"Year of the Cat" is a single by singer-songwriter Al Stewart, released in July 1976. The song is the title track of his 1976 album Year of the Cat, and was recorded at Abbey Road Studios, London in January 1976 by engineer Alan Parsons.
The song reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 in March 1977. Although Stewart's 1978 single "Time Passages" is his career record with a #7 peak, "Year of the Cat" has remained Stewart's signature recording, receiving regular airplay on both classic rock and folk rock stations.
The track is noted for its lengthy instrumental sections:; over four minutes of 6:40 album version of the song is instrumental, including a long, melodic series of solos that encompasses cello, violin, piano, acoustic guitar, distorted electric guitar, synthesizer and saxophone. The transition from acoustic guitar to electric to saxophone was initiated by Tim Renwick. The acoustic lead is played by Peter White with Tim Renwick then taking the electric lead. Parsons had Phil Kenzie add the saxophone part of the song - and by doing so transformed the original folk concept into the jazz-influenced ballad that put Al Stewart onto the charts.
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