I've always loved Coyote, but I'm just getting into Joni.
What is your favorite Joni Mitchell song?
|by Anonymous||reply 178||Last Saturday at 12:44 AM|
I think it's probably "The Hissing of Summer Lawns", but I also love "Carey" and "Raised on Robbery".
|by Anonymous||reply 1||04/24/2021|
There are so many great songs to choose from. It may be a pedestrian choice, but I think for personal reasons my favorite is 'Help Me'.
|by Anonymous||reply 2||04/24/2021|
|by Anonymous||reply 3||04/24/2021|
|by Anonymous||reply 4||04/24/2021|
Another for Help Me. Her music brings back so many fond memories. Court and Spark. Cat Stevens too.
|by Anonymous||reply 5||04/24/2021|
Daun Juan’s Reckless Daughter
|by Anonymous||reply 6||04/24/2021|
"Free Man in Paris" for me, followed by "Big Yellow Taxi."
|by Anonymous||reply 7||04/24/2021|
Down To You and Blue. By Far.
|by Anonymous||reply 8||04/24/2021|
|by Anonymous||reply 9||04/24/2021|
Urge for Going.
[quote]"I get the urge for going/But I never seem to go."
Sums up my entire life in one lyrical line.
|by Anonymous||reply 10||04/24/2021|
"The Circle Game" seldom fails to reduce me to a blubbering, sobbing mess, whether by Joni or Tom Rush (my imprint version). My favorite albums—for Joni was such an albums artist, I hardly know the names of individual songs—are Court & Spark, s/t, Ladies of the Canyon, and Hissing of Summer Lawns.
|by Anonymous||reply 11||04/24/2021|
You're asking us fervid fans to make Sophie's choice, OP.
|by Anonymous||reply 12||04/24/2021|
Raised on Robbery
|by Anonymous||reply 13||04/24/2021|
A Case of You, River, Circle Game, Raised on Robbery, All I Want and California are some of my absolute favorites.
|by Anonymous||reply 14||04/24/2021|
I second Robbery...
|by Anonymous||reply 15||04/24/2021|
I've been a fan for many, many years.
Of her first four albums, really the point where she was at her most folkish singer/songwriter era: Willy, I Don't Know Where I Stand, Rainy Night House, Urge for Going (a B side), The Arrangement, The Priest, and pretty much every song on Blue.
In her middle period, which to me was the richest - from For The Roses to Hejira? It would be hard for me to pick a single song from Court and Spark or Hissing of Summer Lawns. There is some really experimental stuff on Hejira but a few stone cole classics like Coyote, Amelia, Hejira and Song for Sharon. For the Roses has several classics: Blonde in the Bleachers, Let The Wind Carry Me, Cold Blue Steel and Sweet Fire, and the amazing Judgement of the Moon and Stars.
Her later work was marred by a tendency to lecture the audience and some production issues, but you can't go wrong with almost any song on Turbulent Indigo. Her duet with Peter Gabriel, My Secret Place, is amazing, and her song written from the perspective of a gay man, Two Grey Rooms, is also a classic. Other good ones: Nothing Can Be Done, Man from Mars, Ladies Man, Moon in the Window, Man to Man, Tea Leaf Prophecy, Harlem in Havana.
Don Juan's Reckless Daughter has Off Night Backstreet and Silky Veils of Ardor.....but again, lots of experimentation. Mingus is interesting but perhaps the hardest nut of hers to crack.
If you like classical music at all, the re-recordings of her work with an orchestra can be deeply moving. I weep every time I hear the opening notes of the orchestral version of A Case of You. Something so beautiful and sorrowful yet hopeful.
Ask me next week and I'll probably say something different! LOL
|by Anonymous||reply 16||04/24/2021|
Stunning song, stunning video.
|by Anonymous||reply 17||04/24/2021|
A favorite from my distant youth...
|by Anonymous||reply 18||04/24/2021|
One of her masterpieces, of course, notably covered by CSNY.
She recorded this three times - the early, slower folk infused version, a slightly rockier/jazz version on Miles of Aisles....and then this. my favorite recorded version.
This felt like an elegy, as if she was already mourning the "garden." As if the chance to change it had already slipped away. That's what I hear listening to it now, anyway.
|by Anonymous||reply 19||04/24/2021|
Even on the every-note-is-perfect Court and Spark, this is a standout.
|by Anonymous||reply 20||04/24/2021|
Haven't found one yet.
|by Anonymous||reply 21||04/24/2021|
I know it’s cliche to say it but I love this 2000 performance of Both Sides Now. I love the gravity of her voice and all of the wisdom and life behind it. It’s an absolutely breathtaking performance.
|by Anonymous||reply 22||04/24/2021|
"A Case of You" stands by itself.
|by Anonymous||reply 23||04/24/2021|
|by Anonymous||reply 24||04/24/2021|
People's Parties/Same Situation
|by Anonymous||reply 25||04/24/2021|
R21 clearly Does Not Know Where They Stand.
