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Joni Mitchell
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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 Hits

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

    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 Taming the Tiger

    Release Date: 29 September, 1998
    Taming the Tiger finds Mitchell playing her guitar through a Roland VG8, adding fresh texture to her continuing musical association with Wayne Shorter's sax and the rhythm section of Larry Klein and Brian Blade. 'Happiness is the best facelift' is the line you'll hear quoted, but it isn't truly representative. Song painter Joni knows that light creates infinite gradations of shadow, and this is as varied a collection as she's given us. 'Love has many faces,' she sings in 'Love Puts on a New Face'; and her portraits of longing ('Man from Mars'), abandon ('Crazy Cries of Love') and quiet fury ('No Apologies') are exquisite. --Ben Edmonds

    Joni Mitchell
    Night Ride Home

    CD (March 5, 1991)
    Original Release Date: March 5, 1991
    Label: Geffen Records
    Reviewer: Matt Marx from Mount Kisco, NY USA
    Upon hearing the name "Joni Mitchell", the everyday joe thinks back to the early and mid-1970's, when breakthrough albums like Blue and Court And Spark nearly made her a household name in the music industry. What the everyday joe doesn't know, however, is that one of her most flavorful and deep albums to date was recorded far after her heyday. When the 1990's were drawing their infant breaths, under the grunge and teen-pop, Night Ride Home was released.

    Joni's voice had gotten deeper along with her music. The now sharp and enigmatic singing blended with the haunting and mysterious guitar work, a far cry from the blissful and soaring songs she had written over 15 years earlier. The opening track, "Night Ride Home", is a swayable sensation written about a colorful 4th of July twilight (elaborated by crickets chirping in the background).

    The title track is followed by the sophisticated "Passion Play", and the spine-chilling story of "Cherokee Louise". "The Windfall" and "Slouching Towards Bethlehem" are powerful, edgily-spoken songs that dive as dark as folk music can go.

    "Come In From The Cold" is one of the album's most defining moments. The 7-minute opus is full to the brim of full-bodied acoustic guitar, soft percussion, and Joni's voice as powerful and radiant as ever. The song serves a story, with spellbinding lyrics ("We had hope, the world had promise for a slave to liberty. Freely, I slaved away for something better, and I was bought and sold. And all I ever wanted was to come in from the cold.")

    The album concludes with four more tracks of the album's signature huskiness. Fans of Nick Drake, Jeff Buckley, and even softer Neil Young will be put in a trance by the subtle mystery this album has to offer. This album is extremely dark, but by no means dismal.

    With complex acoustic guitarwork and a sheer, emotional palate of lyrics and vocals to sing them, Night Ride home is essential for any Joni Mitchell fan, and those who enjoy the darker , huskier side of folk (a la Neil Young's 1992 Harvest Moon album). Hear the work of a true legend.

    Joni Mitchell
    Dog Eat Dog

    Release Date: 22 March, 1993
    Label: Geffen

    In the title song of 1976's 'Hejira,' Joni Mitchell sang about "the petty wars that shell shock love away." Her view of romance as war made her a great diarist, detailing each volley of each battle with a historian's insight and detail. After years spent musing in her parlor, Mitchell has concluded that Armageddon is coming, and now she's writing about real wars. It's not surprising that Joni can't unravel world politics in a couplet the way she could a romance, but it is disappointing that after a three-year silence, her social criticisms are merely the sort of bloodless liberal homilies you would expect from Rush.

    In "The Three Great Stimulants," "Tax-Free," "Dog Eat Dog" and "Shiny Toys," Mitchell declares herself for drag queens, punks and "simple joys" ("Watching the glorious sun setting on the bay") and against big business, mercenary lawyers, Eighties hedonism and Reaganoid preachers. The latter target turns up in two different songs, which is ironic, since there's as much sanctimony in this record as in the smuggest Falwell sermon. This could be a deliberate move on Mitchell's part: sensing the populist ripple of post-Band Aid activism, and knowing that most of her Woodstock peers are either dead or trying to get there, Joni reenters the great struggle with a plainspoken message to motivate her generation. This explains both "Impossible Dreamer," which may be about John Lennon (there's a direct reference to "Give Peace a Chance") but is certainly about lost idealism, and "Ethiopia," with its parched Japanese flute, choked imagery and painfully enunciated chorus.

    But if Joni wants to reach beyond the faithful who'll buy this LP to keep their collections complete, why is Dog Eat Dog such an unpleasant listen? "Good Friends," the Michael McDonald duet that opens the album, features a big, swiveling beat from bassist and coproducer (and husband) Larry Klein that Joni subverts with a clipped melody. Augmenting the modalities she's favored for the last decade with the industrial clank of a synthesizer, courtesy of Thomas Dolby, the music simulates the soullessness of our "culture in decline" without revealing anything new about it. While Joni's venom is an encouraging sign, its clumsy expression is unnerving. (RS 465)

    ROB TANNENBAUM

    MUSICIANS:
    Joni Mitchell - vocals, Fairlight CMI & keyboards
    Michael McDonald - vocals
    Don Henley, James Taylor, Amy Holland - background vocals
    Larry Klein - bass, keyboards, Fairlight CMI & synthesizer programming
    Thomas Dolby - keyboards, Fairlight CMI & synthesizer programming
    Michael Landau - guitars
    Steve Lukather (Toto) - guitars
    Vinnie Colaiuta - drums
    Wayne Shorter - tenor & soprano saxophones
    Michael Fisher - percussion samples
    Jerry Hey, Gary Grant - horn

    Produced by Joni Mitchell, Larry Klein, Mike Shipley, Thomas Dolby

    Joni Mitchell
    Turbulent Indigo

    CD (October 25, 1994)
    Original Release Date: October 25, 1994
    Label: Warner Brothers

    The 1996 Grammy winner for best pop album, Joni Mitchell's Turbulent Indigo is the singer's most distinctive and rewarding work since Wild Things Run Fast in 1982. Coproduced by Mitchell and her longtime collaborator and former husband Larry Klein, Turbulent Indigo is perhaps the only one of her '80s and '90s discs on which she isn't unduly hampered by studio technology. Whereas her rotten taste in synthesizers lent an automatically dated sound to 1988's Chalk Mark in a Rain Storm and 1998's Taming the Tiger, here the gadgetry is unobtrusive and enhances the power of Mitchell's voice and guitar playing. It also helps that this batch of songs is particularly evocative and well written, ranging from the graceful "How Do You Stop," on which she wonders how to stop "love from slipping away," to the wonderful vignette "Yvette in English," which describes a chance encounter between Picasso and a reluctant model. Paintings and painters are obviously a major theme on the disc--the cover is Mitchell's portrait of herself in the guise of Van Gogh--but more striking is her pessimistic view of humanity. "The Magdalene Laundries" describes the fate of girls left pregnant and abandoned in convent laundry rooms, "Not to Blame" details "the miseries made of love" for all the world's battered wives, and the title of "Sex Kills" is entirely self-explanatory. "The Sire of Sorrow (Job's Sad Song)," the album's finale, is nothing less than the cries of the much-put-upon Job against a heartless God who makes "everything I dread and everything I fear come true." The plaintive beauty of the music helps sweeten the potential sourness of Mitchell's lyrics. Indeed, the contrast gives great force to Turbulent Indigo and confirms that Mitchell's intellectual prowess and willfully contrary outlook are two qualities sorely missing in the work of many of the contemporary songwriters who cite her as their godhead. --Jason Anderson