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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Court And Spark

Joni Mitchell

1974

Court And Spark

Album Summary

Court and Spark is the sixth studio album by Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell. It was an immediate commercial and critical success—and remains her most successful album. Released in January 1974, it has been described as pop, but also infuses Mitchell's folk rock style, which she had developed through her previous five albums, with jazz inflections. It reached No. 2 in the United States and No. 1 in Canada and eventually received a double platinum certification by the RIAA, the highest of Mitchell's career. It also reached the Top 20 in the UK and was voted the best album of the year for 1974 in The Village Voice Pazz & Jop Critics Poll. In 2020, it was ranked at number 110 in Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.28

Votes

4597

Genres

  • Folk
  • Rock
  • Singer Songwriter
Reviews
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2

Such overrated artist... maybe she should have been just a poet?

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5

What a beautiful album. Again, this is another album I haven't heard before, but I am so glad that I've been able to experience it now. Joni Mitchell's voice is superb, right off the bat I was blown away by her performance and lyricism. The soft piano ballads and jazzy pop tunes are perfectly crafted and emotionally moving. I listened to this album twice, which is something I hadn't done with the previous albums. The song structures remind me of Joanna Newsome, but I think Mitchell does it much better. I felt connected to each story told in the songs, and the way they flowed together made the whole experience engrossing. Favorite track: all of them Least favorite track: none

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5

My mom's favorite Joni album. Mine as well. Straight down the middle folk rock Joni. The trademark floating and swirling Joni melodies but this time with more energy Joni. More direct, incisive lyrics from Joni. More compelling jazz Joni. Incredible Joni production in surprising places (end of People's Parties, middle of Car on a Hill). I'd give it an easy 5 but the cringey final scat scat, so instead it's a labored 5. A+

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4

Before listening: I always imagined Joni Mitchell's audience as the Emma Thompson's character from Love Actually. Tragic, hopeless, alone.../ I started it for the second time and starting to like it at "Help me"/ The more folkish a song is the less I like it./ "Help me" and "Raised on Robbery" keeps pulling me back (even tough the second one is pretty folkish, but has good vibes, so I don't care)/ This is definitely not the Joni Mitchel I was expecting, and when reading a bit about her it seems that I could like her later stuff, when she ventured to jazzier stuff, seems like this was kind of a starting point.

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4

Finally! A female artist, and it's the legend herself. I really love Joni Mitchell, I find myself torn between thinking she or Bob Dylan is the better songwriter. Hard to argue it's Bob in the face of "Both Sides Now." I haven't listened to this album before, but it's great. It only has one song that I already knew ("Help Me"), but there's plenty of heat here. I really like the exploration of different genres--Joni dips into jazz on some tracks, then more rock/pop on others. It doesn't always suit her, but her voice cuts through anything. It's a great experience overall and held my attention throughout. I'm looking forward to getting more Joni Mitchell albums, especially Blue. Also, if this list listened to my plea for female artists, maybe it will hear me ask to honor Black History Month...maybe some Jimi Hendrix? Aretha Franklin? We'll see what's in store. Favorite tracks: Help Me, People's Parties, Down to You, Twisted. Album art: Simple and sweet. I like the textured look. Nothing too special, but it looks like Joni herself may have painted that picture. That's extremely cool. 4.5/5

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2

I do not understand the praise Joni Mitchell gets.

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2

Sorry lady, not interested in the slides from your trip to Paris.

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2

This album was so BORING. It wasn't actively *bad*, but I just didn't care about it.

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5

It’s a testament to how great Joni Mitchell that this can be a perfect album and still not my favorite by her

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5

I was gonna give this only 4 stars but I don't think my mom would ever forgive me if she found out, so I'm rounding up.

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4

great full band and piano, riffs can be pretty fun to listen to

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4

Longtemps restée dans l'ombre de son petit-fils Eddy, Joni Mitchell n'en a pour autant pas moins de talent. C'était d'ailleurs prévisible. Je m'explique. Une fois que l'on a compris que Joni était une femme et non un énième gonze, on se doute que l'album sera bon puisque à l'exception de Patti Smith et sa crête iroquoise, aucune représentante de la gente féminine n'a obtenu moins de quatre étoiles de ma part. Et cet album les vaut bien.

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3

Interesting grunge dive. Can’t help but feel they aped nirvana a bit.

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2

A bit meandering and winding in places; middle of the road. Good album for dinner parties.

