This uptempo number is the best single Al Stewart never released; unabashedly commercial and with a fine guitar solo, it runs to 4 minutes 30 seconds, but would not have been written if Al hadn't suffered a rare case of writer's block. In Neville Judd's authorized biography
he relates how while writing "Year Of The Cat
" he spent the whole day sitting staring at a blank sheet of paper, and "nothing was coming to me". Then, just like that, he wrote "Nothing that's forced can ever be right. If it doesn't come naturally, leave it," which was exactly how he felt.
He went to a movie, then when he came back he looked at what he'd written and said "Ah-ha that sounds like a good title for a song". He sat down and finished it right then and there. He doesn't comment on the actual content of the song but it undoubtedly reflects the way he was feeling. Although by the time he recorded this blockbuster album, Al was raking in the bucks and had achieved well deserved fame and recognition, he was in many ways a very unhappy man, and had still not recovered from losing the love of his life – Mandi – who features in many of his early songs.
Alexander Baron - London, England