Joni Mitchell: Classic or Dud

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I'm not normally one for the acoustic singy-songwrity pantheon but I'll be gosh-darned if "Blue" doesn't just *floor* me. So for that, classic.

Trouble is, I'm too unfamiliar with the rest of her work. Enlighten me but answer the thread question as well, please. ;-)

Venga, Friday, 13 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Dud, Dud and thrice Dud. Annoyingly "twee" hippy songstress with a piercing warble that could make dogs' heads explode. Ick!

alex in nyc, Friday, 13 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Is she related to Grant and Phil?

DG, Friday, 13 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I liked "Urge for Going" and "Conversation". Poor homebound Canadian girl!! True though, she does warble too much. Final verdict-dud.

Joseph Wasko, Friday, 13 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Classic. I remember that on one ill-advised attendance of a cadet leadership camp, mentally replaying her better songs in my head was pretty much what got me through the week. Now admittedly I was fourteen and high-strung at the time, but I still reckon she was, when on form, an unbeatable lyricist. The true classic in her back catalogue is _Hejira_, which of course everyone needs, as it strikes the perfect balance between her early directness and her later abstraction (and her early warbling and later nicotine-enhanced rasp, for that matter).

Tim, Friday, 13 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

The single worst artist to ever live? Not only do I hate her on principle, but I found Blue to be the most painful album to get through this side of Pink Moon.

Otis Wheeler, Saturday, 14 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

'Hejira' is the only album I've heard- 'Song for Sharon' and 'Coyote' in particular are excellent. The lyrics and instrumentation floor me.

Geordie loves it fretless, Saturday, 14 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Pure garbage. Not fit to pick the toenails of Leonard Cohen, Nick Drake, Tim Buckley. Bloody ugly, as well.

Johnathan, Saturday, 14 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

cobblers. She was & is HOT!!! "Hejira" is a truly beautiful record, better than all that dylan shite wot folks from old-fart magazines get all hot & bothered over. Joni=classic!

x0x0

norman fay, Saturday, 14 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

HOT!!! Joni Mitchell! Now you're just being silly.

Johnathan, Saturday, 14 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

No, he's NOT! (though it's beside the point)

I got "Blue" and "Ladies of the Canyon" for my parents, not thinking I'd ever want them for myself. And why is it that 'warbling' should be considered a bad sound to listen to? Her voice on those two records is lovely!

youn, Saturday, 14 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I figure there's just something I don't get about her music. I've tried it on for size lotsa times over the years & the only song i ever developed a lasting liking for is "The Jungle Line" off "The Hissing Of Summer Lawns".
I'm glad I still don't get it actually, it means I'm (still) Not Adult-Oriented.

Duane Zarakov, Saturday, 14 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I have Blue and Court And Spark and like both a lot. Blue, especially. I do think, though, that my appreciation has something to do with nostalgia. The whole hippie outlook of that kind of music, (and the sound, too) were what the softer side of the radio was all about when I was a kid in the 70s (both records came out a few years before I would have heard them; but the late 70s still had plenty of that singer/songwriter stuff going.) So I'm not going to cram it down anyone's throat, just because I have certain associations from a certain time & place. I will say that Blue has some fantastic melodies & I'm going to say Classic just on the basis of those two records. I guess I'm more of a hippie than a punk.

Mark, Sunday, 15 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Dud as hell. One only needs to listen to her whining at the Isle of Wight festival. Along those lines, the whole of the 60's folk revival (with Dylan et al) has always escaped my sphere of likes, or even my sphere of intellectual appreciation. It just seems so fake. Or maybe I'm just a cynic.

JM, Monday, 16 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

'My Old Man' (Blue) astonishes me. I used to hear it as a kid, and rediscovering it recently made me shiver with - with memory, nostalgia, something recovered, I suppose; but also with what felt like its innate qualities, the extraordinary intuitive suppleness of the melody, her delivery of it, the plangency of the piano chords. The one thing that let me down was reading the lyrics (I'd not really made them out from listening), which didn't measure up to the sheer emotional charge of the pure aural experience at all.

the pinefox, Wednesday, 18 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I hate "Big Yellow Taxi" with a passion called hate, to paraphrase Mr Weller and Ms Headon. But wherever "Night In The City" is (not on 'Blue' I don't think), I like it there.

More to the point, did anyone see that Norwegian girl doing Joni Mitchell on Stars In Euro Eyes?

Tom, Thursday, 19 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Yeah Tom ...she had scary teeth

Geordie Racer, Thursday, 19 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

"whining"? "Warbling"? Are some posters getting Ms Mitchell mixed upw/joan baez? (now she was *d*u*d*!) I think Joni Mitchell's voice is very pure-sounding, not warbly at all.

x0x0

NoRMaN FaY, Thursday, 19 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

By 'warbling', I thought people meant that she used vocal effects - modulations in pitch, etc. - too much, with the implication that her singing was skilled, but heartless, like Mariah Carey's. I think her voice sounds very pure, too, and didn't know that the terms were mutually exclusive.

