Joni Mitchell

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


  • 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 Don Juan's Reckless Daughter

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

    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

    Joni Mitchell Blue

    CD (October 25, 1990)
    Original Release Date: June 1971
    Label: Warner Brothers

    Joni Mitchell would go on from this '71 recording to make more popular, more ambitious, and more challenging albums, but she's never made a better one. Working with minimal accompaniment (Stephen Stills and James Taylor are two of the four sidemen), the Canadian thrush summoned an involving song cycle of romance found and lost. Though Blue is an uncommonly intimate representation, it's also astonishingly open and gracious. Songs such as "All I Want," "Carey," "California," and "A Case of You" work equally well as poetry and pop music. --Steve Stolder

    Joni Mitchell

    Label: Elektra/Asylum
    Reviewer: Thijs from Groesbeek, Gelderland Netherlands
    This record takes some time to sink in if you are familiar with Joni's better known work like Blue, Court And Spark, THOSL and Hejira. Some of those albums have some jazz-vibe but this album is incredible sparse with music written by the late jazz musician Charles Mingus and lyrics from Joni. Two songs are written only by Joni herself because Mingus died before the project was completed. There are also a couple of raps with dialogue from the birthday of Mingus and other unknown people. Joni's voice sounds really on her peak here, not as high and screechy as on her first albums, and not so smokey and mature as on her later releases. Great musicians like Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and ofcourse Jaco Pastorius lend their talents to this album. This is not a good introduction to Joni's work and surtainly not her best work, but if you want to explore the lesser-known work from Joni, give this album a go and you will be amazed by the riks this artist is willing to take. Instead of making music for the masses, Joni went her own way and creates something that's still original, even after 24 years!

    Joni Mitchell

    CD (October 25, 1990)
    Original Release Date: November 1976
    Label: Elektra/Asylum

    Playing time: 51 min.
    Contributing artists: Jaco Pastorius, Larry Carlton, Neil Young, Tom Scott, Victor Feldman
    Producer: Joni Mitchell

    Album notes

    Personnel: Joni Mitchell (vocals, acoustic & electric guitars); Larry Carlton (acoustic & electric guitars); Abe Most (clarinet); Neil Young (harmonica); Chuck Findley, Tom Scott (horns); Victor Feldman (vibraphone); Jaco Pastorius, Max Bennett, Chuck Domanico (bass); John Guerin (drums); Bobbye Hall (percussion).Recorded at A&M Studios, Hollywood, California.All tracks have been digitally remastered using HDCD technology.Joni Mitchell draws freely on her heroes and influences, and in her turn inspires and informs the work of countless others; thus are the genes of our musical heritage passed on to new generations. The love of jazz glimpsed in COURT AND SPARK and THE HISSING OF SUMMER LAWNS is wanton in HEJIRA. The arrangements are loose and the melodies seductively free-flowing. The lyrics, too, have broken free of rigid verse and rhyme structures and tend towards prose poetry. The cloak of introspection that weighs down on much of her work is lighter here; though far from mainstream. The chiming flanged guitar throughout, is inspired.

    After the expanded instrumental scale and sonic experimentation of Court & Spark and The Hissing of Summer Lawns[EJM2], Joni Mitchell reverses that flow for the more intimate, interior music on Hejira, which retracts the arranging style to focus on Mitchell's distinctive acoustic guitar and piano, and the brilliant, lyrical bass fantasias of fretless bass innovator Jaco Pastorius. Known for his furious, sometimes rococo figures beneath the music of Weather Report, Pastorius is tamed by Mitchell's cooler, more deliberate ballads: these meditations coax a far gentler, subdued lyricism from Pastorius, whose intricate bass counterpoints Mitchell's coolly elegant singing, especially on the sublime "Amelia," which transforms the mystery of Amelia Earheart into a parable of both feminism and romantic self-discovery. This isn't Mitchell at her most obviously ambitious, yet the depth of feeling, poetic reach, and musical confidence make this among the finest works in a very fine canon. --Sam Sutherland 

    CD (October 25, 1990)
    Original Release Date: November 1976

    Label: Elektra/Asylum

    Joni Mitchell
    The Hissing of Summer Lawns

    CD (October 25, 1990)
    Original Release Date: November 1975
    Label: Elektra/Asylum

    With The Hissing of Summer Lawns, Joni Mitchell has moved beyond personal confession into the realm of social philosophy. All the characters are American stereotypes who act out socially determined rituals of power and submission in exquisitely described settings. Mitchell's eye for detail is at once so precise and so panoramic that one feels these characters have very little freedom. They belong to the things they own, wear and observe, to the drugs they take and the people they know as much if not more than to themselves. Most are fixed combatants in tableaux, rituals and scenarios that share Mitchell's reflections on feminism.

