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Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell is one of the most critically acclaimed, influential female singer-songwriters of all time. She has been credited as a major influence by artists such as Tori Amos, Sarah McLachlan, Shawn Colvin and Madonna, and is widely credited with blazing a path for women who desire to make meaningful music.

Mitchell was born Roberta Joan Anderson on November 17, 1943 in Ft. McLeod, Saskatchewan, Canada. Hospitalized with polio at age 9, Mitchell began singing to entertain herself and others and, when she recovered, learned to play guitar using a book written by folk legend Pete Seeger. After finishing art school, the young singer-songwriter became a coffeehouse regular in Calgary, then moved to Toronto, where she met and married folk singer Chuck Mitchell. Now called Joni Mitchell, she and Chuck moved to Detroit. When they divorced, Joni remained in Detroit, where she became increasingly famous for her moving, heartfelt songs.

Successful New York shows led Reprise Records to sign Mitchell in 1967; her self-titled debut album, produced by David Crosby, came out the following year. Joni Mitchell, a concept album comparing city life to the seashore, was quickly followed by Clouds, another acoustic album, though darker, which reached the Top 40. 1970's Ladies of the Canyon expanded Mitchell's following with the radio hit "Big Yellow Taxi," an environmental ballad; it also featured longer instrumental passages and added complex accompaniment (piano, woodwinds and strings), two directions further explored in Mitchell's later work. Ladies of the Canyon also contains her song "Woodstock," later turned into a hit by her friend, David Crosby, with Crosby, Stills and Nash.

Joni Mitchell received widespread critical acclaim for her 1972 breakthrough Blue, an honest, introspective, acoustic effort that defined the "confessional" singer-songwriter album for years to come. 1973's For the Roses was a radical departure from Blue, a jazz-oriented, piano-guitar album that featured the hit single "You Turn Me On (I'm a Radio)." Mitchell continued drawing on jazz on 1974's Court and Spark, which reached No. 2 and spawned the singles "Raised on Robbery," "Help Me" and "Free Man in Paris."

The Hissing of Summer Lawns, released in 1975, broke new ground for Mitchell with its experimental mix of jazz, folk and world beat music (specifically, Burundi drumming). Hejira, released the following year, featured bass work by none other than Jaco Pastorius (of Weather Report); inspired by a road trip across the U.S., Hejira was Mitchell's most jazz-influenced album yet. 1977's Don Juan's Reckless Daughter, a double album, further pushed the boundaries of Mitchell's songcraft, consisting of detached, mostly improvisational jazz recorded with a cast of accomplished musicians, including Chaka Khan. 1979's Mingus (a jazz album, of course) grew out of a brief collaboration between Mitchell and jazz legend Charles Mingus, who died before the album was recorded.

After a several year hiatus, Mitchell returned to the studio in 1982 to record Wild Things Run Fast, her first album for Geffen Records. Reintroducing pop and folk to Mitchell's jazz stylings, Wild Things spawned the radio single "(You're So Square) Baby I Don't Care," an Elvis cover that became Mitchell's first commercial hit in nearly a decade. Three years later she returned with Dog Eat Dog, a jazz/folk/pop fusion which featured synthesizer work by Thomas Dolby. Mitchell continued her use of electronics on 1988's Chalk Mark in a Rain Storm, a percussion-heavy album featuring guest appearances by Peter Gabriel, Don Henley, Billy Idol, Tom Petty, Willie Nelson and ex-Cars member Benjamin Orr. Her next album, 1991's Night Ride Home, was a return to her folk roots, while 1994's Turbulent Indigo featured only Mitchell and her acoustic guitar, recalling her critically acclaimed work in the early 1970s.

In 1996 she released two compilations Hits and Misses; two years later, in 1998, she announced her first live concert appearances in more than a decade, supporting Bob Dylan on several of his West Coast dates. An album of new material, Taming the Tiger, appeared in 1998, while a collection of Mitchell singing old standards (such as “At Last” and “Stormy Weather”) called Both Sides Now was released in 2000.

In the fall of 2002, Mitchell released orchestrated versions of songs that span her career on Travelogue. Vince Mendoza served as arranger and conductor, while filmmaker Alison Anders documented the recording sessions. The film will be broadcast on PBS in March of 2003.

