Many poets, painters, writers, and composers have expressed a sense of alienation and discontinuity with an idealized past, while at the same time longing for it. Joni was married to Chuck Mitchell from 1965-1967 and it was during this period that she was first established as a performer and songwriter. It is quite a mournful song to open the record with, isn't it? Her talent as a performer was amazing even in those early days. The lyrics point out the fact that Joni thought Chuck was of another time: He lives in another time Ladies in gingham still blush While he sings them of wars and wine But I in my leather and lace I can never become that kind He imagines himself as this sex god folk singer with all the giggling girls blushing and worshiping him. The mannered style you mention isn't something that has ever bothered me with Joni because I just like her voice so much and think it has so much natural character. They would have said it's like having a whole paintbox and using only brown. If they get famous with their maiden name, they'll keep it as their stage name even after marriage.
This is a deeply personal song, but Joni wraps the story in an allusion and disguises some of her heart. Really liked Sisotowbell Lane, The Dawntreader and Cactus Tree. They just weren't right for each other and they were much too young. Possibly my favourite of her folk period, which I regard as consisting of the first four albums though Ladies of the Canyon comes close. The only two Joni albums either of those stores ever had in stock were Blue and Court and Spark. Joni had a different path to take.
Then you realize that she, in fact, moves it back and forth between two keys without ever settling into one. I have long harbored a desire to start a thread dedicated to Joni Mitchell. Thinking about Joni's choices for album openers, she seemed to alternate between slow burn openers Tin Angel, Banquet, Court and Spark and more uptempo ones with a bit more movement to them Morning Morgantown, All I Want, In France They Kiss on Main Street, Coyote. No one would have let me put out an acoustic album. It is full of smells and colors and sounds and tastes. Song to a Seagull was one of the last of her '60s and '70s albums I heard and I instantly thought it was very underrated. As a result, instead of following others' directions she has started on her own.
As Schubert might have suggested a brook running through the Viennese countryside in a piano accompaniment, the background of Hejira suggests the whirring of the modern age. It's worth noting that Graham Nash made his own allusion to this song after his break-up with Joni. And if there's any justice in these things which, of course, there isn't it will make Joni Mitchell a star. I would like to talk about her songs specifically, rather than creating a general thread, and I thought that song by song seemed like the right format. I will begin with general info and we can start by sharing overall thoughts on the record, and then we will go through the album song by song.
Joni is not of the era of courtly love and giving it all up for the king. I was playing something else this evening and this thread popped up, and I have stopped playing the other album and dug this out once more. I remember the day I bought it, and when I play it I can even recall every detail of the moment I played it including how I felt, the smell of the album cover etc; and although I had other Joni albums before this and grew to love others more it remains a ethereal thing of beauty. Very stark and personal this song; a vulnerability which makes way for an adamant, almost defiant refusal to continue. She wants to be creative and independent.
Wonderful post and I agree with every word. In each verse of six lines, the harmonic and rhythmic tension reach a maximum level in the third line, which causes the following three lines to come gently tumbling out in perfect acoustic symmetry. It is difficult to categorize the musical style of Hejira. It's fascinating — the voice of the woman who has grown up and knocked around without losing the little girl inside her. It was as if some ancient Anglo-Celtic singer in a modern guise had appeared on the twentieth-century American scene. It is no wonder her peers were in awe.
Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Chuck, seagulls, dolphins, Dairy Queen floats, the Lovin' Spoonful, rain, sunlight, garbage, metermaids and herself. With the appearance of her first album, Joni Mitchell 1967 , her impact was immediate. A ghost of aviation She was swallowed by the sky Or by the sea, like me she had a dream to fly Like Icarus ascending On beautiful foolish arms Amelia, it was just a false alarm fifth verse For the willing listener, Amelia evokes a totally contemporary experience of time, prompted and shaped by flight over the vast expanse of the modern world — a source of both confusion and revelation. Within this nonidealized musical environment, we are moved from the petty to the universal and back again. I've followed Joni throughout her career, but this album holds a very special place in my mind and heart. I'll give people a little time to find the thread before I open things up with the first song. I think both styles have their place and I can pick favorites from both groups.
A search shows me that a few Joni song by song threads have been run in the past, but they were over ten years ago. You find who you are and you dress accordingly. All we can do is to hint briefly at the richness of the music through two of the central pieces in the cycle, Amelia and Hejira the title song. She didn't want to be a housewife, but she was also always a deep romantic with a love of companionship. It's common, one might almost say normal, for female performers to perform under their maiden name even when they are happily married witness Toni Tenille , and that was the case even in the 1960s. I also got the Hits compilation, just for a few more songs. We have Jon, Ian, and Benny - that's enough to go on with.
I am looking forward very much to exploring her catalogue song by song and will chime in when I think I can add to the discussion. What happens when you pursue that idealized quest across the modern landscape? I was working in a record store at the time, and the album was highly anticipated by the whole staff. Not knowing the backstory, one could hear this song as a piece of pure storytelling and myth-making, but digging deeper we get our first look at Joni as an individual. The queen cries at the end of her love affair. CareyJoni Mitchell Lyrics provided by SongLyrics.
The musical elements support a carefully balanced poetical structure. That is just what Joni Mitchell does later in her career with her album Hejira. It always intrigued me that although the marriage failed, Joni kept her ex-husband's surname. When I play it, it takes me right back to 1968. Born To Take The Highway2. When I acquired this album a couple of years ago I realised that NitC was a familiar tune that I had heard years earlier but had never known who it was.