Thursday, April 08, 2010

My Joni Mitchell Phase

For years I resisted liking Joni Mitchell. I wrote her off as a hippy-dippy, self-absorbed 70s throwback...which she sort of is. But then I started listening to bits of Blue on YouTube and LaLa, not even really liking it at first--I'd even say finding it annoying on some level. But something made me keep wanting to come back for more despite myself. The complex wordplay, the loping unexpected melodies, the moody piano songs like "River" and "The Last Time I Saw Richard" that suddenly seemed to explain the basis of Tori Amos' whole career... before I knew it I had bought a copy and was listening to it obsessively.

Then I went to LA for week--which somehow put her music in an even better context for me, and where Drischord recommended a few of her jazz-influenced 70s albums. And now I'm all tangled up in 1974's Court and Spark, which I'm listening to about twice a day, and there seems to be no turning back. Count me a full-on fan, despite my years of resistance. There's even something in her mid-70s work that starts to remind me of Townes Van Zandt...but I think I could (and may) save that for another post.

1 comment:

drischord said...

Court and Spark is undoubtedly on my list of 5 best albums ever. No question I'd bring it with me to that desert island in the South Pacific. (as soon as the feds catch up to me, of course.)

Joni Mitchell is one of my favorite artists of all time, right up there with the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Wilco and Steely Dan. Basically everything from Ladies of the Canyon through Don Juan's Reckless Daughter is essential listening in my book. Plus the awesome double disc Travelogue she released earlier this year. Classic.