Norman, it's funny that you mention Joan Baez in relation to this. Joan Didion has this essay about her in which she writes: "When it was time to go to high school, her father was teaching at Stanford, and so she went to Palo Alto High School, where she taught herself "House of the Rising Sun" on a Sears, Roebuck guitar, tried to achieve vibrato by tapping her throat with her finger, and made headlines by refusing to leave the school during a bomb drill." I love the myth that's suggested by these facts, esp. in relation to the setting.

youn, Thursday, 19 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

ten months pass...
That's an interesting thread. The positions are quite clear. I'd say my favorite post in here was the Pinefox's. "My Old Man" is an emotionally very intense song with great lyrics: "But when he's gone. Me and them lonesome blues collide. The bed's too big. The frying pan's too wide". She delivers this song in a pure and vulnerable way which is typical for her. As a lyricist she is a genius. A line like "I could drink a case of you and I would still be on my feet" is simply beautiful. I always loved her crystal-clear articulation. So it really makes me wonder that the Pinefox did not get the vocals on "My Old Man".

She warbled most on the first album where she sings false in places. That record is even for me as a fan hardly bearable. I am with Tom concerning "Big Yellow Taxi". Musically it is terrible whereas from the lyrics and the premonition of men destroying nature it is pure genius. "Woodstock" is another of her melodically inferior songs. "Last Flight Tonight" also never gripped me. Absolutely essential are "Blue", "Court and Spark" and "Hejira".

BTW Joan Baez who I always found too folky made a great album in 1992 called "Play Me Backwards".

alex in mainhattan, Sunday, 24 February 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

surely it is women who destroy nature, with their lipstick and their hairspray...

as i am allergic to the entire countryside, i liked that they paved over paradise and put up a parking lot: asphalt = better than pollen dust, IMO

mark s, Sunday, 24 February 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

she is so yearningly honest , i find that refreshing

anthony, Tuesday, 26 February 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Some reasons to admire Joni:

1. The completely unique sound she gets out of an acoustic guitar on "Blue". 'A Case Of You' = classic.

2. "The Hissing Of Summer Lawns": my definition of Pazz & Jop. Also includes Burundi music way before it was fashionable to do things like this.

3. A band like Nazareth can do great covers of her material. Also her vocal lines are ideal fodder for bootlegs (as Fluke demonstrated years ago). Recontextualisation and all that.

4. She kept Jaco busy - hence fewer shitty Jazz Rock records were made.

(I'm joking about No.4 alex!)

Jeff W, Tuesday, 26 February 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

one year passes...
she uses capos well

amateurist (amateurist), Friday, 29 August 2003 07:45 (seventeen years ago) link

"blue" reminds me of summer camp. fond memories.

amateurist (amateurist), Friday, 29 August 2003 07:50 (seventeen years ago) link

Uber Classic! I have to second Jeff's points about the amazing angular guitar tones she got (cf. Blue) and the pazz and jop..
Lyrically she is much more than the fay hippie she's been portrayed as. She's got a great gift of observation re. people and relationships, which I guess puts her in the 'mature' category... Also, that kind of hippie outlook, she started out with, gave her a great perspective on the end of that dream during the 70s, as fantastically displayed on her classic trilogy: Court & Sparks, Hissing of Summer Lawns and Hejira

Fabrice (Fabfunk), Friday, 29 August 2003 08:02 (seventeen years ago) link

While I find "Blue" slightly overrated, here excellent mid 70s output ("Court And Spark", "Hissing Of Summer Lawns", "Hejira") definitely makes her classic. No doubt about that.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Friday, 29 August 2003 10:12 (seventeen years ago) link

ok how big a bummer is it when Geir likes what u like

J0hn Darn1elle (J0hn Darn1elle), Friday, 29 August 2003 12:01 (seventeen years ago) link

...and conversely how reassuring it is to find that Geir likes an artist you loathe

Dadaismus (Dada), Friday, 29 August 2003 13:38 (seventeen years ago) link

she uses capos well

and/or multiple alternate tunings, some of her own invention, i believe?

she's one of the greats, compositionally, subject-matter-wise and maybe persona-wise. and yes, arguably hot, if you like the personality. and probably harder than anyone who thinks she's "twee".

Both For the Roses and Court and Spark are arguably better than Blue. Her best singing (and guitar-playing?) may be on the otherwise middling though convenient pre-C&S-greatest-hits live Miles of Aisles

gabbneb (gabbneb), Friday, 29 August 2003 13:49 (seventeen years ago) link

j0hn otm.

amateurist (amateurist), Friday, 29 August 2003 13:59 (seventeen years ago) link

Saskatchewan ROOLZ

Horace Mann (Horace Mann), Friday, 29 August 2003 17:33 (seventeen years ago) link

I'm not sure why I never answered this the first time around. Joni's one of my all-time favorites. Just listened to Don Juan's Reckless Daughter the day before yesterday, The Hissing of Summer Lawns is also a great one. Her dour seriousness as of late is a bit of a pity, but what a huge talent.

Sean (Sean), Friday, 29 August 2003 17:55 (seventeen years ago) link

I love Blue. I dunno ´bout her later stuff, though.