|by Anonymous||reply 26||04/24/2021|
I’m a long time fan as well. While not my favorite, “Yvette” is a near perfect little song...
|by Anonymous||reply 27||04/24/2021|
Anything from Blue but especially The Last Time I Saw Richard
|by Anonymous||reply 28||04/24/2021|
Another vote for 'Same Situation' - and my heart will always have a place for 'Big Yellow Taxi' (but was it a taxi or a police car - they were yellow in Canada then - and was 'my old man' her father or her partner)
Anyway, really brilliant songwriter.
|by Anonymous||reply 29||04/24/2021|
I worked at a record store when Nightride Home came out. It was truly special, and I still enjoy it immensely after all these years. As mentioned above, she really was an album artist, she understands mood, tone, layers, foreground, middle ground, background. She translates classical principles combined with jazz, and easily moves between visual art, writing, music, history. A true Renaissance woman, can you even name another woman like her? There are so many other great talents, but I can’t think of one quite like her. She’s almost like an EGOT of folk. She pushed boundaries in so many ways too, she was a pioneer. Are there no new artists like this right now? I think they’re out there, but harder to find because there are so many indie artists not recording with labels. So unless you’re reading music mags, you won’t easily find them.
|by Anonymous||reply 30||04/24/2021|
I'm afraid "The Circle Game" always sounds to me a bit too much like a Christian campfire song.
Blue is uniformly good. I have trouble picking favourite songs from Blue, Court and Spark or The Hissing of Summer Lawns.
She uses some really weird chord progressions sometimes, which are delightful to listen to. The sort of keep you on your toes as you listen.
R19, interesting interpretation! I can hear the mourning too, but I always interpreted it as her mourning her inability to get to Woodstock.
|by Anonymous||reply 31||04/24/2021|
Either a Case of You or Refuge of the Roads.
|by Anonymous||reply 32||04/24/2021|
|by Anonymous||reply 33||04/24/2021|
What? No votes for “Paprika Plains”?
|by Anonymous||reply 34||04/24/2021|
She's one of those artists that were slightly before my time but have always heard about and wanted to look into more, but never have.
Paved Paradise is the only song I think I know - and that's because it was redone by Counting Crows.
I feel like I've done myself a disservice not looking into her albums.
|by Anonymous||reply 35||04/24/2021|
[quote]Paved Paradise is the only song I think I know - and that's because it was redone by Counting Crows.
Ew. Is it as fucking awful as their "Big Yellow Taxi" cover?
|by Anonymous||reply 36||04/24/2021|
Start with 'Court and Spark', then 'Blue' and 'Hissing of Summer Lawns'. "Blue' came out before 'Court and Spark', but experiencing 'Court and Spark' is a good way to get hooked.
|by Anonymous||reply 37||04/25/2021|
I have too many favorites to list, but Urge for Going and Little Green are heartbreaking and beautiful.
|by Anonymous||reply 38||04/25/2021|
[quote]Daun Juan’s Reckless Daughter
While lyrically interesting, I always thought that song sounded like a retread of Coyote.
|by Anonymous||reply 39||04/25/2021|
[quote]What? No votes for “Paprika Plains”?
If you like someone banging at random on a piano for what seems like all day, then that is a great song.
|by Anonymous||reply 40||04/25/2021|
A Case Of You is perfection.
|by Anonymous||reply 41||04/25/2021|
And her heart is full and hollow...
|by Anonymous||reply 42||04/25/2021|
[quote]A Case Of You is perfection.
I prefer the older version she did. Same with Both Sides Now.
Those songs seem more poignant from someone who has lived longer.
|by Anonymous||reply 43||04/25/2021|
I could string together lines from so many of her songs to tell the story of my inner life.
“Why does it come as such a shock to know you really have no one...only a river of changing faces looking for an ocean.” (Trouble Child)
“There’s comfort in melancholy...when there’s no need to explain...it’s just as natural as the weather in this moody sky today.” (Hejira)
“Behind my bolt locked door, the eagle and the serpent are at war in me...the serpent fighting for blind desire, the eagle for clarity.” (Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter)
“I am not some stone commission, like a statue in a park...I am flesh and blood and vision...I am howling in the dark.” (Come in from the Cold)
There are many more.
|by Anonymous||reply 44||04/25/2021|
Yes she is a poet. Amazing lyrics, R44.
|by Anonymous||reply 45||04/25/2021|
In the words of Yeats...
|by Anonymous||reply 46||04/25/2021|
The one that played when the music stopped....
|by Anonymous||reply 47||04/25/2021|
R35 R36 You're talking about the same song.
Big Yellow Taxi includes a lyric "They paved paradise/and put up a parking lot"
|by Anonymous||reply 48||04/25/2021|
I'm encouraged to see that some of Joni's lesser known songs are mentioned here too!
|by Anonymous||reply 49||04/25/2021|
[quote]I feel like I've done myself a disservice not looking into her albums.
