The Joni Mitchell - Best Album POLL

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xposts:"ended up voting for blue and predict a massive "silent majority" effect in these poll results"
"I'm struggling here with why anyone would vote for anything other than Blue"

"Spent many many hours listening to Blue and Court & Spark way back when. The voice, music and the half-tone slightly mysterious photos of Joni on those 2 albums - that was an awesome combo when I was 14 or so. Voted Blue, that was the first one."

agreeeed! in addition to Blue and Court and Spark, For the Roses always hit close to home, and either could be the top pick on any given day. Hejira then Hissing... round out me pee-oh-vee.

outdoor_miner, Saturday, 5 September 2009 04:41 (5 years ago) Permalink

Feel like a total asshole for voting Miles of Aisles but there is no better combination of her songs on record!!! Don't hate me ILM, esp. if you include RAD live albums on career retrospective polls!!!

*⁂((✪⥎✪))⁂* (Steve Shasta), Saturday, 5 September 2009 05:24 (5 years ago) Permalink

nah, Miles of Aisles is great, esp. the full-band songs.

Houston (Euler), Saturday, 5 September 2009 06:56 (5 years ago) Permalink

I love Joni more than most music geeks, but I can't really pretend any other album comes close to 'Blue,' for me.

Soundslike, Saturday, 5 September 2009 07:27 (5 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, see, I love Blue -- my first Joni, etc -- but I don't play it as much as C&S, Hissing of Summer Lawns, or Hejira.

My life is butthurt so badly (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 5 September 2009 11:49 (5 years ago) Permalink

Blue is really a very time/place/emotion specific record. It's really hard to listen to large parts of it if I'm in a very specific frame of mind (generally full-blown depression, anxiety, etc). C&S can really come on at any time, though.

Mordy, Saturday, 5 September 2009 11:56 (5 years ago) Permalink

Unless I'm in a very...*

Mordy, Saturday, 5 September 2009 11:56 (5 years ago) Permalink

I love Blue but I don't really get its mystique as this depressive mopefest of an album. A good half of it seems fairly upbeat to me.

Tim F, Saturday, 5 September 2009 14:31 (5 years ago) Permalink

Summer Lawns, easy. Weirdly, I have the exact same top 3 as Geir. Thought I could rely on him to complain about The Jungle Line being "insufficently melodic".

Dorian (Dorianlynskey), Saturday, 5 September 2009 15:50 (5 years ago) Permalink

"Hejira" although really there's a few of these records that are so good that rating one over another is kind of pointless.

\/*|_*/-\*|) (Pashmina), Saturday, 5 September 2009 15:58 (5 years ago) Permalink

Blue because it touches my very soul and I know that sounds totally corny.

Nathalie (stevienixed), Saturday, 5 September 2009 16:03 (5 years ago) Permalink

m@tt, please tell me how you feel about the playing of jaco pastorius purely on joni's mid-period work. including his solo spots on shadows + light tour if you wish:

thomp, Saturday, 5 September 2009 18:16 (5 years ago) Permalink

jaco shreds

*⁂((✪⥎✪))⁂* (Steve Shasta), Saturday, 5 September 2009 18:28 (5 years ago) Permalink

had to double check it wasn't an StS vid..............

*⁂((✪⥎✪))⁂* (Steve Shasta), Saturday, 5 September 2009 18:28 (5 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, see, I love Blue -- my first Joni, etc -- but I don't play it as much as C&S, Hissing of Summer Lawns, or Hejira.

Exactly.

jaymc, Saturday, 5 September 2009 22:24 (5 years ago) Permalink

3 weeks pass...

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Tuesday, 29 September 2009 23:01 (4 years ago) Permalink

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Wednesday, 30 September 2009 23:01 (4 years ago) Permalink

pffffffff

spiny doughboy (baaderonixx), Thursday, 1 October 2009 05:52 (4 years ago) Permalink

I don't understand why Ladies & Court are so low. :(

Turangalila, Thursday, 1 October 2009 06:03 (4 years ago) Permalink

That is the right answer.

anagram, Thursday, 1 October 2009 07:24 (4 years ago) Permalink

6 months pass...

i probably would have ended up voting for "hissing of summer lawns" though honestly why choose?

btw what do people think of "both sides now"--the song?

by another name (amateurist), Tuesday, 6 April 2010 08:25 (4 years ago) Permalink

these results still seem surprising.