Francis Watlington (Francis Watlington), Friday, 29 August 2003 18:12 (seventeen years ago) link

gabbneb her tunings are often fairly conventional (open D and G are probably her most used non-standard tunings). she has a real grace with the open tunings (e.g., "you turn me on (i'm a radio)") that requires a level of skill fairly uncommon, maybe someone like malkmus, someone who can sing and (uppercase) PLAY pretty sophisticated lines simultaneously.

gygax! (gygax!), Friday, 29 August 2003 18:19 (seventeen years ago) link

Geir Hongro has made me listen to Court and Spark again after I had mentally filed it away as something to sell or to give to my parents, and I'm glad. There's a version of 'Just Like This Train' on one of those KCRW compilations, which I like a lot. I'm trying to figure out why the arrangements on the album aren't as straightforward for me.

youn, Friday, 29 August 2003 18:21 (seventeen years ago) link

(but possibly her inventedness is maybe variations on D and G... hey! again kinda like malkmus!)

gygax! (gygax!), Friday, 29 August 2003 18:21 (seventeen years ago) link

Also, having Charles Mingus call you up and say here's some songs I wrote for you, why don't you put some lyrics to them is pretty classic.

Sean (Sean), Friday, 29 August 2003 18:22 (seventeen years ago) link

(but ultimately maybe more like richard thompson, burt jansch or even anne briggs)

gygax! (gygax!), Friday, 29 August 2003 18:26 (seventeen years ago) link

the title track to "court and spark" was running through my head last night, despite not having heard it for years.

i wish i liked anne briggs more.

amateurist (amateurist), Friday, 29 August 2003 18:26 (seventeen years ago) link

(i wish i knew who anne briggs or bert jansch were shocker)

gabbneb (gabbneb), Friday, 29 August 2003 19:02 (seventeen years ago) link

they are some guitarists i got into in college shortly after i first heard the led zeppelin bbc session ("white summer/black mountain side") and how it was page's electric rip of several bert jansch songs. it turns out jansch learned the originals from friend/partner anne briggs... but primarily 60s british folk stuff, he was in pentangle and had a lengthy solo career, she stopped playing after a couple records.

gygax! (gygax!), Friday, 29 August 2003 19:08 (seventeen years ago) link

anne briggs was an english folk singer who started out singing unaccompanied traditional ballads for topic records. later she made a few singer-songwriter type records, with a traditional quality to them. she was very good-looking and had a reputation as a free spirit. she dated bert jansch, who is a v. famous english guitar player/songwriter/singer who wrote "needle of death" and was in pentangle. briggs was a pretty good guitar player too and a decent songwriter. i don't like her voice much on the ballads stuff, it's been claimed as unadorned but it sounds florid to me. the lp the time has come though is very pretty.

just noticed gygax's post. well, a 2nd opinion then.

amateurist (amateurist), Friday, 29 August 2003 20:11 (seventeen years ago) link

i mean she was good looking and a free spirit since every liner note written about her seems to mention those things. apologies.

amateurist (amateurist), Friday, 29 August 2003 20:11 (seventeen years ago) link

I find For The Roses quite frustrating. Some great stuff on there, but so much of it sounds so... awkward.

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Saturday, 30 August 2003 07:10 (seventeen years ago) link

dated bert jansch, who is a v. famous english guitar player/songwriter/singer

That should read v. famous SCOTTISH guitar player etc., hope you never meet Bert on a dark night!

Dadaismus (Dada), Sunday, 31 August 2003 12:43 (seventeen years ago) link

thx for the correction.

amateurist (amateurist), Sunday, 31 August 2003 19:07 (seventeen years ago) link

I can't believe the amount of dissent; without doubt, classic.

christoff (christoff), Friday, 5 September 2003 12:59 (seventeen years ago) link

three years pass...

Expanded 2CD remasters of "Court And Spark", "Hissing Of Summer Lawns" and "Hejira" were supposed to have been released by January this year. They are not yet in the shops half a year later.
Does anyone know what happened and when and if they are due?

Geir Hongro, Wednesday, 11 July 2007 20:20 (thirteen years ago) link

she dumped them in the ocean, I heard.

sw00ds, Wednesday, 11 July 2007 20:26 (thirteen years ago) link

She's looked at life from both sides now.

pplains, Thursday, 18 June 2020 02:58 (three months ago) link

so, “above the law” as I’d guessed. Now I’m sad.

assert (MatthewK), Thursday, 18 June 2020 03:01 (three months ago) link

yeah, she seems to have thought she had the 70s equivalent of a hoodpass, but like, an ultrapremium hoodpass plus, because JFC

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Thursday, 18 June 2020 03:03 (three months ago) link

it's jarring because I always heard the line "oh well, just another hard time band with negro affectations" from the same album as a very sharp critical observation on white people slumming it and "trying on" blackness for their own amusement.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Thursday, 18 June 2020 03:06 (three months ago) link

