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Izitso by Yusuf / Cat Stevens
Released: Jan 1977
Label: Island Records
The penultimate album before he changed his name to Yusuf Islam, Izitso finds Cat Stevens returning to the combination of rock, soul and perfect pop hooks he became famous with in the early '70s. While there are no songs on here as timeless as "Wild World," "Was Dog a Doughnut?" is a true oddity, with Timmy Thomas-style keyboards and drum machine sequencing that presages the rap music to come; the song is a futuristic, prescient little number, a missing link well worth the price of admission. The synths on opener "(Remember the Days of the) Old School Yard" are pretty great, too.
Mike McGuirk