Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Matthew and Son - Cat Stevens (1967)

Cat Stevens,Matthew & Son - Original Stereo,UK,LP RECORD,159439
"Matthew and Son" was a single written and performed by the great Cat Stevens. It was selected as the title song for his debut album. Stevens, a newly-arrived teenage singer - songwriter, was performing for a youthful audience, but during the mid-1960s, the period of the start of his musical career, was seen by his audience initially in the role of a crooner, or a young, foppish, "swinging" version of older celebrities who sang as television performers. This was in comparison to the newly emerging folk rock genre from the skiffle which had, in part, inspired him to begin writing and performing.
The song, according to Stevens, was inspired in part, by the tailor, Henry Matthews, who made suits for Stevens. He thought up the story of the worker that became the main character in the song.
Another theory is that he noticed a shop-front in Trinity Street, Cambridge, called 'Matthew and Son'. It was an up-market shop that sold grocery provisions, cheeses, coffee and household china. It was on the site occupied by Heffer's bookshop today.
Stevens later commented, "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."

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