Back to Earth was the last album to be recorded under the stage name of Cat Stevens. On the 4th of July 1978, Steven Georgiou changed his name to Yusuf Islam. Although he had already begun his gradual retreat from the music industry and celebrity lifestyle, Yusuf produced one more ‘Cat Stevens’ album to fulfil his contractual obligations to his record company.
Recorded in November 1978, it was a fitting reunion with long time musical collaborators and friends – producer Paul Samwell-Smith, arranger Del Newman, guitarist Alun Davies and drummer Gerry Conway. The old team had now come back together to complete the final record.
The album was recorded in several places including Sweet Silence Studios in Copenhagen, Longview Farms in Massachusetts, Advision in London, and CBS in New York City, the album was completed at Le Studio in Quebec.
On 3 December 1978, the album Back to Earth was released. The same day the album was released, Yusuf’s father Stavros Georgiou passed away. For the next 20+ years, Yusuf dedicated his time and energy to raising a family and working for humanitarian and educational causes.