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Cat Stevens / Matthew & Son and New Masters vinyl reissues

Cat Stevens / New Masters vinyl reissue

Both 1967 albums have enhanced vocals thanks to ‘Demix’ technology

Universal Music will reissue Cat Stevens’ first two albums in vinyl next month, ‘de-mixed’ to enhance the vocals.

Matthew & Son and New Masters – both released in 1967 – feature some classic songs including ‘I Love My Dog’, ‘Matthew & Son’, and ‘The First Cut Is The Deepest’.

These new editions feature ‘newly enhanced’ vocals courtesy of Abbey Road Studios’ ‘demix’ software used on the original master tapes. SDE’s understanding is that this is used when the vocals are not available isolated on one channel (because otherwise you could simply do a standard remix with the vocals pushed higher).

The label also claim that ‘Demixing’ has also “considerably helped amplify the bass”. In the 1960s it was also a challenge trying to get a full bass sound cut on a vinyl record due to the limitations of the cutting and playback equipment.

Both albums have been unavailable on vinyl since 1982, but these new editions are released on 27 March 2020. There are no CD versions.

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Matthew & Son vinyl with demixed vocals

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Cat Stevens

New Masters vinyl with Demixed vocals

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Matthew & Son vinyl LP

Side A

1. Matthew & Son
2. I Love My Dog
3. Here Comes My Baby
4. Bring Another Bottle Baby
5. Portobello Road
6. I’ve Found A Love
7. I See A Road

Side B

1. Baby Get Your Head Screwed On
2. Granny
3. When I Speak To The Flowers
4. The Tramp
5. Come On And Dance
6. Hummingbird
7. Lady

New Masters vinyl LP

Side A

1. Kitty
2. I’m So Sleepy
3. Northern Wind
4. The Laughing Apple
5. Smash Your Heart
6. Moonstone

Side B

1. The First Cut Is The Deepest
2. I’m Gonna Be King
3. Ceylon City
4. Blackness Of The Night
5. Come On Baby (Shift That Log)
6. I Love Them All

20 responses to Cat Stevens / Matthew & Son and New Masters vinyl reissues

  1. David Bly says:

    While I agree that there’s never been a problem with the vocals on these two albums, if they are going to use this fancy-schmancy new process, then to put it put out only on vinyl is blithering stupid.
    And of course on CD they could add all the singles tracks not on the albums, as others have already mentioned (for that matter they could also add an extra disc to the LP versions for those).

    But it does seem that the majors are playing to the misconception that vinyl is the way to go and claiming it “what the people want” when really it what the bean counters at those companies want since they can generally bilk money money out if people with LPs instead of CDs.

    Meanwhile, in a semi-related thingy, yesterday I was at a thrift shop where all CDs are $1. There was a lot of new stuff and I got 26 discs. Coincidental to this story, the first one I found was an Australian(!) copy of the latest re-release of “Teaser and the Firecat”, and the last one I found was an American copy of “An Other Cup” (I previously only had a UK CD).

    I suppose I didn’t really ‘need’ these, but then it’s a much better deal that overpriced LPs

  2. CHris S says:

    disappointing, that there is no cd. i would run out to get both upon release, on cd, but that looks like it is not going to happen.

  3. Kevin Brown says:

    Mona Bone Jakon and Tea For The Tillerman are been planned for 50th Anniversaries this year (2020) as stated on the Cat website……. catstevens.com under the News heading “Looking Back at 2019”
    Lets hope both of these releases will not be the high price they are charging for the “Back To Earth” boxset

    • Pete says:

      It doesn’t say they’ll have 50th anniversary editions sadly, just that it’s the year to celebrate their 50th anniversary. Although I did read in a recent interview with Cat a new album will be out this year. The Laughing Apple was just as good as his older stuff (and yes I know a few of the songs on it are reworkings of older songs). The 3 albums before Laughing Apple are all classic Cat as well

      • Alex Stassi says:

        Yeah I was about to say the same thing re: 50th anniversary editions.

