Yusuf Recruits Paul McCartney, Dolly Parton For New Album

January 21, 2009 1:46 PM ET

Yusuf, or the artist formerly known as Yusuf Islam who is actually the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens, has recruited Paul McCartney, Dolly Parton and many more to lend a hand on his upcoming, still-untitled album, due out in the late spring. The LP is the follow-up to Yusuf's 2006 An Other Cup which represented the singer-songwriter's most secular batch of songs in decades.

The first single from the new album is called "Boots and Sand," and will feature contributions from both Macca and Parton. As if the single needed any more marquee name star power, Jesse Dylan, Bob's son, will direct the song's video. The song was reportedly inspired by a 2004 incident were Yusuf was denied entry into the U.S. after a case of mistaken identity landed the singer on the "no fly" terrorist watch list. "It's a slight oddity of a song," Yusuf said. "The image I had was kind of a cowboy B-movie made in Italy, but the story came from real events, real people."

Other guests include Michelle Branch and Gunnar Nelson, who appear on the track "To Be What You Want." Yusuf also says the new album has a more "stripped down" sound compared to the more orchestral Cup, which features the musician's first experiments with Pro Tools software. "Perhaps I went to town a little bit with the production on the last album," Yusuf said. "I was just having fun with the new technologies — we have endless tracks on Pro Tools. You can just flow them out and add and add, and I did."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

More Song Stories entries »