Thursday, February 25, 2010

Joni MITCHELL - Ladies of the Canyon 1970

Joni MITCHELL - Ladies of the Canyon 1970
RS 6376


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.
By Sam Sutherland.
With her second album CLOUDS, Joni Mitchell established herself as an artist who was here to stay. LADIES OF THE CANYON affirmed her status as one of the most important female artists in music history. Like most artists, Joni was just getting her feet wet with her first two albums, but it was on her third that she really blossomed. For the first time, Joni sings with the right emotions that her songs often call for. Songs like "Willy", "The Conversation", and "The Arrangement" are short but difficult songs that accurately portray the hardships of love and romance. Another prominent subject is that of the loss of innocence, and Joni brings to it her distinctive brand of poetry. The sad introspection continues on songs like "Woodstock" (not the CSNY version, but in a slower, more dirge-like sound), and "The Circle Game" (which for an almost-20 year old man like me rings all too true). In fact, "The Circle Game" might be the greatest song ever written about coming of age. CANYON's best-known song also deals with the album's prominent subject of time passage: "Big Yellow Taxi". Anyone who thinks Joni is all about the feminine point of view of life's trials and tribulations will probably be shocked by this song that takes a lighthearted, funny approach to a subject that would often get drowned in the emotiveness typical of folk singing/songwriting. Joni's expression at the end of the song is priceless! As her career progressed, Joni Mitchell would get even more personal and introspective. But LADIES OF THE CANYON is the perfect document of a young woman and her approach to life, love, and the pursuit of happiness.
Eric N. Andrews.
Joni Mitchell- Guitar, Piano, Vocals
Teresa Adams- Cello
Paul Horn- Clarinet, Flute
Jim Horn- Baritone Sax
Milt Holland- Percussion
The Saskatunes- Bop Vocals
The Lookout Mountain United Downstairs Choir- Chorus on The Circle Game
Don Bagley- Cello Arrangement
A1. Morning Morgantown 
A2. For Free 
A3. Conversation 
A4. Ladies Of The Canyon 
A5. Willy 
A6. The Arrangement 
B1. Rainy Night House 
B2. The Priest 
B3. Blue Boy 
B4. Big Yellow Taxi 
B5. Woodstock 
B6. The Circle Game 


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