Well I think that really is the reading of that line, just didn't realise the singer excused the behaviour in herself because of her superior "credentials".
There was a pretty sharp disconnect from the real world in that LA showbiz elite in the 70s, and a lot of very iffy behaviour, which is depressing as it is thrown more into relief by historical perspective.

assert (MatthewK), Thursday, 18 June 2020 03:10 (three months ago) link

Fwiw part of the 'defence' (which ought to be as limited as possible in its scope) is that, as per Tom's sarcastic comment upthread, Canada does have a weird history with regard to blackface, mostly grounded in a problematic argument, which is routinely deployed by other Western countries as well: insofar as slavery was never practiced in Canada to the extent that it was in the US, blackface does not carry quite the same meaning on this side of the border. It's a disturbingly similar take to that of the alt-right in 2020, according to which anything short of a live-streamed lynching cannot be convincingly deemed 'true' racism. Here's a useful reminder of how ignorant such a perspective is in a Canadian context:

https://www.mcgill.ca/aapr/blackface-canada

pomenitul, Thursday, 18 June 2020 03:10 (three months ago) link

Interesting that the article with that quote is on Joni's own website. I wonder what she thinks of those years now.

assert (MatthewK), Thursday, 18 June 2020 03:11 (three months ago) link

Fwiw, Mitchell had been living in the US for over a decade by the time she made Don Juan's Reckless Daughter, an album on which she worked with Wayne Shorter and Chaka Khan. I'm not going to start a bonfire over a 40-year-old costume but she also doesn't get any slack for being a simple girl from Saskatoon.

Feel a million filaments (Sund4r), Thursday, 18 June 2020 03:25 (three months ago) link

My lack of Joni credentials is showing. That makes it all the more damning indeed.

pomenitul, Thursday, 18 June 2020 03:27 (three months ago) link

sund4r otm -- if anything I think she was being too clever by half, not naive

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Thursday, 18 June 2020 03:38 (three months ago) link

Joni's story is definitely not one of her getting smarter and sharper over time: I think from Don Juan onwards there is an increasing sense of her losing any real capacity for self-criticism or self-awareness, until you end up with truly dumb songs like "The Windfall (Everything For Nothing)" that could only come from someone who is totally uncomprehending of their own privilege (also some great songs, but I don't think Joni circa 1975 would have let "The Windfall" make it onto an album).

Tim F, Thursday, 18 June 2020 04:26 (three months ago) link

I guess there is also a kind of boomer entitlement that during the 60s and 70s, they'd "settled" questions of racism and feminism and righted all the wrongs, so were "above the law" on such issues.

To me it feels more commonly like a post-Boomer, “this was solved before I got here” impulse — if only because other examples that come immediately to mind involve younger figures — tho I’m sure there are other ‘60s/‘70s instances that I’m not aware of.

Charging for Brewskis™ (morrisp), Thursday, 18 June 2020 05:11 (three months ago) link

Most obvious what?

Rapsputin (Tom D.), Thursday, 18 June 2020 09:02 (three months ago) link

the most obvious instance of "this was solved before I got here" - Patti Smith's "Rock And Roll ...."

which she still plays live.

Hmmmmm (jamiesummerz), Thursday, 18 June 2020 10:20 (three months ago) link

I guess the punk connection might make people think she's the next generation along, but she's only 3 years younger than joni

Hmmmmm (jamiesummerz), Thursday, 18 June 2020 10:20 (three months ago) link

Was about to say, she's really of the same generation

Rapsputin (Tom D.), Thursday, 18 June 2020 10:44 (three months ago) link

Another hippy.

Rapsputin (Tom D.), Thursday, 18 June 2020 10:45 (three months ago) link

The 70s Rachel Dolezal

Western® with Bacon Flavor, Thursday, 18 June 2020 12:07 (three months ago) link

The PS song was a couple years earlier than DJRD.

Feel a million filaments (Sund4r), Thursday, 18 June 2020 12:41 (three months ago) link

Loads of later examples too, though. See Vice thread etc.

Feel a million filaments (Sund4r), Thursday, 18 June 2020 12:42 (three months ago) link

Actually, I think there's something different going on there.

Feel a million filaments (Sund4r), Thursday, 18 June 2020 13:22 (three months ago) link

Joni's story is definitely not one of her getting smarter and sharper over time: I think from Don Juan onwards there is an increasing sense of her losing any real capacity for self-criticism or self-awareness, until you end up with truly dumb songs like "The Windfall (Everything For Nothing)" that could only come from someone who is totally uncomprehending of their own privilege (also some great songs, but I don't think Joni circa 1975 would have let "The Windfall" make it onto an album).

― Tim F

100% agree, DJRD was a foreshadowing of Joni throwing her self-awareness and self-editing instincts out of the window for the most part of the 80s.

ˈʌglɪɪst preɪ, Thursday, 18 June 2020 15:02 (three months ago) link

That story from the prison - did she think she was making 'authentic' jazz or R&B records in this period? I love these albums but that's kind of hilarious, like if David Gilmour got incensed that Dark Side of the Moon didn't make the R&B charts despite having a sax player, a soulful female singer, a blues track in "Money", etc.