You have. Start with Court & Spark.
|by Anonymous||reply 50||04/25/2021|
Yes, Court and Spark is the intersection where all of Joni's best attributes meet. It's also her most accessible record.
|by Anonymous||reply 51||04/25/2021|
The Dry Cleaner From Des Moines
|by Anonymous||reply 52||04/25/2021|
R52 I fucked a Dry Cleaner in Des Moines once.
|by Anonymous||reply 53||04/25/2021|
For her singing, I live her re-recording of Both Sides Now. Her whiskey voice and the new arrangement make the song forlorn as it should be.
For others singing her work, I like Bette Midler singing For Free at the Continental Baths. I’m assuming it was a Barry Manilow arrangement and it takes the airy-fairy sound out of Mitchell’s song.
|by Anonymous||reply 54||04/25/2021|
Wouldn't that venue have preferred airy-fairy, r54?
|by Anonymous||reply 55||04/25/2021|
[quote] Wouldn't that venue have preferred airy-fairy, [R54]?
LOL. Not in their music. Those 60s and 70s gays had taste. They couldn’t shake their asses at the dance clubs to Joni Mitchell’s sound.
|by Anonymous||reply 56||04/25/2021|
The Wolf That Lives In Lindsey is haunting...wonderful use of wolves as backups...
|by Anonymous||reply 57||04/25/2021|
Some of us preferred Joni to Bette, r56.
|by Anonymous||reply 58||04/25/2021|
Joni's work is rarely covered well or correctly.
Judy Collins' version of Both Sides Now gets the tone wrong.
The Counting Crows' version of Big Yellow Taxi (or as it was referred to upthread, Paved Paradise) was so fucking terrible, as was the ubiquitous covers of River that came along for a few years. I wanted Congress to pass a law forbidding any more shitty covers of her work.
|by Anonymous||reply 59||04/25/2021|
*3* GIRLS *3*
|by Anonymous||reply 60||04/25/2021|
[quote]Judy Collins' version of Both Sides Now gets the tone wrong.
Judy's was my imprint version of "Both Sides Now." I missed the Clouds album by several years, so it was some time before I heard it by Joni. As a result, I prefer what to me is the authenticity of Judy's version, just as l do Tom Rush's version of "The Circle Game."
|by Anonymous||reply 61||04/25/2021|
I think her best cover was Bonnie Raitt’s version of “That Song About the Midway”...
|by Anonymous||reply 62||04/25/2021|
I think it’s hard to choose. I must say I’m not a deep fan but I do love her most wonderful songs:
Free Man in Paris
Both Sides Now (but definitely Judy’s version)
When I heard BSN at the end of “Hereditary” it sent a chill through me. The Circle Game
|by Anonymous||reply 63||04/25/2021|
I forgot the mention The Circle Game, which actually makes me emotional, not something that actually happens much anymore.
|by Anonymous||reply 64||04/25/2021|
I loathe Judy Collins and her vile version of Both Sides Now.
|by Anonymous||reply 65||04/25/2021|
Talk about a f*cking Sophie's Choice! Joni has written a song for almost every mood at every stage of life. On any given day, the favorite song will change.
Last week it was "Car On The Hill." Today it is "The Sire of Sorrow (Job's Sad Song)."
|by Anonymous||reply 66||04/25/2021|
[quote]Some of us preferred Joni to Bette, [R56].
If you like airy-fairy music, then so be it. I don't like Bette's attempts to be Janis Joplin, but this arrangement is much better than Mitchell's.
|by Anonymous||reply 67||04/25/2021|
What kind of word is schoo-els?
|by Anonymous||reply 68||04/25/2021|
Did you hear it before or after Joni's version, r65? Judy's version was my only exposure to the song when it came out in 1967, and I loved it. Would I feel differently if I'd heard Joni's version, which came out in 1969, first? I don't know. It's a great song, and I think I'd've liked it regardless of who put it out first.
|by Anonymous||reply 69||04/25/2021|
R66 Yes, that song is just beautiful. A sort of bookend in many ways to Judgement of the Moon and Stars.
|by Anonymous||reply 70||04/25/2021|
I don't like her voice very much before "For the Roses."
It tends to be too shrill, squeaky, and high.
Plus, I loathe folk music, which her earlier albums sounded more like.
I love the songs on Blue, but her voice is still too high.
|by Anonymous||reply 71||04/25/2021|
Come in from the cold.
Dog Eat Dog, I feel is underrated. Yes it sounds unmistakably 80ish but so what she sounds great.
|by Anonymous||reply 72||04/25/2021|
I LOVED all those singer-songwriters back then. Listening to them now, Joni, Laura Nyro Harry NIllson, others- are all very self-indulgent. Now all I hear are squealing vocals from all of them. Especially after a couple albums. No one was going to tell them how to sing or arrange a song!
|by Anonymous||reply 73||04/25/2021|
Woodstock is my favorite overall, but only performed by her. I despise the more popular cover versions.
