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Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell Blue album coverI came late and slowly to Joni Mitchell. The first of her albums that got me was The Hissing of Summer Lawns. I thought this must surely be unique. None of the observations made, narratives plotted, music played or notes sung could possibly be repeated or form part of a greater body body of work. I thought I’d discovered her best work and everything else would either be sub-folky nonsense like Big Yellow Taxi or obscure wishy-washy jazz.

About ten years later I listened to Blue for the first time. For the next three or four months I listened to it at least once a day and drove my family demented with the sound of it.

About five years on from my Blue revelation, I’ve now discovered Hejira and it makes me feel warm when it’s cold outside.

For me, Joni Mitchell is among the greatest musicians/artists/songwriters there are/have ever been and, along with Kate Bush, represent the very pinnacle of what women produce in the realm of music. Like Dickens, I’m happy to leave long gaps between absorbing more of her. I need to know that when I’m sixty, seventy or beyond there will still be gems of hers to unearth and immerse myself in.

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