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The First Cut Is the Deepest

One of his first attempts at R&B as an “Otis Reddis sort of thing,” penned by Cat Stevens at the tender age of just 17 years old, turned out to be a milestone composition so popular that it would become a hit single time and again not only for the composer himself but many different artists, most notably Rod Stewart (1977). The original 1967 studio recording had (Big) Jim Sullivan on lead guitar, John Paul Jones on bass, Dougie Smith on drums and quite possibly Mike Hurst, then Cat’s producer at Decca Studios, on rhythm guitar. In 2014 Yusuf / Cat Stevens would perform a more intimate sittee version for solo acoustic guitar, a Gibson J-200, and vocals at the NPR Music Tiny Desk concert, which we chose to transcribe here.

 

Edited by Leonard McCoy
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