I love A Case of You. The lines "I remember the time you told/You said, 'Love is touching souls'/Surely, you touched mine/Cause part of you/Pours out of me/in these lines from time to time" brings tears to my eyes when I hear them sung. I love the original and I love Tori Amos's melancholic cover, which is how I first heard the song.
|by Anonymous||reply 74||04/25/2021|
I love Hejira:
You know it never have been easy
Whether you do or you do not resign
Whether you travel the breath of extremities
Or stick to some straighter line
|by Anonymous||reply 75||04/25/2021|
It's pretty swell, r62...
|by Anonymous||reply 76||04/25/2021|
River will always be my favorite. It's not really a Christmas song (just set in that time) but now gets a lot of play at Christmas. The melancholy feeling always gets me.
Free Man in Paris is always fun, making me think of Geffen chasing boys abroad in anonymity, decades before he finally could come out.
|by Anonymous||reply 77||04/25/2021|
R59, have you noticed how River keeps showing up on so many Christmas albums in the past couple decades? The word Christmas in the lyrics does not a Xmas song make. But hey, whatever. It's a fine song, but it has gained traction as a "contemporary" cover for your holiday album.
Both Sides Now can make me cry. Another anti-Judy-Collins vote here. Just doesn't do it for me.
There's a reason Help Me was her biggest hit. What a terrific tune, sound and production. kd Lang's cover version is beautiful, too.
|by Anonymous||reply 78||04/25/2021|
Joni & James
|by Anonymous||reply 79||04/25/2021|
River opens with bars of "Jingle Bells" played on piano and they're woven through the song as a motif. People don't just gravitate to it during the holidays because she sings "it's coming on Christmas."
|by Anonymous||reply 80||04/25/2021|
I can't stand "River."
|by Anonymous||reply 81||04/25/2021|
He never like you either.
|by Anonymous||reply 82||04/25/2021|
Joni & Joan
|by Anonymous||reply 83||04/25/2021|
I like Joni's River but not many of the covers.
They either sing it so faithfully they may as well have lip synched it, or they do what James Taylor did, which was change it to major chords, which changes the entire feeling of the song. His version is pleasant enough, I don't mind it, but it's kinda not what was originally written.
|by Anonymous||reply 84||04/25/2021|
One that doesn't get mentioned a lot is "Conversation" from Ladies of the Canyon. Such a fun little song!
|by Anonymous||reply 85||04/25/2021|
|by Anonymous||reply 86||04/25/2021|
John & Joni
|by Anonymous||reply 87||04/25/2021|
The John Kelly stuff sounds a bit odd when I first read it in print.
But when I saw him do Shadows and Light, I wept for a good five minutes after it was done. It was lovely, in a way I cannot even put into words.
|by Anonymous||reply 88||04/25/2021|
Ben Platt’s version of “River” is absolutely the best...
|by Anonymous||reply 89||04/25/2021|
All of "Blue" is perfect, but "California" never fails to move me.
|by Anonymous||reply 90||04/25/2021|
“For the Roses” is a terrific album but I remember it being criticized as being too “inside,” meaning that many of the songs were about the music industry. “Blonde in the Bleachers” is the best example,
|by Anonymous||reply 91||04/25/2021|
My favorite law school assignment was a paper for my legal writing class, assigned by a professor who was a big Joni fan. In the fact pattern, someone had taken a beautiful field, paved it and put up a parking lot, where they parked a big yellow taxi. The facts were filled with other little Joni references (someone who ran off to Paris, etc.) Our assignment was to write about all the legal issues raised by the facts. Much more fun than my typical assignments.
|by Anonymous||reply 92||04/25/2021|
She’s a goddess. I absolutely love her.
|by Anonymous||reply 93||04/25/2021|
R92 That is fantastic !! Meanwhile at my law school I had to do several years of Clinton’s fake tax returns. I went to the wrong school.
|by Anonymous||reply 94||04/25/2021|
R92 did you slip a reference or two into the reply?
|by Anonymous||reply 95||04/25/2021|
Probably her most-panned album, and certainly one of her least successful, was 1985's "Dog Eat Dog"...but I LOVE that album. It's one of my favorite albums by any artist, ever.
I think people hated the idea of it. Joni being produced by Thomas Dolby, with lots of electronic instrumentation? Sounds pretty awful and kind of desperate...but I though it was fantastic. It's not like she was trying to do her version of 80's British New Wave. It was still Joni Mitchell, with the complex-but-compellilng melodies, the unexpected chord progressions, the incredible poetry, and that voice. The "electronic" production was actually pretty subtle and unobtrusive.
At the time, I was living in LA and listening a lot to this eclectic station (KUTE 102 FM) that was sort of a precursor to the "smooth jazz" format, but way more adventurous (it's the station that played both Sade and Simply Red a full year before anybody in America knew who they were). Anyway, they played the hell out of that album. At least half of the cuts, probably more, were on their regular rotation for months. I'd always been intrigued by Joni Mitchell and always liked her, but I'd never actually bought one of her albums. "Dog Eat Dog" was the first.
