The Joni Mitchell Appreciation Thread

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mike Broadman, Jan 18, 2002.

  1. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Why the Joni Mitchell Appreciation Thread? Because she deserves it, that's why.

    Other then Joni, I'm really not into the whole "singer songwriter" thing. Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Warren Zevon, and if you stretch the definition of this genre, Jethro Tull (Ian Anderson), and Frank Zappa are the only I really dig. But none come close to Joni in my book.

    I like everything I've heard about her music. Her "folk" material is compelling, both musically and lyrically. Normally, the idea of a chick singing some "emotional" crap with a guitar makes me nauseous, but Joni manages to do it with such sophistication and musicality that it's astounding.

    When she added intruments and jazzy-pop, it made the music much more interesting. Then, she explored jazz and added those elements into her music. That's great in my book.

    I love everything from her first album through and including Heijira. The Mingus is a pleasant listen to, especially since Mingus is my God.

    Don Juan's Reckless Daughter finds Joni's experimentation running away from her, IMO. There's great stuff on it, but half of it is just weak.

    I also picked up Taming the Tiger, which is pretty cool.

    Now I'm listening to my most recent acquisition: the live album Misles of Aisles. Very nice.

    I haven't heard any of the albums she put out in the eighties, though. Has anyone heard this material? I read incredibly mixed reviews. Now that I've finished acquiring her 70s stuff, I'm looking ahead.
     
  2. Chris Madalena

    Chris Madalena Stunt Coordinator

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    Chalk Mark in a Rain Storm is cool. And Turbulent Indigo (early 90's) won a Grammy. The coolest thing she did was Shadows and Light. KILLER band----Metheny, Brecker, Lyle Mays, and the cincher, the Bass God Jaco Pastorious himself. You can get the 2 disc set for a good price. There's a dvd of that show on audiophileimports.com but who knows what the quality is like. I believe it's a region free, Japanese release. 50 smackers is too steep for my blood.
     
  3. Rain

    Rain Producer

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    Hey, cool thread.

    Well, to be honest, I'm more of a fan of her earlier stuff. Time (and possibly alot of cigarettes) has not been too kind to her voice.

    I would probably put Blue at the top of the list of my favourite Joni Mitchell albums.

    Another thing about Joni, which IMHO all too often escapes discussion, is the way she plays guitar. I don't know what it is, but she plays that thing like she's making love to it.
     
  4. John Tillman

    John Tillman Supporting Actor

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    I'm also most familar with her 60's & 70's material and recently picked up 'Hissing of Summer Lawns' & 'Hits'.

    I'm going to hold off on picking up more, as I suspect her material will surface on DVD-A, as the focus at this time seems to be 70's material.

    I saw her perform once in the early 70's, an outdoor concert (CSN&Y etc) with several thousand fans. Great voice.
     
  5. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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  6. Paul D Young

    Paul D Young Second Unit

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  7. PatrickL

    PatrickL Second Unit

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    Wow, here's a thread I can love a lot. For me, Joni Mitchell is in a class by herself and has gone far beyond the typical folk-tinged singer-songwriter designation. Her gift as a lyricist is astounding in and of itself, but add to that the strength of her musicianship, her capacity to take risks as an artist, and her powers to communicate as a singer, and we're talking one of the most major artists.

     
  8. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Patrick, thanks for the great post. Your description of Dog Eat Dog sounds a lot like Paul Simon's Hearts and Bones: some good song writing, but those goddamn synths.

    So many bands I like went nuts with those cheesy synthesizers and effects. It's very frustrating, because you can hear some great music buried under there, but I don't have the tolerance to deal with it.

    After getting Miles of Aisles yesterday, I now have her entire 70s output. I'll check out Turbulent Indigo next.

    Have you guys heard Both Sides Now? I think it's all older jazz songs. How is it? I also saw a round box set with the same name. What's that all about?
     
  9. PatrickL

    PatrickL Second Unit

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  10. Chris Madalena

    Chris Madalena Stunt Coordinator

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    Mike, I've not seen her album "Mingus" listed in this thread. I believe it's form the 80's, and it has the who's who of the jazz world on there. In addition to Mingus himself, Tony Williams, Peter Erskine, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter..........