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Tuesday, 6 April 2010 08:35 (4 years ago) Permalink

I love "Both Sides, Now", and think it's the best song on Clouds. Oh, those vocal melodies: I swoon each time (listening now).

offshore "drilling" for (Euler), Tuesday, 6 April 2010 08:40 (4 years ago) Permalink

i would've thrown "shadows and light" a vote

hobbes, Tuesday, 6 April 2010 08:41 (4 years ago) Permalink

the Lincoln Center (I think - big public-tv presentation w/orchestra) of "Both Sides Now" took my breath away.

also, thank you this thread for helping me realize what I need to listen to tonight in this faraway place.

Twink Will Ferrell (J0hn D.), Tuesday, 6 April 2010 08:50 (4 years ago) Permalink

YOU KNOW IT SURE IS HARD TO LEAVE YOU CAREY BUT IT'S REALLY NOT MY HOME

Twink Will Ferrell (J0hn D.), Tuesday, 6 April 2010 08:57 (4 years ago) Permalink

HOPE THEY FINALLY FIXED YOUR AUTOMOBILE/HOPE IT'S BETTER WHEN WE MEET AGAIN, BABY

Twink Will Ferrell (J0hn D.), Tuesday, 6 April 2010 09:09 (4 years ago) Permalink

You're gonna come now or you're gonna come later.

offshore "drilling" for (Euler), Tuesday, 6 April 2010 09:13 (4 years ago) Permalink

i like glen campbell's syrupy version of "both sides, now"

by another name (amateurist), Tuesday, 6 April 2010 09:14 (4 years ago) Permalink

I'M GONNA MAKE A LOT OF MONEY/AND THEN I'M GONNA QUIT THIS CRAZY SCENE

Twink Will Ferrell (J0hn D.), Tuesday, 6 April 2010 09:15 (4 years ago) Permalink

what does it gotta feel like to know that you wrote this album

Twink Will Ferrell (J0hn D.), Tuesday, 6 April 2010 09:20 (4 years ago) Permalink

I guess I seem ungrateful / with my teeth sunk in the hand / that brings me things / I really can't give up just yet

offshore "drilling" for (Euler), Tuesday, 6 April 2010 09:26 (4 years ago) Permalink

The version of "Both Sides Now" on Joni's (otherwise) covers album with the same name from oh maybe five/ten years ago is pretty amazing. I dunno if there's ever been a song written by someone when they're young that is better suited to a wistful wizened "cover" by the same artist 30+ years on. It simply drips resonance.

Tim F, Tuesday, 6 April 2010 12:58 (4 years ago) Permalink

My mother, who is not a music snob, became fascinated with that 2000 version of "Both Sides Now" after hearing it in Love Actually; she would play it over and over again, deeply moved. I'm pretty fond of it myself – the best use of Joni's nicotine-scarred pipes.

filling the medicare donut hole with the semen of liberal (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 6 April 2010 13:04 (4 years ago) Permalink

weird that Clouds got zero votes here... Both Sides Now is an amazing tune

modern eunuch-like crooning (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 6 April 2010 16:22 (4 years ago) Permalink

I'll rep for Night Ride Home any day - I get the feeling most hardcore Joni fans will too - the songs are almost all great, the production serves her deepened voice, the groove is really pleasant & great; the album's well-titled in that regard.

Twink Will Ferrell (J0hn D.), Tuesday, 6 April 2010 16:23 (4 years ago) Permalink

it's a little too sting for me

2 guys 1 gag (surm), Tuesday, 6 April 2010 16:25 (4 years ago) Permalink

I adore "Come In From The Cold"; the title track's okay.

filling the medicare donut hole with the semen of liberal (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 6 April 2010 16:27 (4 years ago) Permalink

man thought court and spark would get more votes

kulinary gangsta (M@tt He1ges0n), Tuesday, 6 April 2010 16:33 (4 years ago) Permalink

was gonna say!

2 guys 1 gag (surm), Tuesday, 6 April 2010 16:40 (4 years ago) Permalink

I dunno, Court & Spark is a great album and it's probably a top 3 for lots of people, but I suspect anyone who really digs that vibe and is a big joni fan would like Hissing... more.

Likewise Clouds and Blue, I think.

Tim F, Tuesday, 6 April 2010 22:57 (4 years ago) Permalink

but I suspect anyone who really digs that vibe and is a big joni fan would like Hissing... more.

I think this is true for me.

jam master (jaymc), Tuesday, 6 April 2010 23:03 (4 years ago) Permalink

1 month passes...