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2

meh, just not really my style

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2

I really liked her voice, but the songs are a bit too generic and flat. I'm sure the lyrics are meaningful but I couldn't be bothered to pay them any mind because of this.

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2

not available on Spotify?

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2

Couldn’t find it on Spotify and in the end not overly mad about it. Deedle deedle deedle

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1

Joni Mitchell? More like moany shitshow.

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1

at its best its female madman-era elton john written by a 14 yo girl who just went through her first breakup standing in for taupin. at its worst it sounds like joni mitchell. boring, repetitive instrumentation. trite, on-the-nose lyrics. i actively hate it. closing track was particularly insulting

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1

I didn't realize I hated Joni Mitchell so much. It's one of those names I've heard a bunch but never listened to.

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5

5/26 Warm, serene, and free. Standout Tracks: Help Me, Free Man in Paris, People's Parties, Car on a Hill, Down To You, Raised on Robbery, Troubled Child

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5

Gorgeous, Side B is a bit weak though.

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5

Another high note in a very specific genre (that basically has a one woman sub genre in this particular performer). About perfect, if you like this kind of thing (which I do)

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5

Joni Mitchell y su voz me dan un efecto tranquilizador. Comienzo por ahí porque ahí ya va de gane este disco. Me gusta mucho cómo no parece tener un solo hilo conductor (poco más en los ritmos, melodías que en las letras) pero a la vez sí suena como un conjunto y disfruté cada una de sus canciones. Ya sea por las variaciones internas o por el trabajo con la voz o, en ocasiones, por versos dulzones. Tengo en alta estima a Joni, que además es muy prolífica. Seguro viene el Blue en algún momento (10/10) y no sé si haya otro. Me parece un gran disco pop de los 70. Y bueno, canciones a destacar diría "Free Man in Paris", la canción quizá más uniforme del disco, "Raised on Robbery" por su ritmo alegre y la balada "Down To You" con su suficiente dosis de cursilería y sus cambios y todo. 9.5/10

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5

Her breakthrough of folk, jazz and pop. Her voice is so lilting, but the lyrics are anything but. "Free man in Paris" goes right at the music industry machine. This was "Laurel Canyon" par excellence.

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5

9/10. Really quite good. Possibly could bump it up to a 10 on a relisten.

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5

really good, I’ll definitely come back to this. 10

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5

Folk, guitar moving into some jazzy flourishes. She knocks it out the park again. Best Tracks: Court and Spark, Raised on Robbery, Twisted

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5

pretty good Phoebe plays Steely Dan vibes

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5

A masterpiece, simply put. Mixes folk rock, blues and jazz in a placement where they all feel welcome and appreciated. I love the modal mixture, harmonies and the unique integrity of Joni Mitchell's voice. Absolutely fantastic

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5

The sounds on here are incredible! These are the smoothest, most satisfying tracks I've heard since "Blue". I especially love the transition between "Trouble Child" and "Twisted". Both top tier tracks, too.

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5

Such a beautiful albums, from the lyrics to the instrumentals to the singing itself.

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5

Hell yeah bro

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5

Prime Joni is beyond criticism.

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5

Once again, I find myself struggling to find words worthy of Joni Mitchell. For me, she is and will always be one of the greatest treasures, one of the greatest gifts, to and from the world of art and creativity. When I focus on her music, as I did for this album for this listen, there is so much to discover and hear, even when I've heard the song countless times before. What a rare and incredible musician on every level. This is a beautiful and fascinating album.

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5

More sublime music from Joni Mitchell, this time with a rock flair. An artist whose work merits repeat listening and will change its meaning over time as you get older and maybe wiser. Superb.

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5

nice album

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5

Yes, Joni Mitchell, better than just the hits. Great album.

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5

Beautiful lyricism, sparkling melodies, reclusive balladeer. This album is pure Joni Mitchell, dialed up to 11. A wonderful listen, a respite from treating Frankie's illness.

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5

This album hit different. I really, really enjoyed this entire album. It's got that 'timeless classic' sound to it, the light drums, the completely clean guitar tones, the angelic vocals, it's like a female version of Bread (I hope to god an album by Bread comes up on this someday LOL). Not only that, but it also sounds like she may have had a ton of impact on other artists. I can't think of any specific examples off the top of my head, but certain things here and there in some of the songs just sound so familiar, as if you've heard it before, but you've probably just heard a song that was heavily influenced by Joni Mitchell.