    As might be expected, Mitchell's approach is very cerebral. In "Don't Interrupt the Sorrow," a poem of almost impenetrable mystery, she voices the core of her vision. Among other things, the song parallels modern forms of female subjugation with both Christian and African mythology in imagery that is disjunctive and telegraphic:

    He says "Your notches liberation doll"

    And he chains me with that serpent

    To that Ethiopian wall

    Winds of change patriarchs

    Snug in your bible belt dreams.

    "Edith and the Kingpin," a nightmarish urban tableau, portrays a pimp/pusher/mobster initiating a new girl into his stable of dope-entranced concubines. "The Jungle Line" also uses drug dealing as an effective metaphor for sexual and racial enslavement. Here again, Mitchell, never one to disavow the powerful glamour of evil, pulls a brilliant twist, uniting images of cannibalism, wild animals, slave ships and industrial squalor with the gorgeously innocent paintings of imaginary jungle scenes by the late-19th-century French Primitive, Henri Rousseau.

    Always Mitchell displays enough moral ambiguity in her lyrics to avoid condescension; her latent impulse to anger is consistently redeemed by a compassionate, seemingly genuine sorrow, as well as by a visual artist's impulse to perceive the beauty in all things. The tension between Mitchell's moral and aesthetic principles is resolved with special grace in "Shades of Scarlet Conquering," the full-scale portrait of a southern belle very similar to Tennessee Williams's Blanche DuBois. Here Mitchell's feminist sensibility is implicit in her compassion:

    Beauty and madness to be praised

    It is not easy to be brave

    To walk around in so much need

    To carry the weight of all that greed

    If Mitchell's view of the outcome of feminist struggle seems pessimistic, it is not totally hopeless. "The Hissing of Summer Lawns" and "Harry's House—Centerpiece" pose opposite solutions to a similar situation: the suburban wife as her husband's captive trophy—materially comfortable but emotionally and spiritually famished. In the first song, the wife remains with her husband:

    Still she stays with a love of some kind

    It's the lady's choice

    The hissing of summer lawns

    In the second, which is far superior, she leaves him. Here Mitchell's lyric evokes genuine conflict. Her excited fascination with the chic kineticism of New York high life sets up the tension between a life the writer perceives as attractive but dangerous as well:

    He opens up his suitcase

    In the continental suite

    And people twenty stories down

    Colored currents in the street

    A helicopter lands on the Pan Am roof

    Like a dragonfly on a tomb

    The song then segues effortlessly into the Lambert, Hendricks and Ross tune, "Centerpiece," whose smug marriage proposal (" 'Cause nothing's any good without you/Baby you're my centerpiece") in the context of Mitchell's story seems devastatingly sexist and shallow as well as seductively hip. The song, moreover, doesn't disown the wife's responsibility for the marriage and its breakup. In the coda, the abandoned husband remembers his wife with her "Shining hair and shining skin/Shining as she reeled him in." Mitchell understands the enormous power and restlessness of a true siren.

    Images of entrapment and enslavement (an artist to his patrons) also inform "The Boho Dance," the album's other song set in New York. Inspired by The Painted Word, Tom Wolfe's clever diatribe against the art world establishment, this recollected dialogue depicts the hypocrisy of a scene that only pretends not to be thoroughly commercialized.

    Two philosophic songs, "Sweet Bird" and "Shadows and Light," fill out the album's schematic concept. The first is a serene meditation, tinged with sadness, on the fading of youth ("all these vain promises on beauty jars") that develops into a fatalistic lament for all that will eventually be extinct.

    In sharp contrast to the languid reflectiveness of "Sweet Bird," "Shadows and Light," Mitchell's first venture into a quasi-liturgical writing style, stands halfway between incantatory prayer and sermon and also unravels some of the clues to the mystery of "Don't Interrupt the Sorrow." The song unites the antinomies of beauty and evil, freedom and slavery in a supremely relativistic statement of personal faith. While acknowledging the power of devils and gods, Mitchell perceives them as male myths, necessary for the creation of inevitably patriarchal systems. But "laws governing wrong and right," Mitchell recognizes, are "ever broken."

    If The Hissing of Summer Lawns offers substantial literature, it is set to insubstantial music. There are no tunes to speak of. Since Blue, Mitchell's interest in melody has become increasingly eccentric, and she has relied more and more on lyrics and elaborate production. This parallels Mitchell's growing interest in jazz, a form that would seem the ideal vehicle for developing her gift.

