Cat Stevens / Back to Earth box set

Cat Stevens‘ 1978 album Back to Earth – his final record under the ‘Cat Stevens’ moniker – will be reissued as an eight-disc super deluxe edition box set in April next year.

The box set will features five CDs, two vinyl LPs, a blu-ray, a book and memorabilia. The first CD is the album remastered (at Abbey Road) and then, slightly bizarrely, the second disc is the non-remastered version of the same original mix of the album.

Additionally, you get a disc of largely previously unreleased tracks (including demos, live tracks and two ‘lost’ recordings), the Alpha Omega album Cat Stevens produced for his brother David Gordon in 1979 and eight tracks from the UNICEF Year Of The Child Concert at Wembley Arena in 1979. One of the previously unreleased (‘lost’) recordings is ‘Toy Heart’, which you can preview below.

The two vinyl records repeat CDs 1 and 5 (album remaster and UNICEF Year of the Child Concert) while the blu-ray features video footage from that same UNICEF concert and the Back to Earth album in hi-res stereo (presumably the remaster).

As well as the hardcover book, this comes with posters, a fanzine and a replica press pack. If you just want the remaster and aren’t bothered about the box set then a rather swish coloured vinyl edition and CD were released back at the end of October.

The Back to Earth box set will be released on 10 April 2020.

Back To Earth Super Deluxe 5CD / 2LP + BluRay (Remastered)

CD1 Remastered – Original album remastered from analogue tapes

  1. Just Another Night
  2. Daytime
  3. Bad Brakes
  4. Randy
  5. The Artist
  6. Last Love Song
  7. Nascimento
  8. Father
  9. New York Times
  10. Never

CD2: Return to Earth – The original stereo mix

  1. Just Another Night
  2. Daytime
  3. Bad Brakes
  4. Randy
  5. The Artist
  6. Last Love Song
  7. Nascimento
  8. Father
  9. New York Times
  10. Never

CD3: Unearthed – Live tracks, rare demos and two beautiful, completely unheard recordings

  1. Butterfly (previously unreleased)
  2. Toy Heart (previously unreleased)
  3. New York Times (new mix) previously unreleased
  4. Just Another Night (demo) previously unreleased
  5. Last Love Song (Session Mix) previously unreleased
  6. Daytime (Live 2017 Adelaide)
  7. Bad Brakes (Live 2011 Albert Hall)
  8. Last Love Song (Live 2014 Toronto)
  9. Nascimento (Solto)       previously unreleased
  10. Just Another Night (Live 2016 Nashville)
  11. Bad Brakes (instrumental) previously unreleased

CD4: Alpha Omega (A Musical Revelation) – Completion of the circle.  Yusuf helps his brother David realise his own musical ambition by producing the 1978 album Alpha Omega, featuring the much loved ‘Child For A Day’

  1. Universe
  2. I Who Am I
  3. Paradise
  4. Inventions
  5. I See That Face
  6. Child For A Day
  7. Sing, Love Is Everywhere
  8. Alpha Omega
  9. Music Is The 7th Wonder
  10. Dreamer
  11. World
  12. Listen To Me
  13. I Believe

CD5: UNICEF Year Of The Child Concert at Wembley Arena 1979 – The last love song. Cat performs under this name, what will be his final farewell at UNICEF’s 1979 Year Of The Child charity concert at London’s Wembley Arena.

  1. The Wind with intro from Paul Gambaccini
  2. On The Road To Find Out
  3. Just Another Night
  4. Daytime/Where Do The Children Play?
  5. Father & Son
  6. Morning Has Broken (with Belmont Junior School Choir)
  7. Peace Train
  8. Child For A Day (with Richard Thompson and David Essex)

LP 1: Remastered – Original album remastered for vinyl from analogue tapes

A1           Just Another Night
A2           Daytime
A3           Bad Brakes
A4           Randy
A5           The Artist

B1           Last Love Song
B2           Nascimento
B3           Father
B4           New York Times
B5           Never

LP 2: Year Of The Child Concert at Wembley Arena 1979
A1           The Wind with intro from Paul Gambaccini
A2           On The Road To Find Out
A3           Just Another Night
A4           Daytime/Where Do The Children Play?

B1           Father & Son
B2           Morning Has Broken
B3           Peace Train
B4           Child For A Day

BLURAY ONE: The Year Of The Child – Historical concert footage + original album lossless audio

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Dan R

Amazon UK has this delayed until 31 Dec 2020 (which I think is Amazonspeak for “release date unknown”). Anyone have any info about this?

I’m kind of glad it’s been pushed back, as it’s so fantastically expensive, and things are a little unusual these days, including financially.

Gabe K

Hi. Thank you Paul for your great site with very useful news and info.
I just received this box set. I do like the album and extras. Unfortunately the box was not well put together and some of the CD’s got glued to the cardboard and the covers damaged a bit. Maybe I would ask for a replacement as it is an expensive box and it is a shame poor attention to packaging causing damage.
On a different note, the vinyl of the Children of the Year concert is actually 45RPM (not stated) and comes without an inner sleeve.

Dan R

This is so expensive, I’m amazed all over again each time I look at it. Unlike a lot of others. I actually like this album – but unless there’s a fairly dramatic price reduction, I won’t be buying it. A shame.


Paul, I tried asking this on twitter before maybe you can help me. I would love to get this but I’m in the US, and I tried getting something off amazon.uk a little while ago and couldn’t do it due to not being able to pay in that currency, even with my amazon credit card. Is this a thing now where you can’t buy things off amazon in Europe with a US/dollar card? I purchased Roger Waters the wall limited edition 2 blu ray set a long time ago that way with no issue. Any insight at all would be appreciated. Thanks!