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5

This is one of the best albums I’ve ever listened to. Joni Mitchell is one of my favorite artists ever. Help me is such a uniquely beautiful expression of new and true love. The lightness that comes with love and the lightness of the song goes so well together. She is absolutely a gem of a human

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5

2nd Joni Mitchell album I've gotten and this one is a lot more happy and energetic than Blue. Although this album doesn't feel as emotionally intense as Blue, I still enjoyed nearly as much. This album feels exciting and fresh but that can also be its biggest weakness. Sometimes it can feel a little too grandiose. Aside from that, if I had friends over and had to choose a Joni album to put on, it would be this one. Great album!

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5

Rejection of fame. Moments of jazziness.

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5

Really great album. Love the composition and lyrics. Need more Joni in my life.

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5

I liked the exploration of different genres! Very good album!

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5

Bon Joni

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5

‘Court And Spark’ is full of great songs and stunning arrangements by an artist at her peak, with a who’s who of 70s musicians including Joe Sample and Wilton Felder (from the Crusaders) Jose Feliciano, Larry Carlton, David Crosby and Graham Nash (from CSN and CSNY) all dropping by to lend a hand. Even Cheech and Chong provide some backing vocals. While not quite as emotional and intense as say ‘Blue’, ‘Court and Spark’ is still lyrically deep, musically and melodically sweeter than the aforementioned, and more ‘pop’ overall, even with its distinct jazz leanings. It was Joni Mitchell’s commercial high point, and you can really hear why.

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5

Holy crap. Although I like her, I never put this one on because I’d never heard of any of its tracks. I figured it was one of those dud albums that even good artists have. Nope. Maybe my new favorite, might be better than Hejira. The strings, winds and horns in Down to You are jaw-droppingly good. I listened to it three times over.

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5

Joni's jazzy vibes makes this album one of her best. It is difficult to top Blue, but she certainly presents an album that sits on par with her 1971 release

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5

This album is musically interesting. It’s somewhat of a transitional album that combines Joni Mitchell’s folk sensibilities with a jazz foundation. The result is an album that still sounds undeniably like Joni Mitchell but manages to push her sound forward. The lyrics paint real life with profundity and Mitchell’s voice is the perfect carrier for those words.

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5

I love this album. It’s like a warm blanket around my soul. Joni Mitchell’s vocals are perfectly beautiful. The songs are so so nice. Put this album on and everything seems like it will be ok. I haven’t listened to this in decades… a terrible oversight. Hearing the opening chirp of “Free Man In Paris” after such a long hiatus is like being home again. I could listen to this all day. And did.

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5

I think my heart just exploded.

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5

I very much enjoyed this album and listening experience. I don't really know much on Joni's work other than the popular songs, but I was happy to expand my horizons today.

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5

I loved this album, both the songs I'd known and loved, and the new ones I discovered. I love the ventures into rock, pop, and jazz on this that made me rethink what I thought I knew about Joni Mitchell. In fact I spent a lot of time today learning as much as I could about her. Love.

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5

Great Album ! Could listen to it over and over again !

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5

I went in planning to give it 4 stars to make room for “Blue” to be ranked higher, but that’s only because I forgot how amazing this record was! It’s right there with “Blue,” I’d say.

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5

Holy crap. Although I like her, I never put this one on because I’d never heard of any of its tracks. I figured it was one of those dud albums that even good artists have. Nope. Maybe my new favorite, might be better than Hejira. The strings, winds and horns in Down to You are jaw-droppingly good. I listened to it three times over.

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5

Aaaand she’s a genius! Not exactly one of Joni’s more famous albums and exactly stuffed with hits and bangers but it’s just the genius of it that gets me. The woman invented her own chords for Christs sake!! She spoke openly about never being classically musically trained and she just got her guitar and had a fucking ball! It’s just so fucking beautiful and incredible. Joni forever.

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5

Bis auf Big Yellow Taxi kannte ich natürlich, wie bei so vielen bekannten Namen, nix von ihr. Dieses Album ist eine un-glaubliche Wohltat, alles daran ist richtig. Ich kann mich nur verneigen.

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5

Five starts forever.

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5

A favourite. Always listened to it side two first just so the sequence would finish with Same Situation. Just made more sense to me.

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5

Bob Dylan was wrong

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5

Help Me is my love life Free Man in Paris is excellent I am not a woman of many words but the greatest cacophony of sounds you've ever heard comes from this very album it's so rich and it feels like walking into a blooming field My favourite song/ most played is probably People's Parties and I get very sad and melodramatic reflecting on what she means. Sometimes I wish I wrote, but I didn't so I just learned the words. Joni has plenty albums but I feel like this one is easily in her Top 5

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5

Big Joni Mitchell fanboy. This is one of my all time favorites.

