As Yusuf/Cat Stevens prepares to drop the rerecorded Tea for the Tillerman² in honor of the album’s 50th anniversary, the singer-songwriter shared a stop-motion video for “Father and Son.”
The new version of the beloved track features Yusuf duetting with his younger self — he sings the role of the father, while the son’s parts were culled from his 1970 performance at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. “From the moment I could talk I was ordered to listen,” he sings. “Now there’s a way and I know that I have to go away.”
The accompanying video was directed by Chris Hopewell, who previously worked on “Where Do the Children Play?” It features the father and son at home, trying to make sense of their strained relationship. The son plays guitar and sits next to his record collection, while the father remains downstairs, wistfully staring at family photos on the wall.
“‘Father and Son’ feels pretty appropriate for what’s going on right now, if you take the father figure as being the establishment,” Yusuf said in a statement. “However, I don’t think revolutions are that kind to the previous order, its main objective is to turn it around and to get rid of them. Whereas I don’t personally believe in that; I believe in a kind of a change that would not necessarily destroy everything.”
Hopewell shot the video with a socially distanced crew of six people over three weeks. “It’s not often in the world of music videos that you get the chance to work with a truly iconic song not to mention artist,” he said. “Yusuf came up with the premise of the two characters living detached, remote lives in the same home and I built the narrative around that. We wanted to get across the frustration that the two generations often feel with each other but then have a coming together and mutual respect at the close. The track is sung from two very different perspectives, hence our portrayal of the two separate lives lived under one roof.”
Popular on Rolling Stone
“Father and Son” follows the video for “On the Road to Find Out.” Tea for the Tillerman² arrives on September 18th; you can preorder it here.