I Love My Dog

Album: Matthew And Son (1966)
Charted: 28 118

Songfacts®:

  • Unlike humans, dogs love their owners unconditionally (as long as you feed them). In this song, Cat Stevens tells the lady in his life that he loves his dog as much as he loves her. If that backhanded compliment didn't connect, he digs a deeper hole with the line, "You may fade, my dog will always come through."

    Stevens was just 17 when he wrote the song, 18 when it was released. In his early material, he often took a churlish view when it came to romantic love.
  • There was a real dog that inspired this song. Speaking with Mojo in 2000, Stevens said he found a dachshund (or as he called it, a "sausage dog") tied to a post outside of Foyles bookshop in London when he was young. When nobody claimed the dog, he took it home and grew attached to it.
  • This was Cat Stevens' first single, and the song that earned him a record deal. After writing a few songs, he shopped for a record deal but had a hard time getting any interest until he sang "I Love My Dog" in February 1966 for a record producer named Mike Hurst, who loved it but couldn't convince his boss of its merits. Stevens kept working at his father's London restaurant while he waited for a break, but he couldn't find any takers. Hurst took a job in America at Vanguard Records, but decided to record Stevens before he left. A few years earlier, Hurst was part of the folk-pop group The Springfields, which had a few hits in the UK during his tenure. He told Decca he would record a song called "Going Going Gone" that they could release as a single. When they agreed, he blasted through "Going Going Gone," then used most of the session to record Stevens on "I Love My Dog." At the end of the session, Stevens rushed through a song called "Portobello Road" (written by the American producer Kim Fowley, who would later manage The Runaways) as the B-side.

    Decca was not pleased, and they never issued "Going Going Gone," but they liked what they heard from Stevens and agreed to release the single on their new label, Deram, which they used for more eclectic acts. Stevens quit his day job, Hurst cancelled his plans for America, and Decca had themselves a hot new artist. "I Love My Dog" reached #28 in the UK, which was pretty good for a first single. His next single, "Matthew And Son," was the payday, reaching #2 (behind "I'm A Believer" by The Monkees).
  • With this release, Steven Demetre Georgiou became "Cat Stevens," a name that served him well. "Georgiou" is Greek - his father was born in Cyprus.
  • The B-side to this song, "Portobello Road," is an actual street in West London, England, famous for it's open-air flea market. It was also commemorated in the little-known 1971 Disney film Bedknobs and Broomsticks.
  • After releasing this song, Stevens toured the UK with The Walker Brothers, Engelbert Humperdinck, and an up-and-coming act called The Jimi Hendrix Experience.
  • This song made just a dent in America, reaching #118. Stevens had an impact as a songwriter in 1967 with "Here Comes My Baby" by The Tremeloes, but it wasn't until 1971 with his album Tea For The Tillerman that he became known in that country, taking his place on the leading edge of the singer-songwriter movement.
  • Musically, this is a very unusual song, with cymbals and snare drum forming the beat, and cello and timpani high in the mix. The British musician Alan Tew worked on the arrangement with Stevens and producer Mike Hurst.
  • John Paul Jones, who formed Led Zeppelin two years later, played bass on this track. Jones did a lot of session work at this time.

Comments: 11

  • Shirley from Sc I enjoyed the song, but just wondering why you felt it needed the F... word in the video! Why?
  • J Hughey from Edmonton Alberta Canada Fan of Cat Stevens since the 60s.
  • Mina from Mechanicsburg, Pa I like this song. One can sing it while playing catch with my dog. Cool. So much fun. I love my 2 granddogs... Lacy & Candi... so sweet. I cannot get in the door for them running to play, hug, and rub their bellies. I do love my dogs. Thanks for the Love.
  • Marmeanl from Bonneau Sc 39431I used to love and listening to his music in the 80s and then he seems desapered, I don't know, but he is good, and I like to have his music again specially the latest one...
  • Jeff Barto from Huntersville, NcCat heard the melody of the song titled "Plum Blossom" on Yusuf Lateef's album title "Eastern Sounds." He used this melody to "I Love My Dog." Lateef's lawyers complained to Cat about it back in 1966. I don't know what came of that stir. But, years later as Yusuf Islam, Cat acknowledged Lateef on his box set and gave restitution. How coincidental that he crosses paths with a man who he later takes his name (Yusuf).
  • Adam from Sydney, AustraliaThis is a great song to hear when reminiscing about my beloved dog. It's great to hear another dog lover sing about one of the simplest pleasures in life: the bond between a dog and their master.
  • Floria from Us, ScThe music was too loud on this release. When he sang it in concert with only the guitar to accompany the lyrics, it was better. Still not my favorite either.
  • B from Blair, MiRe Stevens record deal: the label was Deram Records which was set up by Decca Records (UK) - Not Dream.
  • Michael from Tasmania, Australiai really liked this song
    Like you John i love the violin, it gives it such a sad yet comforting feeling
  • John from Gosford, AustraliaI think it was awesome. It was so explicit in its imagery. You can really imagine a dog bounding through the grass to the rhythm of the song, so brilliant. The violins were great too.
  • Charlie from Thomaston, Dci have to say that this was the WORST cat stevens song EVER! don't get me wrong, he was a great artist, but that song, that song really flopped, atleast for me.
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