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5

What a voice - such precision, range, and beauty. The music takes you on a calm, beautiful ride and includes some brilliant lyrics. Some examples that stood out: "We love our lovin' but not like we love our freedom" (Help Me), "laughing and crying, you know it's the same release" (People's Parties), "Everything comes and goes/pleasure moves on too early and trouble leaves too slow" (Down to You), "Dreaming of the pleasure I'm going to have/Watching your hairline recede, my vain darling" [I laughed at that one] (Just Like This Train). Favorite tracks - Court and Spark (really sets the mood for the album), Help Me (one other observation - the musicians on this album are so good - not flashy, but just perfect for the music), Down to You, Raised on Robbery (fun track), Troubled Child.

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5

There are many great singer-songwriters to come out of the 60s, but Joni is on a whole different level. The songs of Court and Spark are both complex and accessible. Folk with hints of Jazz. Her gift for words really comes alive on here. “Free Man in Paris” has some of my favorite Joni lyrics on any of her albums. On the track “Down to You” it sounds like there’s a harp, but nothing is listed in the credits so it’s probably Joni on the Clavinet. I don’t think there’s a weak track on this album and not only does it make me want to go and listen to my other favorite Joni album (they’re coming up eventually on the list, so I’ll wait) , it really makes me want to check out the few albums of hers that I haven’t listened to yet.

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5

I love this album

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5

для тихих тусовок с подружками или теплых летних прогулок

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5

Naturally, with Joni Mitchell’s current Spotify exodus, listening to this album wasn’t the most convenient experience (I had to stick on a copy we had at the record shop where I work). But my god was it worth it. I wasn’t at all familiar with a great deal of her work beforehand, but I’ll certainly be going back to this one. It’s hard to describe exactly what makes Mitchell’s songwriting so unique, but as I listened I was totally gripped by her sense of melody. It seems like she has the ability to change the entire mood of a song with the most deft usage of harmonic changes. Most of these songs felt almost impressionistic in their structure. Like Debussy meets Fairport Convention or Pentangle. The jazz flourishes are here too but not quite as pronounced as critics have made them out to be. With the exception of Mitchell’s gorgeous take on Waddell Gray’s “Twisted”, her folk roots permeate most of the album’s run time. I was wavering between a 4 and a 5 on this one (there is a bit of a lull towards the middle of side 2 which drags slightly) but after a couple of listens anything less than full marks would be a travesty. Songwriting, production and emotion - it’s all here on this album.

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5

Beautiful Folk Music™️

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5

Good ol' Joni folk/pop, with a good bit of orchestral, jazz, and rock n roll injected in. Can't go wrong here!

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5

Love this whole album, except for the last track. Joni has always been criminally underrated in the modern era.

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5

Easy 5 even with the awful last track (I since discovered that is not by Joni at all!). Her voice sounds "softest" here compared to the other '70s classics although the songs are far from "pop". Great album

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5

"Court and Spark" is the sixth and most successful studio album from Joni Mitchell. The album is a break from her more folk music and into pop and jazz. I agree with the pop and jazz and also kind of has a Steely Dan feel to some of the songs, probably since her guitarist Larry Carlton performed on a number of future Steely Dan albums. She had an increased interest in jazz and spent a lot of 1973 writing and recording the material for the album. Other notable musicians who contributed to the recording were jazz bands The Crusaders and Tom Scott's LA Express, Robbie Robertson, David Crosby, Graham Nash, José Feliciano and Cheech and Chong (yes them). The lyrics are outstanding and deal with love, loss and general human observations. The album begins with "Court and Spark" and a jazzy piano with subtle guitar, chimes and horns in the background. It's a man changing his ways, the woman falls for him but ultimately doesn't trust him. The band the LA Express gives "Help Me" a bigger jazz feel with horns and guitar. It was/is Joni's biggest single. Needing help to feel good but reluctant to fall in love too fast. Another instantly recognizable and one of my favorite Joni songs is "Free Man in Paris" supposedly about music agent/promoter David Geffin and his finding peace in Paris. It's a little lighter musically with acoustic guitar and backing vocals by David Crosby and Graham Nash. José Feliciano on the guitar. A highlight on the second side and album is "Down to You." It's slower with piano, multiple horns and just great backing vocals (David Crosby and Susan Webb). It won a Grammy for best arrangement accompanying vocalist. An introspective on life..loneliness, losing someone, life going by. "Raised on Robbery" was the first single and is a more rockin' song with Robbie Robertson on guitar. The song actually sounds like a mix between The Band's "Cripple Creek" and the 70's theme from "Saturday Night Live" with the guitar and horns. It's about a prostitute telling her story to a man in a hotel. Joni used very decphired lyrics to get this to be a released single at that time. The album ends with the cover of Wardell Gray and Annie Ross' 1952 jazz song "Twisted." A good example of how good Joni could sing jazz. Some pretty funny lyrics about everyone telling her she's going crazy and she's telling them they're going crazy. And of course, this is where Cheech and Chong make their contributions. This album makes me want go back and re-check out the 1970's Joni Mitchell. It's been awhile for me but this album sounded great and not dated at all.