Been listening to Night Ride Home a lot - strikes me as an almost archetypal late-career autumnal album, recalling what you love about the artist's earlier work but with a sepia-toned faded elegance. Love the gentle, warm, 80s-into-90s production and the evocation of Hejira's loping jazz feel - esp. on the title track, "Passion Play", "Cherokee Louise", "Slouching Towards Bethlehem" and "Nothing Can Be Done". Not sure how I feel about the recurrent use of vocal vamps on some of the other tracks; Joni always seems to run into trouble when she tries to borrow soul motifs.

I don't have it any more but my memory of Turbulent Indigo was of it being much less pretty than this and much more didactic.

Tim F, Saturday, 22 May 2010 03:32 (4 years ago) Permalink

Okay, kinda obsessed with this album now. Been listening on repeat since that last post.

Tim F, Sunday, 23 May 2010 09:58 (4 years ago) Permalink

Yes - I went through a period of obsession with Night Ride Home when I got into it. To me one thing about it is that while there's a great range to the songs - some more uptempo, some loping, some lighter & some darker - the overall tone, the shading I guess or coloration?, seems really consistent to me. This single dark and rich tone dominates - to me it's a dense blue-grey maybe. I know of few records better suited to headphones in the middle of the night.

the mom most likely to comprehend juggalos (J0hn D.), Sunday, 23 May 2010 10:16 (4 years ago) Permalink

How does it figure in terms of producton as a sticking point, I haven't heard it really since it's release and have a hard time finding a way through the other eigties albums mainly for that reason.

double shyamalan (MaresNest), Sunday, 23 May 2010 10:42 (4 years ago) Permalink

i haven't listened to it for ages. of course i haven't got here in berlin (i have moved). if my memory serves me well i preferred it to the one before, which was dull. but i think i liked "turbulent indigo", the one after better. i should definitely rip my vinyl albums asap to find out.

alex in mainhattan, Sunday, 23 May 2010 11:42 (4 years ago) Permalink

I know of few records better suited to headphones in the middle of the night.

Yes. I just bought some new headphones and just walking home on a wintry night (lol southern hemisphere) is perfect for this.

How does it figure in terms of producton as a sticking point, I haven't heard it really since it's release and have a hard time finding a way through the other eigties albums mainly for that reason.

Bits of the 80s inhere: there's some subtle tribal (or quasi-tribal) percussion on some tracks ("Slouching Towards Bethlehem"; "Nothing Can Be Done"), like a really quiet adult-contemporary version of The Commodores' "Night Shift" or Fleetwood Mac's "Caroline" - but much softer and warmer (which I think is as much a sign of the broader swing towards naturalism generally as the 80s turned into the 90s as a conscious decision) - but mostly the sound is built on spacey guitar, ghostly insubstantial keyboards and some jazz horns - very much what you'd expect Hejira to sound like if produced in 1991 rather than 1976.

But at any rate although it sounds like a 1991 record, it's very much a not the kind of record where the production overpowers the songwriting or singing - my word for all of it would be "sympathetic". The songs I like a bit less ("The Windfall", "Ray's Dad's Cadillac" - and this is relative) are more because of the vocals or the lyrics than the productions/arrangements.

I thought "Come In From The Cold" was too reliant on its chorus at first, but it's one of those tunes that seems (oddly) less tuneful the more you listen to it, and more exploratory and just... Is there a single word to describe that sense you get from some songs where subtle reiterations and shifts build on themselves to create a sense of... not intensity, but rather of sweep, like watching a person's face change through timelapse photography (actually this is almost the subject matter of the song so maybe that's not so odd). It's got that same sense of a sweep through a person's life and emotional landscape that makes "Amelia" and "Hejira" and "Song For Sharon" and "Refuge of the Roads" - this kind of thing feels perhaps uniquely Joni to me.

Those really amorphous, gauzy 1991 keyboards actually work so well for this, the way they seem to echo and shimmer around Joni's guitar to create a vibe of emotional waxing and waning, a subtle accenting more affecting for its lack of solidity.

Tim F, Sunday, 23 May 2010 12:09 (4 years ago) Permalink

I agree -- you get a sense that she's shaped the music to respond to the pull of memories.

Filmmaker, Author, Radio Host Stephen Baldwin (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 23 May 2010 12:14 (4 years ago) Permalink

Re Turbulent Indigo vs Night Ride Home:

I'm the opposite I guess in that I used to have Turbulent Indigo like 15 years ago but never took to it much - stuff like "Sex Kills" and "Not Too Blame" were too didactic and embittered, too much like Joni in interviews. On Night Ride Home the early stages of the nicotine thickening of her voice gives it this fabulous sense of regret and persistence through sorrow, but with none of that bitterness, it's a really gentle portrayal of middle-aged wisdom. Even "Cherokee Louise", which you'd expect to be kind of browbeating, is so evocative and empathetic. That bit where she sings "... I know where she is..." gives me chills.

