"Moonshadow" is a song written and performed by Cat Stevens (known since 1978 as Yusuf Islam), first released as a single in the UK in 1970 on the Island label and in the US in 1971 on the A&M label. It also appears on Stevens' 1971 album Teaser and the Firecat.

US single cover (A&M 1265-S)
Single by Cat Stevens
from the album Teaser and the Firecat
ReleasedSeptember 1970 (UK)
June 1971 (United States)
RecordedJuly 1970
StudioMorgan Studios, Willesden, London
GenreFolk rock, soft rock
LabelIsland (UK/Europe)
A&M (US/Canada)
Songwriter(s)Cat Stevens
Producer(s)Paul Samwell-Smith
Cat Stevens singles chronology
"Wild World"
"Peace Train"
Music video
"Moonshadow" on YouTube

History edit

Stevens considers this his favourite of his old songs.[1] When Yusuf appeared on The Chris Isaak Hour in 2009, he said of this song:

"I was on a holiday in Spain. I was a kid from the West End [of London] – bright lights, et cetera. I never got to see the moon on its own in the dark, there were always streetlamps. So there I was on the edge of the water on a beautiful night with the moon glowing, and suddenly I looked down and saw my shadow. I thought that was so cool, I'd never seen it before."

Cash Box said that this "softly tailored folderol from Cat Stevens shows his whimsical side."[2] Billboard called it a "super rhythm ballad."[3] Record World called it an "interesting song."[4]

An animated short featuring the song was part of the Fantastic Animation Festival feature film released in 1977.[5] The animation begins with a still frame of Teaser and his pet Firecat, pictured as they appear on the cover of the album bearing their names. The picture comes to life, and in the course of the animation, they find the fallen Moon, ride on it as it flies, and find a way to replace it in the sky. The beginning and ending story portions were written by Cat Stevens and narrated by Spike Milligan.[5] The video also appears as a special feature on the Majikat Concert DVD.[6]

In May 2012 Moonshadow, a new musical by Yusuf, featuring music from throughout his career, opened at the Princess Theatre in Melbourne, Australia. The show received mixed reviews and closed four weeks early.[7][8]

The song appears as "Moon Shadow" on both the UK and US labels of the single release.[9][10]

Chart history edit

"Moonshadow" reached number 30 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and number 10 on the US Easy Listening chart.[11]

Chart (1971) Peak
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company)[12] 22
U.S. Billboard Easy Listening 10
US Billboard Hot 100 30
Canada RPM[13] 26
Canada RPM AC[14] 20

Cover versions edit

  • Appears on several Greatest Hits albums of Roger Whittaker.
  • Recorded by Labelle for their 1972 album, also titled Moon Shadow.
  • A version by Liz And the Kids reached #28 in the Canadian AC charts, July 29, 1972.[15]
  • Recorded by Mandy Moore on her 2003 cover album Coverage. Moore has also been performing "Moonshadow" on the NBC family comedy-drama This Is Us since 2017.

References edit

  1. ^ "Moonshadow". www.songfacts.com.
  2. ^ "CashBox Record Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. June 12, 1971. p. 16. Retrieved 2023-04-22.
  3. ^ "Spotlight Singles" (PDF). Billboard. June 12, 1971. p. 55. Retrieved 2023-04-22.
  4. ^ "Picks of the Week" (PDF). Record World. June 12, 1971. p. 1. Retrieved 2023-04-22.
  5. ^ a b "Fantastic Animation Festival". Internet Movie Database.
  6. ^ Viglione, Joe (2004). "Majikat:Earth Tour 1976 [DVD] Review". www.allmusic.com. Retrieved March 3, 2014.
  7. ^ Le Grand, Chip (June 1, 2012). "Moonshadow Musical keeps us guessing". www.theaustralian.com.au. The Australian. Archived from the original on 2012-06-13.
  8. ^ Somers, Sarah (July 4, 2012). "Moonshadow – The Musical Closes Early". www.theatrepeople.com.au. Retrieved March 3, 2014.
  9. ^ "Cat Stevens – Father And Son / Moon Shadow". Discogs. 1970.
  10. ^ "Cat Stevens – Moon Shadow". Discogs. 1971.
  11. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 228.
  12. ^ "officialcharts.com". officialcharts.com. Retrieved November 12, 2021.
  13. ^ "RPM Top 100 Singles - August 21, 1971" (PDF).
  14. ^ "RPM Top AC Singles - August 14, 1971" (PDF).
  15. ^ "RPM Top AC Singles - July 19, 1972" (PDF).

External links edit