channelled through his international Peace Train initiative, with its ongoing mission to feed the hungry.
Looking ahead to the prospect of brand new music coming soon, Yusuf / Cat Stevens continues to use his unique gift for songwriting to build cross-cultural bridges and spread his message of peace