on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2016 18 Apr

My favourite Joni Mitchell albums all come from the 70’s

von: Manafonistas Filed under: Blog | TB | Tags:  Comments off

„Love came to my door/With a sleeping roll/And a madman’s soul/He thought for sure I’d seen him/Dancing up a river in the dark/Looking for a woman/To court and spark“.

(The River)


* Blue (1971) *****
* Court and Spark (1974) ****1/2
* The Hissing Of Summer Lawns (1975) ****1/2
* Hejira (1976) *****
* Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter (1977) ***1/2
* Mingus (1979) *****   (m.e.)


“Joni Mitchell’s „Blue“ probably has the same characteristic that I like about Revolver. It has this in-your-face production value. She had written songs like ‘Clouds’ where she had harpsichord on it and all these strings and all that but this album was devoid of all instruments bar the dulcimer, the acoustic guitar and the piano. I don’t even recall a lot of bass on the album but Stephen Stills might have played a bass line on an acoustic guitar.

So what you have is ten or twelve knockout songs that she must have spent months crafting. Poetically, these songs are perfect. They speak to women, I know, but they also speak to men as well, about universal and personal challenges we all face in life. Joni Mitchell articulated them so well but as a record producer, how she did it was so important. Again, it’s that dry sound; in-your-face and a kind of minimal recording but every note and every instrument stated something very clearly and very powerfully.

There are times when I hear this and I don’t even realise that I’m hearing a piano or a vocal; to me, it sounds orchestral. A good arrangement can make two or three instruments sound huge and a bad arrangement can make a whole orchestra sound puny.”

(Tony Visconti, producer)

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