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5

If I remember rightly, when I was listening to Carole King and reading up on her music, I came across Joni Mitchell’s name there. I couldn’t tell you anything about her, but if she’s anything like Carole King then I expect I’m going to enjoy this. Songs I already know: none Favourite after listening: Raised On Robbery, Twisted Overall: 9/10 A month ago, I would have laughed in your face if you’d have said I would really enjoy 70s singer-songwriter folk. And yet here we are. Joni’s voice is silky smooth, and makes you want to cosy up by a fire with a hot chocolate. The music makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside and is just generally lovely. If the music was taken away and we were left with only the lyrics, we’d be left with writing that stands up by itself as poetry. I’d definitely recommend to anybody who likes a bit of easy listening, and anybody who is fortunate enough to own a fireplace.

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5

I do not love Joni Mitchell, but this album is great. Excellent writing and vocal performance. The instrumentals are immaculate. The last song Twisted really stood out to me as it is essentially a vocal jazz performance.

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5

This was an artist at the peak of her powers and fully conscious of it. It's dense, but everything feels like it fits. And the hooks are tight despite how fluid her songwriting can be. I could listen ten more times and keep finding new things I love. Best album from this list so far.

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4

This is definitely an interesting album. I like how she blended folk and jazz and a little bit of rock together. Her lyrics were very memorable and packed a punch. I wouldn't be mad if this came on but I wouldn't seek it out either.

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4

Reminds me of the carpenters a lot

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4

A warm summer's day. 7.5/10 FT Help Me

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4

Good album. Free Man In Paris is a classic. Didn't realise Joni was so prolific!

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4

Love her voice but her melodies get repetitive. Great arrangements and musicians.

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4

Help me Free man in Paris Raised on robbery

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4

Classic songs, quite good

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4

Enjoyable jazzy songwriting

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4

Took me a few listens but a very touching and relatable treatise on early love

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4

Quizá si no hubieran salido dos discos de Joni Mitchell seguiditos podría apreciar más este sin estar en función a comparar con el otro. El disco me gustó mucho, me sonó mucho menos melancólico y adolorido que el anterior, con rolas hasta alegres y que llegaría a considerar (soft)rockeras. Me gustó en especial la última (Twisted) por su onda de jazz.

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4

Joni Mitchell is a true original. Love the blending of genres here, especially the touches of jazz.

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4

I liked it.

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4

In a strange coincidence, before I knew this was the album today I was talking with my Dad about the very first albums he bought - one of them was this one! The songs are creative and interesting. Sometimes I find them impactful, other times I get a bit lost. Much of her craft seems to depend on the lyrics and if I'm not able to follow them I lose interest a little bit. That said, I think there is a lot to unpack here that can't be gleaned from a single listen, and I look forward to coming back to it.

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4

Though twisted is a little out there, the album is sophisticated, engaging and very enjoyable to listen to. Help Me stands out, but i also liked the energy of raised on robbery and the mood of the same situation.

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4

Not my style but a well put together album

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4

J’adore joni mitchell, c’est une de mes artistes favorites, Blue est un de mes albums preferes mais celui ci est en dessous. Tout de meme trres bon. 4.5

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4

Fantastic production, great songwriting, and lovely vocals. A bit guitar-centric for my liking and the back half was more forgettable, but altogether good. 8

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4

Very nice vibes, reminds me of Diamante. It's not the best Joni Mitchell album I would say though

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4

first blush is that it sounds like a concept album. interested to see where it goes. I really have no idea what to make of this album, will need to listen to it again sometime

