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JONI MITCHELL

Joni Mitchell

The Hissing Of Summer Lawns

    For many, the soft and crystal-clear voice of Joni Mitchell at the beginning of her career will remain indelible in their memory. The innovative style of her peaceful, folk guitar music caught the attention of David Crosby, member of the highly popular band Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and in 1968 he produced her very first album. Only three years later she became inspired by the cool flow of modern jazz and set off on new musical paths. "The Hissing Of Summer Lawns" represents a great leap away from the folk scene. Even the very first number, "In France They Kiss On Main Street", stands out thanks to its surprisingly unconventional melodic writing which is answered by powerful bass lines in a Jaco Pastorius-like style. Experiments with sound follow, such as the use of warrior drums of the Burundi and the growling sinus tones of the Moog synthesiser ("The Jungle Line") and then there is a whole line-up of minor-key songs behind whose jet-set foreground one finds a sophisticated jazz spirit. Even the final gospel-like singing ("Shadows And Light") contains little touches of the poignant melancholy which is found throughout the album. With her highly versatile, uniquely textured voice, which has often been compared favourably to that of Kate Bush, and her song texts whose lyrical depths are similar to Patti Smith's, Joni Mitchell has created a masterwork of the Seventies.

    Joni Mitchell

    Blue

      The 1971 masterpiece and the record for which she is still best known, this is one of the greatest albums to come out of the whole early-mid 70s singer/songwriter West Coast genre. It's poetic, introspective, acoustic-based and consistently melodic, as was most of the wonderful music coming out of LA at the time, but Joni stood apart and was worshipped by all the other movers and shakers as well as the newly denim-clad young hipsters, on both sides of the Atlantic. This became THE record of the day and it's resonated on through the years. It's not hard to see why: it's absolutely beautiful.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: 6,000 limited edition copies.

      Ltd LP Info: Ltd Edition 180 gram heavyweight vinyl in gatefold sleeve. Cut from analogue masters. Original artwork.

      Joni Mitchell

      Ladies Of The Canyon

      Joni Mitchell's third release found her moving away from the wistful folk of her debut and "Clouds", branching out into the progressive pop and jazz elements that would define her best work. The bright, poppy "Big Yellow Taxi", the album's single, is here, as is her epoch-defining "Woodstock", a soulful, stirring song about the 1969 rock festival that was later covered by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. But the material on "Ladies Of The Canyon" is uniformly strong, demonstrating the mature style and vision that made her one of the leading voices of the 70s.

      On songs like, "Conversation" and the title cut, Mitchell's lyrics begin to turn toward to the quirky, personal poetry of interior landscapes, focusing with a writer's eye on scene, detail, and the dynamics of human relationships. Her instrumental palette is broadened too, with colourful, textured arrangements that make greater use of piano, as well as strings, reeds, electric keyboards, and percussion. Some songs, like the sweet, chiming "The Circle Game", seem a bit naive, but these are counterbalanced with darker songs like "The Arrangement", a stark ballad. In all, "Ladies Of The Canyon" was Mitchell's first classic album, one that helped pave the way for its watershed successor, "Blue".

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Ltd LP Info: 180 gram heavyweight vinyl.

      Joni Mitchell

      Travelogue

      To hear a major artist of the stature of Joni Mitchell reinterpret 22 of her greatest works is a true revelation. In these new orchestral arrangements her lyrics shine like diamonds and her voice, aged like a fine wine, brings out new nuances in the words. There is a symphonic dimension to the arrangements, they are both sympathetic and melodious, and this acts as the perfect foil for Joni's new look at her tremendous body of work.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      2xCD Info: Deluxe packaging includes two booklets plus enhanced CD content.


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