"Year of the Cat" is a song by Scottish singer-songwriter Al Stewart. It is the title track of his album Year of the Cat, which was recorded at Abbey Road Studios, London in January 1976 by engineer Alan Parsons and released in July 1976. It was Stewart's first Top 10 US single, peaking at #8 on the US singles chart. It remains one of Stewart's most popular songs and receives regular airplay on both classic rock and folk rock stations. It is noted for its lengthy instrumental sections, including a long solo that encompasses violin, piano, acoustic guitar, distorted electric guitar, and saxophone. The transition from acoustic guitar to electric to saxophone was initiated by Tim Renwick. Parsons had Phil Kenzie add the saxophone part of the song — and by doing so transformed the original folk concept into the jazz-influenced ballad that put Al Stewart onto the charts.
The song was co-written by Peter Wood. The lyrics tell a story about a tourist who meets a hippie girl in an exotic market, stays the night with her, and thus misses his tour bus.