    Four members of Tom Scott's L.A. Express are featured on Hissing, but their uninspired jazz-rock style completely opposes Mitchell's romantic style. Always distinctly modal, Mitchell's tunes for the first time often lack harmonic focus. They are free-form in the most self-indulgent sense, i.e., they exist only to carry the lyrics. With the exceptions of "Shades of Scarlet Conquering" and "Sweet Bird," neither of which boasts a strong tune but at least have appropriately lovely textures, the arrangements are as pretentiously chic as they are boring.

    The album's most flagrant example of pseudo-avant-gardism is the drum- and synthesizer-dominated arrangement for "The Jungle Line." Where Mitchell's "Cold Blue Steel and Sweet Fire" from For the Roses was a truly sinister evocation of addiction, its angular tune coiling on an intensely seductive vocal track, "The Jungle Line," which is quite similar in theme, sounds brittle, gimmicky and enervated. "Shadows and Light" suffers from too many vocal overdubs and a synthesizer that sounds like a long, solemn fart. The only catchy melody is the non-original "Centerpiece," and it lacks altogether the wit, sophistication and inventiveness of "Twisted," Mitchell's earlier excursion into the Lambert, Hendricks and Ross catalog.

    If Joni Mitchell intends to experiment further with jazz, she ought to work with an artist of her own stature, someone like pianist Keith Jarrett whose jazz-classical compositions are spiritually and romantically related to Mitchell's best work. The Hissing of Summer Lawns is ultimately a great collection of pop poems with a distracting soundtrack. Read it first. Then play it. (RS 204)


    Joni Mitchell Court and Spark

    CD (October 25, 1990)
    Label: Elektra/Asylum

    COURT AND SPARK, Asylum. Grammy nominations for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female ("Court and Spark"); Album of the Year; Record of the Year ("Help Me"); Grammy for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist, with Tom Scott, arranger ("Down to You")

    Painter-turned-folksinger Joni Mitchell had slipped stark saxophone solos into her prior album, For the Roses, and her singing had often hinted at a capacity for bluesier fare than her guitar- and piano-framed confessional ballads offered. None of those hints prepared fans for this sudden, expansive shift toward a much larger canvas--a sleeker, orchestrated pop style pulsing with jazz elements. Court & Spark found Mitchell casting aside her earth mother affectations and revealing herself as the thoroughly modern, thoroughly complicated woman she is; the songs sustained familiar preoccupations with relationships but replaced courtly settings and naturalistic imagery with recognizably modern locales. Deeply romantic, constantly questioning, classic tracks like the title song, "Help Me," "Free Man in Paris," "Same Situation," and "Raised on Robbery" display a more liberated Mitchell, ready to rumble with unbridled electric guitars (guest Robbie Robertson on "...Robbery"), even willing to poke fun at her own oh-so-sensitive rep with a hip cover of Annie Ross's hilarious "Twisted." --Sam Sutherland

    Joni Mitchell For The Roses

    CD (October 25, 1990)
    Original Release Date: November 1972
    Label: Elektra/Asylum
    Sandwiched between the solitary, heart-on-her-sleeve confessions of Blue and the ravishing pop of Court and Spark, 1972's For the Roses captures Joni Mitchell in a deceptively subdued period of transition. Still hewing to a spare sound, Mitchell ventures beyond the elegant folk sources of earlier records to explore her love of blues and jazz-based harmony, writing as much on piano as guitar; thematically, the earnest reveries and heartbroken dirges of before give way to a more detached, even journalistic perspective and darker, grittier settings, most strikingly on "Cold Blue Steel and Sweet Fire." "You Turn Me On, I'm a Radio" was the set's nominal hit, yet in hindsight the keepers here are found in evolutionary pieces like the jazz-tinged "Barangrill," the rock-infused "Blonde in the Bleachers," and in more sober meditations like "Woman of Heart and Mind"--testaments to her restless growth and signposts to the more mature music ahead. --Sam Sutherland

    Joni Mitchell
    Ladies of the Canyon

    CD (October 25, 1990
    Original Release Date: April 1970
    Label: Warner Brothers

    Joni Mitchell's third album offers a bridge between the artful but sometimes dour meditations of her earlier work and the more mature, confessional revelations of the classics that would follow. Voice and guitar still hew to the pretty filigree of a folk poet, but there's the giggling rush of rock & roll freedom in "Big Yellow Taxi," and the formal metaphor of her older songs ("The Circle Game," already oft-covered by the time of this recording) yields to the more impressionistic images of the new ones ("Woodstock"). The dark lyricism of her earliest ballads is intact (on "For Free" and "Rainy Night House"), yet there's a prevailing idealism here that sounds poignant alongside the warier, more mature songs to come on Blue and Court And Spark. --Sam Sutherland