Yusuf / Cat Stevens launches his latest music video for “Wild World.” The fourth single is taken from his acclaimed new album, Tea for the Tillerman² — the reimagined rework of his classic 1970 album.
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The brilliantly eccentric style of the new video combines elements of Wes Anderson, “Casablanca” and Bugsy Mallone. Child actors play out a Blackjack gambling duel which bounces back-and-forth as the ill-fated cards fall between the house dealer and the plucky winner. Mental games of revenge invoke thoughts that jaunt us into a bruising boxing match as well as brutal excursions into WWII.
With its Tango lilt, Berlinesque accordion and smooth clarinet lines, this new cinematic reworking of “Wild World” is recognized as one of the biggest stylistic departures on the new album.
As with “Where Do The Children Play?” and “Father & Son,” the new video of “Wild World” adventurously draws upon the timelessness of the song’s lyrics to capture the powerful message they contain. The central motif of a “Wild World” has been undeniably proven by the precarious state of the world we are living in right now, with war and aggression closing in on us from every side.
Ultimately, the relief from his oppressive vision comes through the even greater imagination of a pure soul (a childish recast of Ingrid Bergman) who, not limited by need for material and power gains, is able to transcend into the realm of the stars with a smile—and an accompanying cup of “Tillerman Tea.” Yusuf’s words tell us of the dangers that are to be found in the world are overcome with love and a dream of something better…beyond.
Upon its initial release 50 years ago, Tea for the Tillerman peaked at #8 on the Billboard Top 200 and went on to become one of the most influential albums of all time, bringing the world classic songs like “Wild World,” “Father And Son” and “Where Do The Children Play?”
The newly reimagined Tillerman² sees the entire record recast for a new age. These are modern folk tales that will resonate with any open and receptive spirit and Yusuf is our humble yet expert storyteller, they are allegories for ours and all times. Tea for the Tillerman has already carved an indelible mark in the bedrock of popular culture and with this new version we are invited to once again witness its magic and mysteries by an artist who has spent the intervening 50 years fearlessly challenging the limits of his own understanding and insight.