        I think most of the new album has been recorded…. Paul Samwell and Alun Davis are both on board again. Yusuf/Cat also mentioned he’s writing his memoirs too.

        There have been hints though on a Tillerman 50 release though.. I’m guessing this would be later in the year if so (Nov)

  4. Alex Stassi says:

    On the official FB page I mentioned about the fact that being direct duplicate track listings of the original vinyl that we dont get singles like “I’m gonna get me a gun” or “Here comes my wife” the response was this is something they are planning to release in the not too distant future which will include alot more unheard gems. I can only assume they will be CD or Mp3 releases.

  5. Geert DW says:

    ‘De-mixing’? Ha, that’s not real. It’s just a more advanced approach to the old fashioned fiddling with the frequencies. It’s like fishing the raisins out of your cake, and saying you’ve de-ingrediented your cake. In short, the result being what it may (and for all I know, it might be quite good), I object to the use of the word ‘mix’ in this new term …

    • Sean Hewitt says:

      On the contrary, it’s a new process. I went to one of the Abbey Road lectures last year and they demonstrated it with George Harrison’s isolated guitar part from She Loves You. It was astonishing.

  6. Keith says:

    Obviously will not be buying these vinyl only another stupid decision. To be honest i have never had any problems with the vocals or Bass on the original CDs.

  7. Wayne Klein says:

    Once again disrespecting one format for another. Good way to lose sales.

  8. Chris Walker, New Zealand says:

    You’ve got to take your hat off to the music ‘industry’ and their on going con to get you to fork out yet again for something ou paid for years ago…

  9. Michael says:

    Very nice, but would I be more interested if they did anniversary remasters of Cat Steven’s “Tea For the Tillerman” and all his other albums through “Izitso.”

    Although I was fortunate enough to obtain a superb SACD of “Tea For the Tillerman,” I was hoping that “Teaser and the Firecat” would follow as an SACD, but unfortunately no :-(

    Also a bit peculiar that “Matthew & Son” and “New Masters” are vinyl only. Offering a remastered compact disc of those albums with inclusion of the B-sides from the singles released during that same time period would have made fans really jump for joy. Hopefully more future reissues of Cat Stevens from Abbey Road Studios with their demixing capability.

  10. Mike the Fish says:

    I’m struggling to see why this is necessary. I listened to some of the early stuff this evening and the vocals are fine. I would hope it’s not to match a current trend of mixing vocals way too high. There’s not much low frequency there but if it’s not there on the tape where’s it coming from? Boosted harmonics? That said, I’m intrigued if not convinced.

  11. Ash says:

    I guess we CD lovers are feeling a bit of what vinyl fans have experienced over 30 odd years where the CD dominated. Even so I do think it’s a bit snooty to only release certain material on one format only. CD is still more popular than vinyl when it comes to physical formats.

  12. John S says:

    It’s another case of “something I would have considered buying on CD” (expanded CDs even better), but the vinyl is not for me.

  13. Sean Hewitt says:

    Demixing is the next big thing. Abbey Road will soon be able to break down single-track recordings into individual stems and remix as if they were multitracks.

    • RJS says:

      Along with demastering which they’re hoping will bring about a ceasefire in the long running Loudness Wars.

    • Mark says:

      Does this mean we have to wait three years for the start of the 60th anniversary Beatles demix project, starting with the “Please, Please Me” LP?

  14. Huw says:

    It’s such a waste to do such a sonic upgrade on two 1960s albums and then only release them on vinyl. CDs would be fantastic, but couldn’t they at least have included a download card?

  15. David B says:

    love these sets .. but vinyl only?? I do have the 2003 cd versions but they could do with a sonic upgrade. On the plus side though i do have the rare 45s on these cds (including “school is out” and “lovely city” ..) none of which are included here ..

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