Feel a million filaments (Sund4r), Thursday, 18 June 2020 15:48 (three months ago) link

The way she insisted on smoking in public during the '90s was Trumpian in its defiance.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 18 June 2020 15:52 (three months ago) link

pretty much all the original punks were late baby boomers I don't see why people think they are another generation

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 18 June 2020 16:23 (three months ago) link

Certainly in the US.

Rapsputin (Tom D.), Thursday, 18 June 2020 16:28 (three months ago) link

I think the early Brit punks were all born in the 50s? Certainly Rotten, Strummer, Devoto, Sioux.

Feel a million filaments (Sund4r), Thursday, 18 June 2020 16:30 (three months ago) link

Strummer was an old man by UK punk standards.

Rapsputin (Tom D.), Thursday, 18 June 2020 16:32 (three months ago) link

Someone who was born after the baby boom would have been 12 in 1977.

Feel a million filaments (Sund4r), Thursday, 18 June 2020 16:34 (three months ago) link

So even Eater would have been boomers.

Rapsputin (Tom D.), Thursday, 18 June 2020 16:36 (three months ago) link

Yeah, to be clear, I wasn't thinking of punks with my comment. More like Tarantino etc.

Charging for Brewskis™ (morrisp), Thursday, 18 June 2020 16:37 (three months ago) link

FWIW, I also don't think of (white) hippies as having been particularly focused on racial justice, or sensitive to those concerns. I'm sure some were, though.

Charging for Brewskis™ (morrisp), Thursday, 18 June 2020 16:40 (three months ago) link

two months pass...

Details on her new box set:

Joni Mitchell Archives Vol. 1: The Early Years (1963-1967) (2020)

CD1
House Of The Rising Sun (Radio Station CFQC AM, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada (ca. 1963))
John Hardy (Radio Station CFQC AM, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada (ca. 1963))
Dark As A Dungeon (Radio Station CFQC AM, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada (ca. 1963))
Tell Old Bill (Radio Station CFQC AM, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada (ca. 1963))
Nancy Whiskey (Radio Station CFQC AM, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada (ca. 1963))
Anathea (Radio Station CFQC AM, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada (ca. 1963))
Copper Kettle (Radio Station CFQC AM, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada (ca. 1963))
Fare Thee Well (Dink’s Song) (Radio Station CFQC AM, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada (ca. 1963))
Molly Malone (Radio Station CFQC AM, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada (ca. 1963))
Introduction (Live at the Half Beat: Yorkville, Toronto, Canada (October 21, 1964) - First Set)
Nancy Whiskey (Live at the Half Beat: Yorkville, Toronto, Canada (October 21, 1964) - First Set)
Intro to The Crow On The Cradle (Live at the Half Beat: Yorkville, Toronto, Canada (October 21, 1964) - First Set)
The Crow On The Cradle (Live at the Half Beat: Yorkville, Toronto, Canada (October 21, 1964) - First Set)
Pastures Of Plenty (Live at the Half Beat: Yorkville, Toronto, Canada (October 21, 1964) - First Set)
Every Night When The Sun Goes In (Live at the Half Beat: Yorkville, Toronto, Canada (October 21, 1964) - First Set)
Intro to Sail Away (Live at the Half Beat: Yorkville, Toronto, Canada (October 21, 1964) - First Set)
Sail Away (Live at the Half Beat: Yorkville, Toronto, Canada (October 21, 1964) - First Set)
John Hardy (Live at the Half Beat: Yorkville, Toronto, Canada (October 21, 1964) - Second Set)
Dark As A Dungeon (Live at the Half Beat: Yorkville, Toronto, Canada (October 21, 1964) - Second Set)
Intro to Maids When You’re Young Never Wed An Old Man (Live at the Half Beat: Yorkville, Toronto, Canada (October 21, 1964) - Second Set)
Maids When You’re Young Never Wed An Old Man (Live at the Half Beat: Yorkville, Toronto, Canada (October 21, 1964) - Second Set)
The Dowie Dens Of Yarrow (Live at the Half Beat: Yorkville, Toronto, Canada (October 21, 1964) - Second Set)
Deportee (Plane Crash At Los Gatos) (Live at the Half Beat: Yorkville, Toronto, Canada (October 21, 1964) - Second Set)
The Long Black Rifle (Joni’s Parents’ House: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada (February 1965))
Ten Thousand Miles (Joni’s Parents’ House: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada (February 1965))
Seven Daffodils (Joni’s Parents’ House: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada (February 1965))