One of the songs that got played on that station was this one: "Ethiopia".
I still find the music mesmerizing, and the lyrics devastating.
Not to disparage "We Are the World", which did its job by selling and making millions for the same cause Joni sang about here, not to mention all the awareness it raised, but in terms of musical artistry, she's on a completely different plane.
|by Anonymous||reply 96||04/25/2021|
R95, of course. I was one of the older people in my law school class, and likely one of the only ones who even knew who Joni was. So I was laughing while many of my classmates didn't even know what was going on.
I got an A+ in the class. Thanks, Joni!
|by Anonymous||reply 97||04/25/2021|
Coyote from The Last Waltz is her best
|by Anonymous||reply 98||04/25/2021|
R96 It felt very overproduced at the time but certainly its strengths have emerged with time.
Tax Free was so ahead of its time.
I think the main issue, if there was one sonically, is that Joni was literally still learning how to work with a synthesizer. By work with I mean - compose, arrange, think and create with that as the main tool.
Chalk Mark and Night Ride Home were much better in that regard. But yes, several of those songs are very strong.
|by Anonymous||reply 99||04/25/2021|
r96, I even like "Empty, Try Another."
|by Anonymous||reply 100||04/25/2021|
Snakes & Ladders
|by Anonymous||reply 101||04/25/2021|
White washed hogs
|by Anonymous||reply 102||04/25/2021|
|by Anonymous||reply 103||04/25/2021|
|by Anonymous||reply 104||04/25/2021|
|by Anonymous||reply 105||04/25/2021|
R96, I've never heard that song yet, but I remember seeing an old stand up routine of Sandra Bernhard where she made fun of "Ethiopia".
|by Anonymous||reply 106||04/26/2021|
I love a lot of her work, but at the moment Little Green is the one for me. Something about the melancholy opening arpeggiated chords, and her wistfully singing "Born with the moon in cancer..." hits my heart.
|by Anonymous||reply 107||04/26/2021|
Joni definitely has a few misses.
And as much as I love her, there were a few vey lectury songs. Ethiopia is one, for sure.
Sex Kills is a song that gets its message by in very clever ways, but not every song of hers is as clever. I have the same issue with some late period PJ Harvey music. Tell the story in an interesting way, nobody likes a lecture.
|by Anonymous||reply 108||04/26/2021|
She takes chances, r108. When asked to comment on some of her contemporaries, Carly said that was the thing she admired about Joni. She also said Bonnie Raitt was a good ol' girl and that Linda had the best white pipes in the business.
|by Anonymous||reply 109||04/26/2021|
[quote] that was the thing she admired about Joni.
that, and their nearly identical taste in fine cock
|by Anonymous||reply 110||04/26/2021|
This thread always makes me laugh
|by Anonymous||reply 111||04/26/2021|
She has some lyrics that just sound so GOOD when you listen to them. I was listening to The Hissing of Summer Lawns album yesterday, inspired by this thread, and was reminded how much I love the way she sings:
"They've been broken in churches and schools / and molded to middle-class circumstance."
That's such a good album. And "The Boho Dance" is such a great comment on a certain kind of attitude around art. I think of it often when a certain friend of mine's husband starts wanking on about how he'll only make a certain type of "real" music.
|by Anonymous||reply 112||04/26/2021|
Edith and the Kingpin...
|by Anonymous||reply 113||04/26/2021|
[quote]They either sing it so faithfully they may as well have lip-synched it, or they do what James Taylor did, which was change it to major chords, which changes the entire feeling of the song.
The song was written in C Major and is mostly major chords.
Good ear. Were you on American Idol?
Just because a lyric is sad doesn't mean the music is in a minor key.
|by Anonymous||reply 114||04/26/2021|
[quote]Probably her most-panned album, and certainly one of her least successful, was 1985's "Dog Eat Dog"...but I LOVE that album. It's one of my favorite albums by any artist, ever.
Dog Eat Dog got attacked because people accused Joni of writing the CD as an attack on Reagan -- like that's a bad thing.
It was also accused of "not sounding like a Joni Mitchell album."
But I love "Tax Free" for mocking Christian Evangelical hypocrisy long before it was safe to do that.
I love it when she's watching a televangelist and says, "Fuck it! Tonight, I'm going dancing with the drag queens and the punks. Big beat deliver me from this sanctimonious skunk."
|by Anonymous||reply 115||04/26/2021|
[quote]people accused Joni of writing the CD as an attack on Reagan
Really? Now I'm interested in listening to it, haha!
|by Anonymous||reply 116||04/26/2021|
The Three Great Stimulants
|by Anonymous||reply 117||04/26/2021|
Joan and Joni hated each other. Probably still do.
|by Anonymous||reply 118||04/26/2021|
Joni's lyrics have always been a strength for her, but that was especially so in Court & Spark, Hissing and Hejira.