I’d buy the 2-cd set, but nothing else. Bummer.


I’d pay very good money for a deluxe CATCH BULL AT FOUR box, outtakes, demos, period live renderings of the songs. But this set is too much of a mediocre thing, IMO. Bring on CBAF, please!


Doesn’t make a lot of difference, I guess, but it appears disc 2 is the 2001 remaster by Ted Jensen at Sterling Sound, not the original 1988 cd master.

David Tomlinson

I saw Cat Stevens in a \n intimate bandshell show just after I got out of the Army in 1975. I loved him then. Has he done anything good since then? I’d buy some sort of super deluxe, everything he has done box.

Randy Metro

Regarding Cat Stevens becoming Muslim: the revelation of a higher power when he almost drowned is true. His brother gave him the Quran, even though his brother had converted to Judaism. Catch Bull At Four (Ten bulls of Zen), Foreigner (Heaven must have programed you), Buddha & the Chocolate Box, and Numbers (Numerology) all had religious overtones. Izitso was transitional (I never wanted to be a rock star). Back to Earth was his good-bye (The Last Love Song). Randy is a very beautiful song ;-)

Was Dog A Doughnut? Ugh! Herb Alpert did it better 2 years later with Rise.

Alex Stassi

I would have happily paid for a 2 CD set which includes the Abbey Road Remaster and the Unearthed Disc…(I guess that defeats the object!)….. but to pay an extra £125 for those 11 tracks… you’re having a giraffe…

Eagerly awaiting “Tillerman 50 Superdeluxe edition”

Thomas Schnur

Hello Alex, why don´t you order the set in Germany? It´s cheaper there at the moment.

Steven Roberts

I like Cat Stevens, but he’s having a laugh with that pricing…. (especially given that it’s this album and not one of the acknowledged classics).


I remember getting this album shortly after it came out. Then I quickly put it aside after not being impressed. Did I miss something? Such a lavish set for a lackluster album?


And there is the ‘Signed Super Bundle’ (Signed Poster, Super Deluxe Boxset, Butterfly/Toy Heart 7”, Back To Earth LP [Colour] & T-Shirt) version (limited to 100 copies) for £290 available from his website too!

John Drayton

‘Mona Bone Jakon’, ‘Tea for the Tillerman’- take my money.
But this uninspired, charmless record? Nah.


I have to wonder: A) is the new “remaster” actually a remix, and regardless, B) is the “original mix” on CD two a flat transfer? If A is true, then it would make sense to also include the original mix. If A is false, the only way it makes sense to me to include the same mix in another form is if B is true. I can’t imagine a world where an old digital mastering—technically a remaster in its own right, given that the album was recorded in analog—is presented alongside a new one in the same package.


His last US top 40 ‘hit’ was “(Remember The Days Of The) Old Schoolyard” (BB #33 /AC #28) from Izitso) and pretty much his last hit anywhere. The follow-up single, “Was Dog A Donut” (BB#70) is notable because it was an early electronic song that was sampled numerous times decades later in hip-hop songs.

The US single from this album was “Bad Brakes” (BB #83), and his last hurrah. If this elaborate collection had been done for Tea For The Tillerman or Catch Bull At Four, I’d have clicked pre-order already.

Phil Cohen

The crowdfunding company that originally offered this set went bankrupt. Nice to see that someone has revived this project.
Incidentally, I once saw Cat Stevens perform (at Miami Beach Auditorium in 1972) at a time when “Peace Train” was his latest hit. Between songs, a girl or young lady approached the stage, and wanted to hand something to Cat, so Cat reached down and took the item. He looked at it for a moment, then he held up the item and spoke to the audience. “It’s a religious medallion. Thanks, but no thanks. I’m not into religion”. The audience cheered. Five years later, he became Yusuf Islam. What a transformation! Obviously, the young lady thought that Cat needed salvation. Perhaps not her brand of salvation, but salvation nonetheless.
After his conversion to islam, Cat said “Lying degrades you.,women demean you, and drugs destroy you” Obviously, Cat/Yusuf changed his mind about women. He’s been married for many years.


Stevens almost drowned and got miraculously saved by incoming wave. He had a moment of revelation and became religious. why Islam I don’t know. I’ve read this story years ago so details may not be 100% correct but that’s what I remember.

andrew R

Why this particular lp?Far from his best work
What next endless wire superdeluxe
Arcadia 8lp deluxe set
Can someone explain what is going on
It seems any dross deserves special treatment


I’d buy an 8CD Arcadia deluxe set so fast it would make your head spin. :-)

There’s always someone out there to buy every obscure little thing. That said, I agree with you on this…

Wayne Klein

Probably because a couple of his more popular albums received two Cd deluxe editions from A&M/universal.


I’d love to see some further remastered coloured vinyl reissues. My second-third-fourth hand originals are a bit past it.


Why can’t they offer a cd version and an LP vrsion?
From my experience, CD collectors don’t want LPS and vice versa….
taking a pass on this one


I’d take the 5 cds, blu ray book and memorabilia but the vinyl makes it a no thanks from me.
I’d love to know the thinking behind marketing departments but they’ve got plenty of time to rethink this one and put something together to appeal to both vinyl and cd collectors or is that expecting a bit too much common sense?


Exactly H. Well said

Colin Harper

Surely ‘have this cake, and have a stale one while you’re at it’? :-D

Simon Franklin

Is it me or are these box sets getting stupidly expensive? This for example, recent gene Clark and the Beatles 7”. Not really good value for what is essentially a couple of vinyl albums (£25) some CDs (police box was £15 for 5 or 6 cds) and a hard back book? In a box with a few printed bits. Seems like the record industry is having a cash grab from retro releases?