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4

Joni Mitchell is someone I don’t think I’ve heard before but I’m sure a song will pop up that I will recognize. Nice to finally have a female artist in the running. It’s been a British sausage fest so far. The album cover is confusing and totally 70’s. I really like her voice, it sounds like Paula Cole a little bit and Danielle Haim a lot (Haim may have even said Joni was one of their role models). Very folksy. Wow, Help Me is really good. I love hearing her go from different octaves or whatever it’s called. She has a lot of range and clearly sounds like she has room to grow into tons of different sounds. I saw she has a million albums so hopefully she was able to experiment throughout the years. This album kind of feels like the Carpenters. Apple Music dares you to try NOT listening to this album a dozen times in a row. While I don’t think I’ll take up their challenge, this is certainly a great album and something I thoroughly enjoyed. I am looking forward to any more Joni that comes up. She weaves both fun and carefree with insecurity and romance (and even some of her Jazz in Twisted).

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4

Yeah, pretty cool - this is Joni's Steely Dan album. Even the cocktail jazz track at the end is hip, for the most part. I still can't quite get along with her voice, but some really inventive music and decent songwriting throughout.

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4

Excellent so gwriting accompanied by a unique voice. All her songs tell a story making these songs a little more meaningful than most. Guitars reflecting the sounds of the time but mostly sound modern. Enjoyed this album and will listen to more from Joni

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4

Bastante agradable. Voz relajante, buena instrumentación. No le pude poner mucha atención a las canciones, pero suenan con buen ritmo. Canción favorita: Car on the hill por lo satisfactorio que suena cuando dice "so much sweeeeetness in the dark". Me siento como en una comedia romántica retro jajaja. Ya ese es mood.

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4

So I guess I'm a big Joni Mitchell fan? Who knew. This album is excellent. There's something so personal and easy listening about Joni's music. Love it Favorite track: Raised on Robbery

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4

A high 8. Love her voice and would probably rate it higher on a relisten, but fell off at towards the end

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4

Move over Lady Gaga, Joni Mitchill has entered the room. Joni would be a tough competitor if she was spinning her vinyl magic today. Pianist, Acoustic Guitarist and Clavinet were just a part of her artistic talents. What a beautiful voice! I loved Help Me” and “Night in Paris”,and “Raised on Robbery”. I rank her in the top 15 most amazing women artists. This album is just a small glimpse of her talent. Have to listen to her sing “Big Yellow Taxi”, Woodstock and “Both Sides Now” She is by far one of the most talented women out there. Her songs are catchy songs or folk songs that weave a web of life and its journeys. You can “parking my lot” any time any day. Well done Jonie

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4

Really like Joni's wandering, folky songwriting. Love the slightly dijointed feeling you get from the way she sings her stories. Like the different guitar tunings too. Lovely memories of Aunty Shirl singing a few of these songs

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4

This album feels like it could be released today and be great. An artist I definitely want to explore more of.

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4

I like Joni while I’m cooking, driving in the car, as background noise while I read. A good companion indeed.

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4

On the whole, this was an enjoyable album, really nice to have on in the background. She's got a lovely voice, I think I'll explore more of her music one day.

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4

Great classic

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4

Chill, nice, and sweet

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4

Beautiful warbling.

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4

Good Sunday listening music. Especially loved the first song.

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4

This is where Joni Mitchell began her evolution from acoustics to a more rounded out sound.

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4

Very cool album!

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4

good album. Not my favorite of Joni's. Court and Spark is the sixth studio album by Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell. It was an immediate commercial and critical success—and remains her most successful album. It reached No. 2 in the United States and No. 1 in Canada and eventually received a double platinum certification by the RIAA, the highest of Mitchell's career. Mitchell spent most of 1973 in the recording studio creating Court and Spark. Mitchell and engineer Henry Lewy called in a number of top L.A. musicians to perform on the album including members of the Crusaders, Tom Scott's L.A. Express, cameos from Robbie Robertson, David Crosby and Graham Nash and even a twist of comedy from Cheech & Chong. In a July 1979 interview with Cameron Crowe for Rolling Stone, Mitchell recounted playing the then-just completed Court & Spark to Bob Dylan, during which he fell asleep.[20] She later suggested that Dylan was probably trying to be "cute" in front of label boss David Geffen, who was also present.

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4

car on a hill + twisted >>

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4

The album on which Joni really developed her voice, vocally and instrumentally. And this was as mainstream pop as she would get. She invented, transcended but also fit right into the mainstream ‘70s singer-songwriter movement.

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4

Rating: 7/10 Best Songs: Help me, Free man in Paris

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4

Emperial phase Joni. She could do no wrong.