CD2
Urge For Going (Myrtle Anderson Birthday Tape: Detroit, MI (1965))
Born To Take The Highway (Myrtle Anderson Birthday Tape: Detroit, MI (1965))
Here Today And Gone Tomorrow (Myrtle Anderson Birthday Tape: Detroit, MI (1965))
What Will You Give Me (Jac Holzman Demo: Detroit, MI (August 24, 1965))
Let It Be Me (Jac Holzman Demo: Detroit, MI (August 24, 1965))
The Student Song (Jac Holzman Demo: Detroit, MI (August 24, 1965))
Day After Day (Jac Holzman Demo: Detroit, MI (August 24, 1965))
Unknown Title (Jac Holzman Demo: Detroit, MI (August 24, 1965))
Favorite Colour (Let’s Sing Out, CBC TV: University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada (October 4, 1965))
Me And My Uncle (Let’s Sing Out, CBC TV: University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada (October 4, 1965))
Sad Winds Blowin’ (Home Demo: Detroit, MI (ca. 1966))
Just Like Me (Let’s Sing Out, CBC TV: Laurentian University, London, ON, Canada (October 24, 1966))
Night In The City (Let’s Sing Out, CBC TV: Laurentian University, London, ON, Canada (October 24, 1966))
Brandy Eyes (Live at the 2nd Fret: Philadelphia, PA (November 1966))
Intro to Urge For Going (Live at the 2nd Fret: Philadelphia, PA (November 1966))
Urge For Going (Live at the 2nd Fret: Philadelphia, PA (November 1966))
Intro to What’s The Story Mr. Blue (Live at the 2nd Fret: Philadelphia, PA (November 1966))
What’s The Story Mr. Blue (Live at the 2nd Fret: Philadelphia, PA (November 1966))
Eastern Rain (Live at the 2nd Fret: Philadelphia, PA (November 1966))
Intro to The Circle Game (Live at the 2nd Fret: Philadelphia, PA (November 1966))
The Circle Game (Live at the 2nd Fret: Philadelphia, PA (November 1966))
Intro to Night In The City (Live at the 2nd Fret: Philadelphia, PA (November 1966))
Night In The City (Live at the 2nd Fret: Philadelphia, PA (November 1966))

CD3
Intro to Both Sides Now (Folklore, WHAT FM: Philadelphia, PA, (March 12, 1967))
Both Sides Now (Folklore, WHAT FM: Philadelphia, PA, (March 12, 1967))
Intro to The Circle Game (Folklore, WHAT FM: Philadelphia, PA, (March 12, 1967))
The Circle Game (Folklore, WHAT FM: Philadelphia, PA, (March 12, 1967))
Morning Morgantown (Live at the 2nd Fret: Philadelphia, PA (March 17, 1967) - Second Set)
Born To Take The Highway (Live at the 2nd Fret: Philadelphia, PA (March 17, 1967) - Second Set)
Intro to Song To A Seagull (Live at the 2nd Fret: Philadelphia, PA (March 17, 1967) - Second Set)
Song To A Seagull (Live at the 2nd Fret: Philadelphia, PA (March 17, 1967) - Second Set)
Winter Lady (Live at the 2nd Fret: Philadelphia, PA (March 17, 1967) - Third Set)
Intro to Both Sides Now (Live at the 2nd Fret: Philadelphia, PA (March 17, 1967) - Third Set)
Both Sides Now (Live at the 2nd Fret: Philadelphia, PA (March 17, 1967) - Third Set)
Intro to Eastern Rain (Folklore, WHAT FM: Philadelphia, PA (March 19, 1967))
Eastern Rain (Folklore, WHAT FM: Philadelphia, PA (March 19, 1967))
Intro to Blue On Blue (Folklore, WHAT FM: Philadelphia, PA (March 19, 1967))
Blue On Blue (Folklore, WHAT FM: Philadelphia, PA (March 19, 1967))
Gemini Twin (A Record Of My Changes – Michael’s Birthday Tape: North Carolina (May 1967))
Strawflower Me (A Record Of My Changes – Michael’s Birthday Tape: North Carolina (May 1967))
A Melody In Your Name (A Record Of My Changes – Michael’s Birthday Tape: North Carolina (May 1967))
Tin Angel (A Record Of My Changes – Michael’s Birthday Tape: North Carolina (May 1967))
I Don’t Know Where I Stand (A Record Of My Changes – Michael’s Birthday Tape: North Carolina (May 1967))
Joni improvising (A Record Of My Changes – Michael’s Birthday Tape: North Carolina (May 1967))
Intro to Sugar Mountain (Folklore, WHAT FM: Philadelphia, PA (May 28, 1967))
Sugar Mountain (Folklore, WHAT FM: Philadelphia, PA (May 28, 1967))

