Yusuf Islam, until 1977 known as Cat Stevens, released his new album Roadsinger on Friday.
Bob Dylan, who last week topped the charts for the first time in 39 years, faces a Top Ten challenge from Yusuf Islam, the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens, who returns to the charts with his new offering, Roadsinger (To Warm You Through The Night)., Times Online said.
Islam, who had stopped playing and writing music for 28 years, reappeared on stage with his album "An Other Cup" in 2006.
His first album as Yusuf Islam, the name he assumed in 1977 when he converted to Islam and turned his back on his music career - auctioning off his guitars and devoting himself to Islamic philanthropy.
In the years between he had dedicated himself to religion and philanthropy, e.g. founding an Islamic primary school in London in 1981.
The 60-year-old Islam, for his part, holds the honour of being the father of the MP3 revolution — albeit unwittingly.
Critics say that his new album combines a lot of Cat Stevens and Yusuf Islam – although he himself claims no separation is possible between the two "concepts". Spirituality has always been present in his works.
His album"s title track, Roadsong, brings together the best of Islam"s whimsical lyricism, with rich acoustic guitar and orchestral layers, critics say.
The album gives a preview of his upcoming project, a musical of his work called Moonshadow.
Islam told The Times: "I find it just incredible that, while I was oblivious to what was going on in music for 28 years, one of my songs helped change the way music is listened to.
I was a truly organic recording artist; sticky tape and razor blades was the only editing technique I knew. To find that it was used to pioneer a new technology that changed the world is a surprising and great feeling."
"Digital recordings have helped more people than ever listen to more music than anyone ever thought possible. It is a privilege to know that one of my songs was the first," he added.
He was so encouraged by the response to An Other Cup that he decided to do another album. "It was really fantastic to return to doing what I do best - communication and writing and speaking from my heart - rather than having people interpret or misread or dilute what I"m saying. I can go straight through the record to reach people."
Still a sore point is his highly publicised deportation from the US in 2004. He says he was never given a reason, but at least "it gives me something to write about".
"He is a little nervous about performing again, but hopes to tour internationally. "It"s my dream to go back to Australia and to New Zealand (where) I"ve never visited."" Julia May wrote in WAtoday.
So Islam is back, talking of his great loves: a benevolent God, family and, most importantly, his music. If he sticks to these messages, a blue plaque may be just one of many positive legacies, May said.