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4

don't understand the hate, y'all will listen to a fat middle age man named danzig yell about his mother over and over again but this lady giving us her star trek TNG captain's log in song form is not ok for some reason

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4

First impressions, good band good voice, will go back to this

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4

Coming in as a Joni Mitchell newbie here, but this was MUCH more palpable than Summer Lawns (not a great starting place if you are just getting acclimated). Quite bluntly, this is a beautiful album with fantastic jazz arrangements. I would say that that the backing band, made mostly up by members of The Crusaders and LA Express, are the stars of this album, but Mitchell's songwriting and singing is just magnificent. A great album to kick on for a dinner party or a cozy fireplace. Favorite Songs: Raised by Robbery, Free Man in Paris Least Favorite: The Same Situation - I sort of get lost and disconnected when this song plays.

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4

I like virtually everything about this album - complex jazz-rock songs that could end up boring but due to intriguing rhythmic breaks, sneaky time signature changes, unconventional chord progressions, and of course the added unpredictable melodies of Joni Mitchell's voice the songs keep moving in new directions at all times. What makes this work so well for me is that it's not even remotely all about Joni's voice - this is a collection of A+ level musicians, musicianship, and songwriting. The electric guitar playing (mostly Larry Carlton) is compelling, with elements of slide, country, and rock. But the technical stuff doesn't matter if it's not good, obviously. I don't think you have to be a musician to be intrigued by and in love with this album. Such a short duration (~37 minutes) actually works in its favour as well - you're done before you're ready which is always better than the alternative. I was mildly surprised to find that this was her highest-selling album [as a little kid in the back of the car I do recall hearing "Help Me" on the radio a lot!]; I would have expected "Blue" to be tops - this album was only 3 years removed from Blue and is so very different. I love Blue as well and yet I think I like this even a little more (and perfected in 2 yrs on her "Hejira") - the move into more of a jazzy territory and accompanied by more instrumentation really showcases the unique songwriting talent Joni had. While I don't know if I could say it's an album I'd always consider in my top 25 or whatever, for what it is it is fantastic: a well-produced smooth musical gem that shows off the best of talented early 70s elite of the music business and I'm never not fully taken in by it when I'm listening. 8/10 4 stars

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4

as you may know, im fairly familiar with joni mitchell. from this album i remember and love 'help me' new songs i found that i liked were: - court and spark - car on a hill

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4

Just before Joni went full Jazz. Some beautiful songs!

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4

Still great storytelling about finding love and finding yourself but more energy and an upgraded musical delivery compated to Hissing of summer lawns. More funk/grooove/rock vibes. Help me, free man in Paris, Raised on Robbery 3.5

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4

Endlich mal wieder was wirklich schönes. Herbie hanckock hat vieles noch besser rübergebracht

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4

Schönes Album

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4

Great stuff.

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4

:) 4/5

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4

Joni Mitchell always has great lyrics, poetic, conversational, confessional, interesting rhyme scheme, even when sometimes a little forced it works with her delivery. This album was filled with fives. But I hated Raised by Robbery and Twisted, the Rockish forced spear of The former and the lame white skit scatting of the latter. Killed the vibe.

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4

Beautiful voice, some great ballads throughout. Don’t know if she’s totally my vibe but no doubt an excellent album.

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4

Never really listened to Joni Mitchell before, but she has an amazing voice! This is a really rich album.

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4

liefelijke stem, best wel mooie liedjes 4*

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4

Wonderful songwriting, I'm just not huge on Joni's voice

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4

Mooi

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4

the jazzier stuff (especially the last song) on this is a little cringy to me (i prefer her earlier albums blue and ladies of the canyon) but i still really enjoyed it. her voice is deeper and stronger here and the lyrics are as good as ever

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4

really good! i love joni mitchell, her songwriting is always impeccable and she has one of my favorite voices ever.

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4

just listened through two days ago great folk/soft rock pop album

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4

4 stars. Was not a fan of Joni Mitchell until I listened to this. Much more interested now

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4

No-one bears - needs- repeated listening like Joni Mitchell. Even if it's on Youtube as she's pulled this from Spotify over the Joe Rogan spat. On first listen the tunes, even the song structure, are difficult to make out. Each listen, as the songs become familiar, gets better and better.

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4

I really enjoyed what I heard here, but especially "Down To You" - God, what a gorgeous track. Overall, combines folk/rock/jazz in a great way. Jazzy enough to make it interesting, but not too jazzy that I lose interest (I am still trying to appreciate jazz more but I can only digest it in small doses for the most part).

