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Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell Court and Spark

Joni Mitchell Album Reviews

Joni Mitchell isn’t always given the respect she deserves. In her prime she was often labelled in terms of her famous boyfriends; Rolling Stone infamously labelled her the Queen of El Lay in a 1971 piece. There’s also a perception of her as a folk singer, but that only covers the first phase of her long career. In the 1970s Mitchell released a string of great albums that place her as among the most important solo artists of the rock era, fit to rank among greats like Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and David Bowie, as she explored singer-songwriter and jazz territory, as well as the spaces in between.

A childhood bout of polio meant that Joni Mitchell’s fingers were weak, and she was unable to play a guitar conventionally, forcing her to use unconventional tunings. She began her career as a folk singer – compositions like ‘Both Sides Now’ and ‘Chelsea Morning’ were recorded by other artists before Mitchell released her debut album. Her early albums have some well known songs, but aren’t as confident or coherent as her later work – it wasn’t until 1971’s Blue, where she simplified her approach, that she made a truly great album. She followed Blue with a string of great records, where she gradually morphed into a unique jazz-folk hybridization.

In the late seventies, she lost her way somewhat, with a sprawling double album (Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter) and a collaboration with the recently deceased Charles Mingus (Mingus), which are both worthy but a step down from her peak. I haven’t heard any of her albums after 1982’s Wild Things Run Fast, but 1991’s Night Ride Home is often acknowledged as her late career highlight.

Ten Favourite Joni Mitchell Songs
Don’t Interrupt The Sorrow
Blonde In The Bleachers
A Song For Sharon
Court and Spark
Car On A Hill
Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter
The Dry Cleaner From Des Moines
That Song About The Midway

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Joni Mitchell Song To A Seagull

Song To A Seagull – Joni Mitchell

Song To A Seagull (1968), 5.5/10 Song To A Seagull is an uncertain start to Mitchell’s stellar career. Her melodies … Continue Reading Song To A Seagull – Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell Clouds

Clouds – Joni Mitchell

Clouds (1969), 7.5/10 Joni Mitchell’s second album enhanced her reputation, winning a Grammy for best folk album. Clouds is an … Continue Reading Clouds – Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell Ladies of the Canyon

Ladies of the Canyon – Joni Mitchell

Ladies of the Canyon (1970), 7/10 Ladies of the Canyon is more varied and sophisticated than Clouds – Mitchell jumps … Continue Reading Ladies of the Canyon – Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell Blue

Blue – Joni Mitchell

Blue (1971), 9.5/10 In 1971, the singer-songwriter movement was in full swing, and Joni Mitchell simplified and darkened her approach … Continue Reading Blue – Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell For The Roses

For The Roses – Joni Mitchell

For The Roses (1972), 8.5/10 The transitional album that’s often overlooked between the twin peaks of Blue and Court And … Continue Reading For The Roses – Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell Court and Spark

Court and Spark – Joni Mitchell

Court and Spark (1974), 10/10 Joni Mitchell complained to a friend that she disliked the bass players she’d tried to … Continue Reading Court and Spark – Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell Miles of Aisles

Miles of Aisles – Joni Mitchell

Miles of Aisles (1974), 7.5/10 Recorded on the Court And Spark tour, Joni Mitchell takes the smooth jazz approach of Court And Spark … Continue Reading Miles of Aisles – Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell Hissing of Summer Lawns

The Hissing of Summer Lawns – Joni Mitchell

The Hissing of Summer Lawns (1975), 8.5/10 The Hissing of Summer Lawns is a provocative followup to Court and Spark; … Continue Reading The Hissing of Summer Lawns – Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell Hejira

Hejira – Joni Mitchell

Hejira (1976), 9/10 Hejira is the Arabic word for departure, which is derived from Hegira: the story of the flight … Continue Reading Hejira – Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell Don Juans Reckless Daughter

Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter – Joni Mitchell

Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter (1977), 7.5/10 Mitchell’s albums had steadily become more ambitious throughout her career, but while her previous … Continue Reading Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter – Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell Mingus

Mingus – Joni Mitchell

Mingus (1979), 5/10 Legendary jazz bassist Charles Mingus nominated Joni Mitchell to complete the songs that he was working on … Continue Reading Mingus – Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell Wild Things Run Fast

Wild Things Run Fast – Joni Mitchell

Wild Things Run Fast (1982), 6/10 While descriptions such as “Joni Mitchell’s rock album” and “duet with Lionel Richie” may … Continue Reading Wild Things Run Fast – Joni Mitchell

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