"Elvis Costello once praised the record's center, "Shades of "Scarlett Conquering": "This is as good as any writing," Costello said. "That's a whole book's worth of writing and yet it doesn't rely on anybody assuming that's you."
The specific lines he quoted in an earlier interview:
Beauty and madness to be praised
'Cause it is not easy to be brave
To walk around in so much need
To carry the weight of all that greed
Dressed in stolen clothes she stands
Cast iron and frail
With her impossibly gentle hands
And her blood-red fingernails
|by Anonymous||reply 119||04/26/2021|
An excellent doco on Joni which was produced in Canada and later aired on American Masters.
|by Anonymous||reply 120||04/26/2021|
It's a pretty atrocious video, but Marcie from her first album still can't be beat. Lyrically, musically, vocally, with sublime production by David Crosby, the entire album is transplendent.
|by Anonymous||reply 121||04/26/2021|
For The Roses
|by Anonymous||reply 122||04/26/2021|
Down to You is absolute perfection.
Joni's enunciation of "Colorado" on My Secret Place is sublime.
|by Anonymous||reply 123||04/26/2021|
The Hissing of Summer Lawns is great for lyrics, I agree, R119. There seems to be a thread running through it of, to me, unerring comments on suburbia.
I was a real lyric-analyser as a teen, all up in Tori Amos' stuff, among many others, working it all out. They were very important to me as a teen. Then, in my 20s, the lyrics got less important and the music was paramount. Which it still is really, but discovering Joni a couple of years ago, brought back my love of good lyrics. She has some corkers.
|by Anonymous||reply 124||04/27/2021|
Night in the City
|by Anonymous||reply 125||04/27/2021|
|by Anonymous||reply 126||04/27/2021|
I discovered her during the summer after I graduated and fell head over heels.
Chalk Mark was the first album she released after I'd discovered her and "My Secret Place" still gives me goosebumps all these years later. It really is as magical as any of her earlier songs.
|by Anonymous||reply 127||04/27/2021|
[quote]I think people hated the idea of it. Joni being produced by Thomas Dolby, with lots of electronic instrumentation? Sounds pretty awful and kind of desperate
People said the same thing about my disco album.
|by Anonymous||reply 128||04/27/2021|
It was the rare moment Joni didn't produce herself and Dolby does amazing production work, but they just didn't gel.
|by Anonymous||reply 129||04/27/2021|
"Dog Eat Dog" has some great songs but the production is very dated.
|by Anonymous||reply 130||04/27/2021|
[You're So Square] Baby, I Don't Care
|by Anonymous||reply 131||04/27/2021|
R78 Have you actually listened to ‘River’’? It’s more than just lyrics that give it a “Christmas” song vibe.
|by Anonymous||reply 132||05/04/2021|
[quote] ... I'm just getting into Joni.
You and every other man she ever met, OP.
|by Anonymous||reply 133||05/04/2021|
I love Court and Spark sonically but as a song cycle that charts the beginning and end of a relationship it's a fairly bleak dispatch from Me Generation Los Angeles (meet cute, awkwardness when socializing, deeper uncertainties emerge, he flakes on her and the relationship ends, she resorts to a one-night stand to try and get over him, gets sadder and goes crazy, guy gets hit on by a prostitute while watching a hockey game at a bar).
One of my favorite individual songs is Otis and Marlena from DJRD for the vivid invocations of putrefaction:
Marlena under Foster Grants She's undercover from the dawn's advance That girl is travel-drained And the neon mercury vapor stained Miami sky It's red as meat It's a cheap pink rosé
|by Anonymous||reply 134||05/04/2021|
I am not too keen on songs like Help Me or Free Man in Paris
|by Anonymous||reply 135||05/04/2021|
It's been a while, but it's on Hissing of Summer Lawns and it's got something about "Harry" in it.
|by Anonymous||reply 136||05/04/2021|
"Harry's House/Centerpiece", R136
|by Anonymous||reply 137||05/05/2021|
|by Anonymous||reply 138||05/05/2021|
[quote] Joan and Joni hated each other. Probably still do.
Do tell, R118? Assuming you mean Baez and Mitchell, I wouldn't be surprised if you're right -- I've just never heard it before and I'd love to know all about it.
|by Anonymous||reply 139||05/05/2021|
Joni was a prolific shader. Here she is, on both Joan and Judy Collins
|by Anonymous||reply 140||05/05/2021|
Joni did say Linda has the best set of female white pipes.
|by Anonymous||reply 141||05/05/2021|
[quote] [R78] Have you actually listened to ‘River’’? It’s more than just lyrics that give it a “Christmas” song vibe.
It is a sad song of lost love. Which part of it evokes Christmas?
|by Anonymous||reply 142||05/05/2021|
The only Joni Mitchell song I remember is "Big Yellow Taxi"..."pave paradise and put up a parking lot."