Tim F, Sunday, 23 May 2010 12:14 (4 years ago) Permalink

Thanks to steep discounts on Record Store Day, I got a promo mint condition copy of Don Juan's Reckless Daughter yesterday. I've accepted the received wisdom that this thing is an outlier in Mitchell's oeuvre but a few tracks sound like Hejira outtakes only this time Pastorious is mixed too high or his playing is too busy.

I'd love some commentary as I absorb this thing.

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 22 April 2012 22:53 (2 years ago) Permalink

Cotton Avenue and Paprika Plains are all time, really. It's interesting, but not a failing that the bass is the second most prominent instrument after Joni's voice, there are also sections where ether are two basslines.

Dick Move's Wardrobe (MaresNest), Monday, 23 April 2012 13:08 (2 years ago) Permalink

a promo mint condition copy of Don Juan's Reckless Daughter

For some reason this makes me smile. Isn't DJRD one of the most available second-hand records out there? Not disparaging the purchase, just amused, i.e. "I found a promo mint copy of The Final Cut"

poxen, Monday, 23 April 2012 14:11 (2 years ago) Permalink

agreed with poxen, those things are all over the place! Still nice to find an unplayed copy though.

skip, Monday, 23 April 2012 14:12 (2 years ago) Permalink

Its immaculate condition – I doubt it'd been played once – is telling.

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 23 April 2012 14:16 (2 years ago) Permalink

9 months pass...

"Paprika Plains" has revealed its secrets to me.

the little prince of inane false binary hype (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 9 February 2013 12:52 (1 year ago) Permalink

SPOILER ALERT

dry rub come save beef (flamboyant goon tie included), Saturday, 9 February 2013 13:32 (1 year ago) Permalink

1 year passes...

after another long session with night ride home i decided to listen to her '80s records for the first time. wild things run fast feels slight but could also grow deeper the more i listen to it. dog eat dog, though! this is great! i love all of these synth textures

emo canon in twee major (BradNelson), Friday, 29 August 2014 12:36 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

I suppose I should finally listen to Dog Eat Dog

Tim F, Saturday, 30 August 2014 06:19 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

I bought DED on cassette for $3 at a Best Buy in the summer of '98. "Fiction" is my favorite of the didactic songs, and the single "Good Friends" folds the Thomas Dolby filigrees into a fraught, shimmering minor classic. "Impossible Dreamer" isn't bad. The rest is failed experimentation. You can also hear her voice beginning to change.

guess that bundt gettin eaten (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 30 August 2014 11:34 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

how do you feel about chalk mark in a rain storm alfred? was going to listen to that one today

emo canon in twee major (BradNelson), Saturday, 30 August 2014 17:55 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

too many guests, not enough songs.

NRH is where she realizes that sound.

guess that bundt gettin eaten (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 30 August 2014 18:15 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

listening to it now i can definitely see that. still enjoying the explicitly '80s touches. dog eat dog in retrospect is a pretty big outlier in her catalogue

emo canon in twee major (BradNelson), Saturday, 30 August 2014 21:00 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

"lakota" is both embarrassing and gorgeous

emo canon in twee major (BradNelson), Saturday, 30 August 2014 21:03 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha "dancin' clown"

emo canon in twee major (BradNelson), Saturday, 30 August 2014 21:13 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

Night Ride Home is so good it's not possible. I feel like i'll even need to listen to Shine at some point on the off chance it's an unrecognised minor classic.

Tim F, Saturday, 30 August 2014 21:19 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

yeah night ride home kills me. been listening to it around 1 am every night for the past week and it goes so many places without moving very much at all

meanwhile clear standout of chalk mark is "the beat of black wings" which is fucking unbelievable

emo canon in twee major (BradNelson), Saturday, 30 August 2014 21:22 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

also janet jackson's favourite song

Tim F, Saturday, 30 August 2014 21:23 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

I like the Peter Gabriel duet.

My friend Inskeep wrote this for Stylus years ago:

http://www.stylusmagazine.com/articles/on_second_thought/joni-mitchell-chalk-mark-in-a-rain-storm.htm

guess that bundt gettin eaten (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 31 August 2014 00:32 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

Interesting take but he makes it sound as if Joni went straight from folkie to overproduced aging boomer

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Sunday, 31 August 2014 13:59 (2 weeks ago) Permalink


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