CD4
I Had A King (Home Demo: New York City, NY (ca. June 1967))
Free Darling (Home Demo: New York City, NY (ca. June 1967))
Conversation (Home Demo: New York City, NY (ca. June 1967))
Morning Morgantown (Home Demo: New York City, NY (ca. June 1967))
Dr. Junk (Home Demo: New York City, NY (ca. June 1967))
Gift Of The Magi (Home Demo: New York City, NY (ca. June 1967))
Chelsea Morning (Home Demo: New York City, NY (ca. June 1967))
Michael From Mountains (Home Demo: New York City, NY (ca. June 1967))
Cara’s Castle (Home Demo: New York City, NY (ca. June 1967))
Jeremy (Incomplete) (Home Demo: New York City, NY (ca. June 1967))
Conversation (Live at Canterbury House: Ann Arbor, MI (October 27, 1967) - First Set)
Intro to Come To The Sunshine (Live at Canterbury House: Ann Arbor, MI (October 27, 1967) - First Set)
Come To The Sunshine (Live at Canterbury House: Ann Arbor, MI (October 27, 1967) - First Set)
Intro to Chelsea Morning (Live at Canterbury House: Ann Arbor, MI (October 27, 1967) - First Set)
Chelsea Morning (Live at Canterbury House: Ann Arbor, MI (October 27, 1967) - First Set)
Intro to Gift Of The Magi (Live at Canterbury House: Ann Arbor, MI (October 27, 1967) - First Set)
Gift Of The Magi (Live at Canterbury House: Ann Arbor, MI (October 27, 1967) - First Set)
Play Little David (Live at Canterbury House: Ann Arbor, MI (October 27, 1967) - First Set)
Intro to The Dowy Dens Of Yarrow (Live at Canterbury House: Ann Arbor, MI (October 27, 1967) - First Set)
The Dowy Dens Of Yarrow (Live at Canterbury House: Ann Arbor, MI (October 27, 1967) - First Set)
I Had A King (Live at Canterbury House: Ann Arbor, MI (October 27, 1967) - First Set)
Intro to Free Darling (Live at Canterbury House: Ann Arbor, MI (October 27, 1967) - First Set)
Free Darling (Live at Canterbury House: Ann Arbor, MI (October 27, 1967) - First Set)
Intro to Cactus Tree (Live at Canterbury House: Ann Arbor, MI (October 27, 1967) - First Set)
Cactus Tree (Live at Canterbury House: Ann Arbor, MI (October 27, 1967) - First Set)

CD5
Little Green (Live at Canterbury House: Ann Arbor, MI (October 27, 1967) - Second Set)
Intro to Marcie (Live at Canterbury House: Ann Arbor, MI (October 27, 1967) - Second Set)
Marcie (Live at Canterbury House: Ann Arbor, MI (October 27, 1967) - Second Set)
Intro to Ballerina Valerie (Live at Canterbury House: Ann Arbor, MI (October 27, 1967) - Second Set)
Ballerina Valerie (Live at Canterbury House: Ann Arbor, MI (October 27, 1967) - Second Set)
The Circle Game (Live at Canterbury House: Ann Arbor, MI (October 27, 1967) - Second Set)
Intro to Michael From Mountains (Live at Canterbury House: Ann Arbor, MI (October 27, 1967) - Second Set)
Michael From Mountains (Live at Canterbury House: Ann Arbor, MI (October 27, 1967) - Second Set)
Go Tell The Drummer Man (Live at Canterbury House: Ann Arbor, MI (October 27, 1967) - Second Set)
Intro to I Don’t Know Where I Stand (Live at Canterbury House: Ann Arbor, MI (October 27, 1967) - Second Set)
I Don’t Know Where I Stand (Live at Canterbury House: Ann Arbor, MI (October 27, 1967) - Second Set)
A Melody In Your Name (Live at Canterbury House: Ann Arbor, MI (October 27, 1967) - Third Set)
Intro to Carnival In Kenora (October 27, 1967) - Third Set)
Carnival In Kenora (October 27, 1967) - Third Set)
Songs To Aging Children Come (October 27, 1967) - Third Set)
Intro to Dr. Junk (October 27, 1967) - Third Set)
Dr. Junk (October 27, 1967) - Third Set)
Morning Morgantown (October 27, 1967) - Third Set)
Intro to Night In The City (October 27, 1967) - Third Set)
Night In The City (October 27, 1967) - Third Set)
Both Sides Now (October 27, 1967) - Third Set)
Urge For Going (October 27, 1967) - Third Set)

Since her debut album arrived in 1968, Joni Mitchell’s songs have been embraced across generations, inspired multitudes of artists around the world, and earned every conceivable accolade. She is now opening her vault for the first time to create the Joni Mitchell Archives, a new series of boxed set releases that will span the next several years, featuring deep dives in to unreleased content from different eras of her storied career. Mitchell has been intimately involved in producing the archive series, lending her vision and personal touch to every element of the project.

The series debuts on October 23 with JONI MITCHELL ARCHIVES VOL. 1: THE EARLY YEARS (1963-1967), which features nearly six hours of unreleased home, live, and radio recordings that flow chronologically to paint a rich portrait of Mitchell’s rapid growth as a performer and songwriter during the period leading up to her debut album. This treasure trove of unheard audio includes 29 original Mitchell compositions that have never been released before with her vocals. The collection will be available as a deluxe 5-CD set as well as digitally.

The collection begins in 1963 with her earliest-known recording as a 19-year-old Mitchell performs at CFQC AM, a radio station in her hometown of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The first song from this set, Mitchell’s take on House Of The Rising Sun, is available today as a digital single. Click here to listen now. The box culminates with a stirring, three-set 1967 nightclub performance recorded at the Canterbury House in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Through a wealth of unreleased live performances, home recordings, and radio broadcasts, ARCHIVES VOL. 1 brings into focus the period when Mitchell was finding her voice artistically. It shows her moving away from the folk standards of her early days (John Hardy and House Of The Rising Sun) and starting to write and sing her own songs (Day After Day and Urge For Going.)