I came of age in the '60s and '70s and listened to lots of music my whole life, but I have no recollection of Joni Mitchell singing anything but that one song I listed above. And I was never on drugs. There is just nothing I remember about Joni Mitchell at all. I know she's very famous, and a huge figure in the music industry. I just don't know what she ever sang. I met her at the opening of "Almost Famous," a musical directed by Cameron Crowe that premiered at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego in the fall of 2019. It was kind of nice to meet her. I just don't know her music...well, maybe I do if you hum a few bars, but I don't recall anything off the top of my head.
|by Anonymous||reply 143||05/05/2021|
You sound completely ridiculous R143. Everyone knows Both Sides Now or Big Yellow Taxi or Help Me. A Case of You, Woodstock, Dog Eat Dog, Free Man in Paris and Carey also get a lot of airplay. Forever. Those are not even her best songs. Joni didn't make hit singles, but she set out to make a hit and she did it with You Turn me On. It's a corny song. She did it to prove to prove to David Geffen that she could. Joni Mitchell is a musical and artistic genius. I am not being hyperbolic.
|by Anonymous||reply 144||05/05/2021|
One of my favorite songs of Jonis' is Magdalene Laundries from Turbulent Indigo. I love this period of her voice and songwriting. It is not her most accessible song but very clear and beautiful, a bit defiant and melancholy. Here she discusses how it came into being, if her flat prairie girl accent. Still the same. She speaks abit about her open tuning process of composition and playing. And then she sings it, magically. Joni Mitchell is a great singer - never given enough credit for it because of her wild youthful soprano and subsequent smokey raspiness. But she always knew how to sing within the ability of her voice with meaning and musicality. Very much like Billie Holiday. Joni adapted to her voice changes beautifully. Her music never suffered for it.
|by Anonymous||reply 145||05/05/2021|
You're in for a treat if you've never seen this performance of Just Like This Train. More than 20 years later - she is even more resonant and the song is as GREAT as ever. One of my top five favorite Joni Mitchell songs. She changes it up a bit vocally and melodically, as I discussed above.
|by Anonymous||reply 146||05/05/2021|
Her music has no charm whatsoever, and it's soulless, too.
|by Anonymous||reply 147||05/05/2021|
I love her song "Carey" . . . "the wind is in from Africa, last night I couldn't sleep" About a brief affair she had with a guy while traveling on the island of Crete. "oh you're a mean old daddy, but I like you fine"
|by Anonymous||reply 148||05/05/2021|
Joni Mitchell is many things. Soulless is not one to them.
|by Anonymous||reply 149||05/05/2021|
I was born in the eighties. Joni Mitchell is a legend. If you want to understand anything about music, you listen to some Joni Mitchell. You don't have to like her. Her music is droll, obtuse, stubborn and emotional. She's like Twyla Tharp. It takes a bit of work to understand and love the work of Joni Mitchell. She happens to be the greatest female singer/songwriter and POET in popular music history. A true and uncompromising artist.
|by Anonymous||reply 150||05/05/2021|
^ I see no lies^ Great post R150.
|by Anonymous||reply 151||05/05/2021|
She's an amazing guitar player too. The woman is gifted beyond measure.
|by Anonymous||reply 152||05/05/2021|
Okay, in addition to Big Yellow Taxi, I do know the Joni Mitchel songs Help Me and Free Man in Paris. I'm trying to place Carey, but it's not sounding familiar. I also know Both Sides Now and Woodstock; I just didn't know Joni Mitchell wrote those two songs since Judy Collins and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young sang them, respectively and made them famous.
|by Anonymous||reply 153||05/05/2021|
Joni Mitchell may be a prolific songwriter, but I never liked her soprano or falsetto voice. Not my cup of tea.
|by Anonymous||reply 154||05/05/2021|
R149, she may not be soulless, but her music certainly is.
As others have mentioned, though, she IS a poet, I'll give her that much.
|by Anonymous||reply 155||05/05/2021|
[quote]It is a sad song of lost love. Which part of it evokes Christmas?
The entire intro to River is a play on Jingle Bells, you fucking idiot.
|by Anonymous||reply 156||05/05/2021|
Exactly R156. You can't teach people how to hear. It's always amazing to me how many musical dummies there are on Datalounge. Like that dude who keeps calling Mitchell's music soulless? It's one of the last words I would use to describe her compositions and influence. Inaccessible, maybe. Soulless, never. Do people understand what soul music is, what the word means?
The intro to River is unforgettable. It's not cleverness - she's taken a major chord christmas song and given it some minor chord harmonic grace notes to introduce her own lovely melancholy song. And the melody of that song does evokes skating on a long cold river. But her lyrics just speak of the longing to do so. Joni is a fucking genius. Even she doesn't understand what she created half the time. But she knew when it was done.
|by Anonymous||reply 157||05/05/2021|
R157 confirms that the term "genius" is clearly subjective. Who knew that gay men were so devoted to plain, boring Joni Mitchell?
|by Anonymous||reply 158||05/06/2021|
|by Anonymous||reply 159||05/06/2021|
I only know Big Yellow Taxi from Janet Jackson's Got till it's Gone.
