Though best known for a pair of '70s SoftSational Hits ("Year of the Cat," "Time Passages"), Scottish native Al Stewart should actually get props as an O.F.R.G. — Original Folk Rock Gangsta. After all, one of his early songs was a nearly 19-minute rumination on his sexual awakening and subsequent groupie-banging activity, including the BBC-bannable word "fucking," in "Love Chronicles." Then he rocked out with the account of a bullet-to-the-head murder in "Electric Los Angeles Sunset." Originally influenced by the lyrical paintings of Dylan ("Bedsitter Images," "In Brooklyn"), Stewart has wandered to his own muse, recording songs and indeed whole albums about his interests in Russia, trains, post-Revolutionary France and collectable French wines. An amiable and humorous live performer, Stewart's singer-songwriter work is much more than his ditty about a kitty.
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