    She does a great version of Goodbye Pork Pie Hat.
     
  11. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Chris, I actually did recently pick up Mingus. It's nice, not great, but a pleasant listen. Besides, Charles Mingus is my musical hero, so how can I not buy an album dedicated to him by Mitchell?

    The other day, I picked up Wild Things Run Fast and did not like it. Too "80s," too simple, too pop. It looks like I'll be skipping out on Joni's 80s stuff.
     
  12. Paul D Young

    Paul D Young Second Unit

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  13. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are Cinematographer

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    Great thread idea! I've been in love with Joni and her music for more than two decades.

    Because Court and Spark was my introduction to Joni, it remains my sentimental favorite. The 'non-hits' are the songs I most treasure: Car on a Hill, The Same Situation, People's Parties, Trouble Child. This is a seamless masterpiece; reminds me of 'Dark Side of the Moon' or 'Abbey Road' in that regard.

    Next I most value 'Blue': "But let's not talk about fare-thee-wells now, the night is a starry dome..."

    Other favorites include 'Night Ride Home', 'Chalk Mark in a Rainstorm', and 'Hejira'.

    I must also mention this: when "The Last Waltz" came out on DVD, I was on the fence about buying it. What shoved me over the fence was remembering Joni's performance of 'Coyote' (my all time favorite Joni song). I could watch that performance of that one song over and over and over again.

    Jon
     
  14. Al B. C

    Al B. C Supporting Actor

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    "Court And Spark" is probably my favorite all around album, but "Coyote" from "Hejira" is probably my favorite JM song.
     
  15. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    Blue and Court and Spark are favorites here. My favorite thing about Joni is her using her music to reflect on her life. Ya listening Carey???
     
  16. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Paul, Joni's first two albums are all just her accompanying herself on guitar. Lyrically, it's mostly third person 60s folk type stuff, but better. She has since criticised her singing style on a couple of tracks on Clouds, saying that she was not being true to her own voice, which I can hear.

    All in all though, I think it's great stuff. If I, a guy who would normally rather listen to fingernails on a chalkboard than chick singing folksy type stuff, can appreciate it, it tells you something. Joni was musically more sophisticated and clever than her peers, and it starts to show in the early material.

    As I said in an earlier post, the 80s material didn't sit well with me, but 80s material rarely does.

    NP: Frank Zappa, Freaks and Motherfu*#@%!, CD
     
  17. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    Hejira is one of the top-ten most played albums I own. I bought it around the time I played bass (still do now but only for myself) just because Jaco was on there. What a stunning album. I love every song on it, especially Song For Sharon. I've got Mingus but can really 'get into' it. Shadows & Light is also sitting on my self but is yet another CD that hasn't had it's fair share of play time yet.

    But Hejira is a masterpiece. I don't think I'll ever tire of hearing it.
     
  18. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    ...almost forgot.

    I remember back in July 1990, standng on the Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, listening to Joni singing Goodbye Blue Sky as part of Roger Waters' 'The Wall' show. Both her and Sinead O'Connor (who sang Mother) stole the show IMO.
     
  19. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    I know, man, Heijera is freakin' brilliant. IMO, her last masterpiece.

    The combination of Jaco and Joni is a match made in heaven.

    Shadows and Light is a flawed masterpiece of a live album. It really is more for fans, though.

    This thread is inspiring a signature change...
     
  20. Jan H

    Jan H Cinematographer

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    Nice to see some familiar names on this thread[​IMG] The weird thing is, I'm a guy and I love Joni Mitchell, and my girlfriend hates her. I get all choked up during "The Last Time I Saw Richard", "Blue", and pretty much everything else on that record and my girlfriend thinks I'm retarded and wants to put on Paul Simon or Dylan. Anyway, "Blue", "Court", "Mingus" and "Hejira" have all been personal faves of mine for 20 years. Cool topic [​IMG]
     

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