Discography:

Travelogue 2002/Both Sides Now 2000/Painting with Words & Music 1999 Taming the Tiger 1998/Dog Eat Dog/Wild Things Run Fast 1996/Ghosts 1996/Big Yellow Taxi (The Remixes) 1996/Misses 1996/Hits 1996/Big Yellow Taxi 1995/Friends 1995/Turbulent Indigo 1994/Shadows & Lights [2 Disc Version] 1994/Home Video 1991/Special Night Ride 1991/Night Ride Home 1991/Come In from the Cold 1991/Chalk Mark In A Rain Storm 1988/Dog Eat Dog 1985/For the Roses/Court & Spark 1983/Wild Things Run Fast 1982/Shadows & Lights [Video] 1980/Shadow And Light 1980/ Shadows & Light 1980/Mingus 1979/Don Juan's Reckless Daughter 1977 Hejira 1976/Hissing Of Summer Lawns 1975/Miles Of Aisles 1974/Court & Spark 1974/For The Roses 1971/Blue 1971/Ladies Of The Canyon 1970/ Clouds 1969/Joni Mitchell 1968/ Joni Mitchell (Song To A Seagull) 1968/ Song to a Seagull 1968/Refuge of the Roads Lennie and Dom Songs (Early On)

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Joni Mitchell Complete Geffen Recordings

[BOX SET] [ORIGINAL RECORDING REMASTERED] (2003) Geffen

Four CDs sporting Joni's complete recordings for Geffen during the '80s, including all four albums, Wild Things Run Fast (1982), Dog Eat Dog (1985), Chalk Mark in a Rain Storm (1988), & Night Ride Home (1991), that she recorded for the label plus some tasty rarities! Like a couple of demos, 'Two Grey Rooms' & 'Good Friends', & a cover of Bob Dylan's 'It's All Over Now, Baby Blue' that was recorded for the Night Ride Home sessions. & perhaps even more intriguingly for this elusive artist, Joni has provided a personal introduction & in-depth descriptions for each track. Rare photos, original artwork & 24-bit mastering complete the first of what we hope will be several Joni Mitchell boxed sets to come! 44 tracks packaged in a clamshell box. Geffen. 2003.

Disc: 1
1. Chinese Cafe/Unchained Melody
2. Wild Things Run Fast
3. Ladies' Man
4. Moon At The Window
5. Solid Love
6. Be Cool
7. (You're So Square) Baby, I Don't Care
8. You Dream Flat Tires
9. Man To Man
10. Underneath The Streetlight
11. Love
12. Two Grey Rooms (Demo)

Disc: 3
1. My Secret Place
2. Number One
3. Lakota
4. The Tea Leaf Prophecy
5. Dancin' Clown
6. Cool Water
7. The Beat Of Black Wings
8. Snakes And Ladders
9. The Reoccuring Dream
10. A Bird That Whistles

Disc: 2
1. Good Friends
2. Fiction
3. The Three Great Stimulants
4. Tax Free
5. Smokin' (Empty, Try Another)
6. Dog Eat Dog
7. Shiny Toys
8. Ethiopia
9. Impossible Dreamer
10. Lucky Girl
11. Good Friends (Demo)

Disc: 4
1. Night Ride Home
2. Passion Play (When All The Slaves Are Free)
3. Cherokee Louise
4. The Windfall (Everything For Nothing)
5. Slouching Towards Bethlehem
6. Come In From The Cold
7. Nothing Can Be Done
8. The Only Joy In Town
9. Ray's Dad's Cadillac
10. Two Grey Rooms
11. It's All Over Now Baby Blue (Demo)

Joni Mitchell Travelogue

This bizarre two-disc recording finds the loftiest of singer-songwriters collaborating with a seventy-piece orchestra, revisiting her past work. The arrangements treat Mitchell's tunes as precious artifacts, making little attempt to seduce the listener; only on "The Circle Game," for example, do the strings provide the kind of romantic sonic brocades associated with great orchestral rock. Mitchell -- in strong, ultraconfident voice -- proceeds with her famous jazz inflections, delineating characters such as "Cherokee Louise," who lives under a tunnel. But, the occasional sax flourish notwithstanding, the music does not swing or get loose. Sometimes the album sounds wrongly monumental, as on "Woodstock"; other times, it misses the boat, as on "The Last Time I Saw Richard," which ignores the song's thrilling harmonics. Travelogue translates Joni Mitchell as a scrupulously constructed puzzle. .