I would love to know where to start on a Joni Mitchell Journey through her music.
|by Anonymous||reply 160||05/06/2021|
r160 Start with the album Court and Spark.
|by Anonymous||reply 161||05/06/2021|
Exactly R161. It's a perfect album and her most accessible. But then - there's so much more.
|by Anonymous||reply 162||05/06/2021|
^ This flight too. Don't miss the road trip of Hejira.
|by Anonymous||reply 163||05/06/2021|
My husband and I got married to A Case of You. Don't laugh, it was beautiful!
|by Anonymous||reply 164||05/06/2021|
It's a dream of a love song R164. Lyrically a drunk romantic gesture - but so melodically gorgeous. That song is a mood. She wrote it for Leonard Cohen, people say. So it was a temporary LOVE. 😍
I think it is Mitchell's most covered song. It's both conversational and grandly romantic.❤️
Everyone feels it a bit different. Enjoy.
|by Anonymous||reply 165||05/06/2021|
R160 just listen to all the albums from Ladies of the Canyon to Hejira. She has good stuff before and after, but that's the core of her great work, and it encompasses her journey from introspective Laurel Canyon singer-songwriter to jazzy experimentation in six short years.
|by Anonymous||reply 166||05/06/2021|
Free Man in Paris for some reason stood out for me from Court and Spark, a wonderful album. It still is a favorite--maybe I like the escape aspect. Who wouldn't want to feel "unfettered and alive"?
|by Anonymous||reply 167||05/06/2021|
I've had "Lesson in Survival" stuck in my head an awful lot over the past several months. For the Roses is such a grower of an album. On top of everything else, she could be a very acute observer of 70s mores.
|by Anonymous||reply 168||05/06/2021|
Why did she use that awful Graham Nash? Like a Lead Pencil on a blackboard, just like Madame Joni
|by Anonymous||reply 169||05/06/2021|
I am Canadian. A musician. Yes, I've met Joni. Twice. Nothing much to report. All good. She likes a good piano player. 🙂
This grand performance was when Mitchell was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. She does show up for most Canadian honours. Even in Saskatoon. I'm not sure that Joni liked this? Hard to tell with her unless she LOVES it. But Measha Brueggergosman gave it a hell of show. A soprano sneak attack. The guitar playing is amazing. It was wonderful to be there, that I know.
|by Anonymous||reply 170||05/06/2021|
I always thought "Court and Spark" could have used one more song. On the vinyl LP, after "The Same Situation," there is a large empty gap the needle goes through before reaching the end of that side. They could have easily fit another song there. It seems a bit wasted. She probably had plenty of songs. Maybe "Song for Sharon" if she had it at that time.
|by Anonymous||reply 171||05/06/2021|
Oh no. Why would Song For Sharon be there R171? That's not her style at that time. She hadn't reached that place. Couldn't write that song then. Court and Spark is Joni Mitchell's Hotel California. I command you to go back and listen to the complete album of Court and Spark. It may not be a concept album, but it has a precise narrative and musical flow. (Twisted is the song that jars to be honest - it's meant too, but still doesn't quite work) Same Situation is exactly what she wanted to sing at the end of an album that started with "Help Me."
Her voice soars up for help and inspiration. Who's there to hear? Send me someone who is strong and somewhat sincere...After all those people's parties into the Same Situation - Joni is L-Ayed OUT! It represents years and a moment.
She never looks back after that, musically or professionally. Song for Sharon comes later for a reason.
|by Anonymous||reply 172||05/06/2021|
Another vote for “Help Me”. Played to death in the 70s, but for me, it still holds up. Relatable lyrics, and that guitar arpeggio at the end is gorgeous.
I also think “Free Man In Paris” is another beauty.
|by Anonymous||reply 173||05/06/2021|
I was curious why Court and Spark didn't win a few Grammy Awards. Not that it would be expected I guess, I wasn't born in 1974? Joni didn't win big awards or top the charts too much.
But at least Joni had some good company that year. Good music was everywhere. Band on the Run, Stevie's third greatest album, some classic Aretha, Anne Murray and even ONJ.
|by Anonymous||reply 174||05/06/2021|
This really cute guy who's in the band "Wings of Pegasus" reviews Joni's Big Yellow Taxi and her guitar method in this video.
|by Anonymous||reply 175||05/06/2021|
Court and Spark is great and everyone is correct in the praise they give it. But for me, The Hissing of Summer Lawns is above that even. I adore that album.
|by Anonymous||reply 176||05/07/2021|
R174 she’s won nine Grammys. Not bad for an artist, outside the classical and jazz fields at the Grammys, who hasn’t had a lot of hits. Joni has always gone her own way and basically said fuck you to the mainstream. True genius.
|by Anonymous||reply 177||05/07/2021|
Barangrill : "none of the crazy you get from too much choice"
|by Anonymous||reply 178||Last Saturday at 12:44 AM|