Court and Spark

Court and Spark

by Joni Mitchell
4.9 12

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Overview

Court and Spark

Joni Mitchell reached her commercial high point with Court and Spark, a remarkably deft fusion of folk, pop, and jazz which stands as her best-selling work to date. While as unified and insightful as Blue, the album -- a concept record exploring the roles of honesty and trust in relationships, romantic and otherwise -- moves away from confessional songwriting into evocative character studies: the hit "Free Man in Paris," written about David Geffen, is a not-so-subtle dig at the machinations of the music industry, while "Raised on Robbery" offers an acutely funny look at the predatory environment of the singles bar scene. Much of Court and Spark is devoted to wary love songs: both the title cut and "Help Me," the record's most successful single, carefully measure the risks of romance, while "People's Parties" and "The Same Situation" are fraught with worry and self-doubt (standing in direct opposition to the music, which is smart, smooth, and assured from the first note to the last).

Product Details

Release Date: 10/25/1990
Label: Elektra / Wea
UPC: 0075596059329
catalogNumber: 1001
Rank: 246

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Joni Mitchell   Primary Artist,Guitar,Piano,Keyboards,Vocals,Background Vocals,Clavinet
Cheech & Chong   Vocals,Background Vocals
José Feliciano   Guitar,Electric Guitar
Graham Nash   Harmonica,Vocals,Background Vocals
Robbie Robertson   Guitar,Electric Guitar
Larry Carlton   Guitar,Electric Guitar
Victor Feldman   Percussion,Keyboards
Joe Sample   Keyboards,Electric Piano
Tom Scott   Reeds,Wind,Multiple Reeds,Woodwind
Max Bennett   Bass
Dennis Budimir   Guitar,Electric Guitar
Tommy Chong   Background Vocals
David Crosby   Vocals,Background Vocals
Wilton Felder   Bass
Chuck Findley   Trumpet
John Guerin   Percussion,Drums
Milt Holland   Percussion,Chimes
Jim Hughart   Bass
Cheech Marin   Background Vocals
Wayne Perkins   Guitar,Electric Guitar
Susan Webb   Vocals,Background Vocals
Dennis Dudimir   Electric Guitar
Chong   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Joni Mitchell   Arranger,Composer,Artwork,Audio Production
Annie Ross   Composer
Tom Scott   Arranger
Dave Lambert   Composer
Jon Hendricks   Composer
Henry Lewy   Engineer
Anthony Hudson   Art Direction

Customer Reviews

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Court and Spark 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
MJinPA More than 1 year ago
This is an unbelievable album. Superb engineering (described by sound engineers as a masterpiece); gorgeous lyrics; lush, jazzy instrumentation and vocals. The songs are linked together beautifully, and the editing is exquisite. If you want to understand why Joni Mitchell is such a legend, get Court and Spark and Blue.
Guest More than 1 year ago
First, I love Joni Mitchell, so anything I have to say is going to be biased, but this is definitely a fun album. Jazzy, pop delight.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Without question, Joni produced an incredible volume of work, some that satisfied her traditional fan-base and some that expanded her audience to the jazz side. What makes this THE clear winner in the Mitchell camp is the relative consistency of the work, her unbelievable vocal range, the beautifully done harmonies and the clever lyrics. A tip of the hat to the recording engineers as well. Many thanks to Canada for sharing one the top talents to come from that country.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The definitive Joni Mitchell set -- every cut is a keeper. How many albums can say that? Maybe twenty -- ever?
Guest More than 1 year ago
COURT AND SPARK IS JONI MITCHELL'S HIGHEST HONORS, AND EVEN IF THIS IS MY SECOND FAVORITE ALBUM TO "BLUE". THIS ALBUMS IS JUST AS SPECIAL.COURT AND SPARK MADE JONI MITCHELL A STAR WITH "HELP ME" WHICH IS THE ALBUMS TOP 10 HIT. THE 1982 ALBUM" WILD THINGS RUN FAST TRIED TO DO THE SAME THING BUT FAILED. NOW WILD THINGS RUN FAST WAS FIRST ALBUM ON DAVID GEFFEN RECORD LABEL. JONI DEDICATED THE SONG " FREE MAN IN PARIS FOR HIM WHICH IS FEATURE ON COURT AND SPARK. PEOPLE'S PARTIES,THE SAME SITUATION,COURT AND SPARK AND A CAR ON HILL BRING A STRETCH OF ROMANIC SONGS TO THE ALBUM. "DOWN TO YOU" JONI EXPERENCES WITH ORCHESTRA BEFORE PAPRIKA PLAIN ON "DON JUAN'S RECKLESS DAUGHTER". JUST LIKE THIS TRAIN AND RAISED ON ROBBERY BRINGS A TRAINING EFFECT TO ALBUMS. HUMOR ENDS THE ALBUMS WITH TROUBLE CHILD AND TWISTED WHICH FEATURE CHEECH AND CHONG. COURT AND SPARK MAKES ME FALL IN LOVE. I AM IN LOVE JONI MITCHELL.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Joni's ''Help Me'' is the best. Her background orchestra is fantastic, almost in a jazzy beat and mellow too for the time this was recorded.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an outstanding work, a sort of cross-over between rock, pop, folk, and even jazz (on 'Twisted'). It may not be her best album (I think that "Hejira" and "The Hissing of Summer Lawns" are her best), but it's almost the best album you can ever listen to. I highly recommend it!
JohnQ More than 1 year ago
As Joni's Blue album was a masterpiece of grief, this album is a masterpiece of love. We had not heard this kind of pure joy from Joni since her Ladies of the Canyon album and it is pure pleasure to listen to.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Of course my memories of the time this came out are part of the whole listening experience. Still, I rediscovered the richness of the arrangements.
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