JAMES HUNTER
(RS 910 – November 28, 2002)

Joni Mitchell 1967-2004: SONGS OF A PRAIRIE GIRL

"This collection of songs and photographs is my contribution to Saskatchewan's Centennial celebrations. Get yourself a hot beverage and stand by the heater as you listen to these musical tales of long, cold winters, with a hint of short but glorious summers." - Joni Mitchell

13 NEWLY REMASTERED TRACKS:

  • Urge for Going
  • The Tea Leaf Prophecy (Lay Down Your Arms)
  • Cherokee Louise [Orchestral Version, 2002] - Featuring Herbie Hancock, Billy Preston, Paulinho Da Costa and Larry Klein
  • Ray's Dad's Cadillac
  • Let the Wind Carry Me
  • Don Juan's Reckless Daughter
  • Raised on Robbery
  • Paprika Plains [Previously Unreleased Remix]
  • Song for Sharon
  • River
  • Chinese Cafe/Unchained Melody
  • Harlem in Havana
  • Come in From the Cold [Edit]

    Booklet features beautiful photographs from Joel Bernstein

  • Joni Mitchell Woman of Heart and Mind: A Life Story

    Red Distribution
    DVD Release Date: June 3, 2003
    Reviewer: from East Coast

    If you aren't a fan of Joni Mitchell, you will be after watching this. Chronicles her life from childhood, early roots of her music, to present time. It is wonderful to see her interviewed about her work and to see her perform the songs. I saw the DVD version which has extra shots of concert clips - do not know if the VHS version has this.
    Interviews with her contemporaries such as Graham Nash, David Crosby, provide additional insight into her creative process.
    Mitchell diiscusses her lyrics and metaphors.....as an avid fan of hers all these years, I gained even more insight into her personae and if possible.....appreciate her even more.
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    One of the great talents of her or anyone else's generation gets the royal treatment with this superb two-hour (with bonus material) documentary. It's all here (via interviews, including conversations past and present with Mitchell herself, photos, generous helpings of concert footage, and more): her Saskatchewan childhood, her lovers, her painting, her reunion with the daughter she had left behind at age 19... and, of course, her music, the songs, recordings, and performances, so intensely personal yet so universally accessible, that comprise one of the most extraordinarily original and significant (if not always wildly popular) bodies of work any artist has ever produced. Even true fanatics are likely to find revelations here; the rest of us can simply rejoice in the life and artistry of Joni Mitchell. The extras are highlighted by complete concert readings of four songs, including "Big Yellow Taxi" and "Woodstock." --Sam Graham

    Joni Mitchell Dreamland

    CD (September 14, 2004)
    Label: WSM

    Joni Mitchell Don Juan's Reckless Daughter

    CD (October 25, 1990)
    Original Release Date: December 1977
    Label: Elektra/Asylum

    Joni Mitchell For Free

    Joni Mitchell Misses

    CD (October 29, 1996)
    Original Release Date: October 29, 1996
    Label: Warner Brothers
    This was released the same time as 'Hits'. It is not as easy to get into as 'Hits' because the songs here have more of an experimental nature so if you are buying your first Joni Mitchell CD, I would go for 'Hits', 'Court and Spark' or 'Ladies Of The Canyon'. This is much more rewarding though once you have gave it a few listens. This spans from the 70's to her mid 90's work. The track order doesn't make as much sense as 'Hits' either but it's something you get used to.

    There are a few tracks here which aren't really worthy enough to appear on a compilation, like the soft rock tinged 'Nothing can Be Done' and the jazzy pop 'Impossible Dreamer', but most of the tracks here are superb even if they are not instantly appealing. 'A Case Of You'(beautiful poetic love song), 'For The Roses'(one of the best songs about fame), 'Harry's House/Centerpiece (almost visual)', 'Hejira' (very thought provoking) and 'The Magdalene Laundries' (powerful) are among some of her best recordings and they really have stood the test of time. I think this compilation represents Joni's Heart, Soul and Mind.

    My verdict: A bit of a mix, which covers most her music career. In my mind: Quite a few hits, some average songs but, no misses

    Joni Mitchell Hits

    CD (October 29, 1996)
    Original Release Date: October 29, 1996
    Label: Warner Brothers

    Joni Mitchell Miles Of Aisles

    CD released Oct 25,1990
    and Mar 21, 2000
    Original Release Date: November 1974
    Label: Elektra/Asylum

    New Mint Condition but not sealed