I’ve never done anything but dream. This, and this alone, has been the meaning of my life. My only real concern has been my inner life. FERNANDO PESSOA

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Ten Of The Best: Joni Mitchell (9)



Much as I love Carole King, Joan Baez, Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch, Kate Wolf, Lucinda Williams and many other female singer-songwriters, for me Joni Mitchell is in a class of her own — right up there in that hallowed realm alongside Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan. Clouds, Ladies of the Canyon, Blue, For the Roses, Court and Spark, The Hissing of Summer Lawns, Hejira, Shadows and Light, Turbulent Indigo — all these records are absolute favourites of mine and, much like Bob Dylan's releases, form the soundtrack to different periods of my life. Blue has to be one of the classic LPs of all time; I still get the shivers if I play it now. Perhaps I didn't appreciate some of her later CDs quite as much, though Shine (2007) is superb, I think.

The video is a really good live version of Song for Sharon (from Joni's fabulous album Hejira), performed at a concert in London's Wembley Arena in 1983.

17 comments:

sackerson said...

And she paints,too!

am said...

I keep Shine in my car and am particularly fond of the collection of love songs she put together and released in 2014:

http://jonimitchell.com/music/album.cfm?id=33

The liner notes are included in the above link. Splendid! Yaaayy Joni!

donna baker said...

Incomparable. I think I know the words to all her songs. Did you ever get into Laura Nyro? Their gifts boggle the mind.

Ruth said...

Yes.

It's true she paints too, but she actually identifies first as a painter, which is extraordinary.

Derek Faulkner said...

Wow, just discovered your blog and what a kindred spirit you are. I hitch-hiked to London in 1966 to see Dylan at the Albert Hall and have seen most of his concerts ever since. I've seen concerts by virtually everybody that I'm interested in seeing but somehow I've always missed concerts by the best singer/songwriter of them all - Joni Mitchell. I think that Hejira is her best album and Sharon's Song, Coyote and Case of You her best three songs.

Amanda Summer said...

I've listened to Court and Spark so many times I've memorized almost every line and the album is etched on my soul. Joni Mitchell musically anchors my coming of age. Thanks for profiling one of my all time favorite artists.

The Solitary Walker said...

Yes, she paints, Dominic — like Dylan, too.

The Solitary Walker said...

That's a wonderful anthology of her songs, Amanda!

The Solitary Walker said...

Laura Nyro passed me by, Donna. I'll check her out.

The Solitary Walker said...

Yes, you're right, Ruth. Amazing to have such talent in two artistic fields.

The Solitary Walker said...

Hi, Derek! Yes, we do seem to have things in common. I didn't see Dylan in the 60s, but have seem him pretty much every time he's visited the UK since (and including) Earl's Court in 1978. Sometimes several times during the one tour! I never managed to see Joni either, which I'll always regret. (The other performer I wish I'd seen in concert is Bruce Springsteen.) Hejira is certainly one of her best albums. Case of You is such a fine song — have you heard Ana Moura sing it (featured her in this Ten of the Best series)? It's on YouTube. Thanks for visiting and hope to see you again. Will add your blog to my blog list.

The Solitary Walker said...

Amanda — another Joni fan! As always, thanks for visiting.

Derek Faulkner said...

Hi, just checked out the Ana Moura version of A Case of You and it is indeed a fine version, with some lovely backing by the two musicians with her.
Do you subscribe to Isis magazine the quartely magazine about all things Bob Dylan edited by Derek Barker. I have subscribed for a number of years and one of the main benefits is the fact that us subscribers get access to a block of seats across the front of his show venues. Last year at the RAH was fantastic, apart from the spotlights behind him blinding the audience.

Gwil W said...

Derek, I wrote a Bob Dylan poem some time ago which received some positive feedback. It's easily found by entering his name in my blog search box. My favourite singer by the way is Pavarotti. There's a poem about him on the blog too. I wonder who'll be no. 10? It's somewhat suspenseful.

dritanje said...

Ah Joni Mitchell, like you, her songs are part of the 'soundtrack of my life' and I cannot hear her songs, particularly Blue and Hejira without re-feeling those 'past' feelings. (Yes, it's that pesky past again, reappearing as if it was present). I have to be prepared to feel what it will rekindle in me, so - I haven't listened for a long time now, but this post has encouraged me to listen to her again. Also, I haven't even heard her latest songs, so it's time too, to do that. Thank you for this solitary walker

The Solitary Walker said...

I don't subscribe to Isis, Derek, Perhaps I should.

The Solitary Walker said...

From her later work, I really like Shine, Morelle.