Ladies of the Canyonby Joni Mitchell
This wonderfully varied release shows a number of new tendencies in Joni Mitchell's work, some of which would come to fuller fruition on subsequent albums. "The Arrangement," "Rainy Night House," and "Woodstock" contain lengthy instrumental sections, presaging the extensive non-vocal stretches in later selections such as "Down to You" from Court and Spark. Jazz elements are noticeable in the wind solos of "For Free" and "Conversation," exhibiting an important influence that would extend as late as Mingus. The unusually poignant desolation of "The Arrangement" would surface more strongly in Blue. A number of the selections here ("Willy" and "Blue Boy") use piano rather than guitar accompaniment; arrangements here are often more colorful and complex than before, utilizing cello, clarinet, flute, saxophone, and percussion. Mitchell sings more clearly and expressively than on prior albums, most strikingly so on "Woodstock," her celebration of the pivotal 1960s New York rock festival. This number, given a haunting electric piano accompaniment, is sung in a gutsy, raw, soulful manner; the selection proves amply that pop music anthems don't all have to be loud production numbers. Songs here take many moods, ranging from the sunny, easygoing "Morning Morgantown" (a charming small-town portrait) to the nervously energetic "Conversation" (about a love triangle in the making) to the cryptically spooky "The Priest" (presenting the speaker's love for a Spartan man) to the sweetly sentimental classic "The Circle Game" (denoting the passage of time in touching terms) to the bouncy and vibrant single "Big Yellow Taxi" (with humorous lyrics on ecological matters) to the plummy, sumptuous title track (a celebration of creativity in all its manifestations). This album is yet another essential listen in Mitchell's recorded canon.
- Release Date:
- Warner Bros / Wea
Performance CreditsJoni Mitchell Primary Artist,Guitar,Piano,Keyboards,Vocals
Paul Horn Clarinet,Flute,Wind
Milt Holland Percussion
Jim Horn Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone
Russ Kunkel Drums
Saskatunes Vocals,Background Vocals
Theresa Adams Cello
Lookout Mountain United Downstairs Choir Vocals,Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Him Horn Baritone Saxophone
Teressa Adams Cello
Terry Adams Clarinet,Cello
Technical CreditsJoni Mitchell Arranger,Composer,Cover Design
Don Bagley Cello Arrangement
Henry Lewy Engineer,Advisor
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews
This album has more radio hits than any other Joni ever made, yet there is no loss in the quality of her art. This is one of the greatest albums that, in retrospect, marked the end of the sixties and the beginning of the seventies. This is one of the most enjoyable albums of Joni's career. A MUST have.
THIS ALBUM BRINGS BACK EARLY 70'S, AND THE HIPPIE ERA. WITH THE OPEN SONG" MORNING MORGANTOWN I FELT LIKE RED CARPET WAS PULLED OUT FOR ME. " FOR FREE,WILLY,THE ARRANGEMENT,RAINY NIGHT HOUSE BRING JONI'S PIANO PLAYING INTRODUCTION. THE TITLE SONG MAKES FEEL LIKE HIPPIE. I WISH WAS AT WOODSTOCK. THE SONGS THAT I ENJOY THE MOST ARE BIG YELLOW TAXI,CONVERSATION AND THE CIRCLE GAME THE MOST HAUNTING SONG IS "THE PRIEST". THIS ALBUMS EQUAL TO "FOR THE ROSES".