ARCHIVES VOL. 1 reveals just how prolific a songwriter Mitchell was at the time. In addition to early versions of songs that would appear on Song To A Seagull (Michael From Mountains and I Had A King), the set also features songs destined for later albums: Chelsea Morning Both Sides Now (Clouds, 1969); The Circle Game (Ladies of the Canyon, 1970); and Little Green (Blue, 1971).

More than a just historic document, these recordings crackle with energy thanks to a vibrant and enchanting Mitchell. On many, you can hear her turning her guitar and telling a story about the song before playing it. That includes her rare 1967 cover of Neil Young’s Sugar Mountain, a song she says inspired her to write The Circle Game.

The 5-CD collection includes a 40-page booklet that features many unseen photos from Mitchell’s personal collection as well as new liner notes featuring conversations between writer/filmmaker Cameron Crowe and Mitchell, who recently spent a couple of Sunday afternoons together discussing her archives. Crowe will continue to provide liners for future releases in the series.

Liner notes for both vinyl releases were each composed by people who were in the room when the original performances were recorded. Barry Bowman was working as a DJ at radio station CFQC in 1963 and provides the notes for EARLY JONI. Bob Franke, who was covering Mitchell’s show at Canterbury House for the Michigan Dailywhile also moonlighting as a doorman at the club, pens the liners for LIVE AT CANTERBURY HOUSE. His original review for the Michigan Daily is also included.

Looking back, Mitchell reflects on her early label of folk singer: The early stuff, I shouldn’t be such a snob against it. A lot of these songs, I just lost them. They fell away. They only exist in these recordings. For so long I rebelled against the term, ‘I was never a folk-singer.’ I would get pissed off if they put that label on me. I didn’t think it was a good description of what I was. And then I listened and…it was beautiful. It made me forgive my beginnings. And I had this realization…I was a folk singer!

birdistheword, Monday, 24 August 2020 09:49 (four weeks ago) link

wow, I didn't realize "Urge For Going" was so early!

Joey Corona (Euler), Monday, 24 August 2020 09:58 (four weeks ago) link

nice, I have a 2CD boot-type thing from Dime with a bunch of that stuff, it's good!

sleeve, Monday, 24 August 2020 14:21 (four weeks ago) link

pretty major — this stuff will really fill out the overall picture of her career, I think. some of the early material is not amazing necessarily, but it's definitely cool to follow her trajectory (and some of it is very strong).

tylerw, Monday, 24 August 2020 14:41 (four weeks ago) link

This particular volume isn't for me. But I'm looking forward to future releases. The word "archive" triggers a Neil Young wince in me. Let's hope she manages this project better than Shakey

Duke, Monday, 24 August 2020 15:12 (four weeks ago) link

Or at all; I've seen JM box sets announced before...although there was an import incl. all or a lot of the original albums, reviewed in Pitchfork. Here's some of the stuff on this one; click the link back to main menu if you refer mp3s:
http://www.ousterhout.net/lossless/jmitchell.html

dow, Monday, 24 August 2020 20:52 (four weeks ago) link

oh man can we skip forward a box or two? hope whoever is running the show here is gonna roll them out in good time

Hmmmmm (jamiesummerz), Monday, 24 August 2020 21:20 (four weeks ago) link

two weeks pass...

joni doing 'house of the rising sun' for a saskatoon radio station, ostensibly her first-ever recording

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wWR3ZkyyGY

ptah el dude (voodoo chili), Thursday, 10 September 2020 23:39 (one week ago) link

Anyone else think this revive would be about the snake in the CD player?

I opened up my CD player which is inside the house and found this... 😒 pic.twitter.com/SXI9j3L2pQ

— Steven Ⓜ️ (@BeardedSteven) September 10, 2020

Jeff W, Thursday, 10 September 2020 23:54 (one week ago) link

you turn me on (i'm a reptile)

ptah el dude (voodoo chili), Thursday, 10 September 2020 23:59 (one week ago) link

both ssssssssssidessss now

J. Sam, Friday, 11 September 2020 00:39 (one week ago) link

Sharon you've got a husband and a family and a farm / I've got the apple of temptation and a mottled snake inside my cd player

Tim F, Friday, 11 September 2020 00:47 (one week ago) link

DEEE-DEE-DEE-DEE
DUM-DE-DEE-DEE-DEE
SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 11 September 2020 01:46 (one week ago) link

Just before our love got lost, you said
"I am as constant as a snake, " and I said
"Constantly in a CD player
Where's that at?
If you want me, I'll be in the bar"

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Friday, 11 September 2020 10:30 (one week ago) link

he’s a real sidewinder, he’s not like me

waiting for a snake, climbing, climbing
climbing the hill

No mean feat. DaBaby (breastcrawl), Friday, 11 September 2020 10:42 (one week ago) link

and who could forget the hissing of summer lawns, talk about hiding in plain sight

No mean feat. DaBaby (breastcrawl), Friday, 11 September 2020 10:43 (one week ago) link


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