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4

People absolutely love and adore Joni for good reasons, and this album is one of them. Dreamy internal monologues, relational observations and hidden conversations meet ambling guitars and early 70s Bacharach & David folk swing. Also, after 34 years, I finally get that reference from "The Ballad of Dorothy Parker". It's never too late.

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4

Album hat einen extrem guten Vibe und schöne Songs. Der letzte, jazzige Track ist komisch aber bisschen wirkt ein bisschen fehl am Platze auf dem Album.

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4

Schönes Album! Also wirklich schön. Mag Blue noch mehr aber das hier hat mir auch sehr gefallen.

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4

War eigentlich schön auch wenn ich den Singsang auf Dauer etwas eintönig finde. Trotzdem sehr beruhigende und angenehme Ausstrahlung. Die Texte sind meistens recht gut und relatable in ihrer melancholischen Stimmung. Der letzte Track war bisschen weirdly out of place. Vermutlich die schlechteste 4 aber 3 ist mir zu wenig

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4

Part folk, part rock, part country, Joni takes her talent in all directions. Sonically, some of this album is very dated, but the showcase here is Mitchell's lyric writing. It's amazing that this period of American music gave us Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan etc… 4/5

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4

Twisted is good.

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4

Jättebra dude... stark fyra

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4

Joni be like: brings home the bagel… I like the variety on the album and Car On A Hill is funky

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4

De av swaag

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4

I love Joni Mitchell

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4

Lovely warm stuff with beautiful writing. I can't say the forays into jazz were a great choice, but her classic singer-songwriter pieces are excellent

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4

I've never been a huge Joni fan. But I enjoyed this album especially the last song.

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4

Blue is one of my favorite albums ever. In comparison, this one is just so... jaunty? I like it, and this is a good reminder to put it back into rotation as background music while I'm doing other things, but so far I really can't imagine sitting down for an hour and focusing all of my attention on it.

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4

She's one of the great. One point more for her long-life commitment, today leaving Spotify as a protest against no vax podcasts

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4

An excellent album, a very nice departure from her classic folk sound but still retaining her style very well.

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4

I really liked this! I need to give Joni Mitchell a deeper dive, other than surface level songs I enjoy

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4

I do like a bit of Joni. Kinda washed over me on the first listen but gave it another run through and there's some really good stuff here.

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4

Help Me tem uma voz bem legal

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4

Delightful mix of styles.

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4

I enjoyed this one a lot!

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4

moody and sad but should be an easy listen 4? sad about the fight with spotify.

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4

enjoyed this, to begin with was a bit all over the place but also felt was being led on a journey, just as seemed too nicey nicey had some dark moment and piano was beautiful

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4

You go girl!!

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4

4/5

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4

Miellyttävän jazzahtavaa poppista. Omia suosikkeja oli People's Parties ja Car on a Hill. 4/5.

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4

Genre: Folk Pop 4/5 I received and listened to this album very soon after I received and listened to Joni Mitchell's Blue, an album held in such high regard, some even saying it's the greatest female album ever, that I was surprised by how lackluster I found it to be. Joni Mitchell's Court and Spark is a much different experience, a much peppier, happier experience, and more pop-focused, with songs full of lush production and catchy, 70s-style melodies. In my opinion, this is a much better experience, and contains a much more diverse sonic palette. Ranging from straight folk to near-yacht rock at times, Joni puts her writing prowess to work, crafting some really great tunes. The 4-song run to start the album off is a tremendous folk pop playlist, featuring the same sort of laidback arrangements that made her a household name in the first place. However, it's the second half that proves to be more exciting, with Steely Dan vibes on Car on a Hill, to post-Ella Fitzgerald vocal jazz on Twisted, Joni Mitchell stretches all of her songwriting muscles here, filling in the rest of the tracklist nicely. Personally, I enjoyed this far more than I did Blue. Court and Spark's pop-forward sound works very well here, and is an album I'll certainly revisit later.

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4

I've never been able to shake a kind of block with Joni. It's a bit the way she extends notes, a bit her artsy chanteuse image, a bit the fact that I rarely follow her lyrics (probably related to point one). But I mostly like and often love her stuff. It just doesn't always come naturally. So this pop compromise is tailor made. Enough bubblegum in between the virtusic stuff for me to appreciate both in equal measure. Consequently, it's the silliest I've heard her, which counts for a lot.

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4

This was way more of a trip than I was expecting. The progressive, jazzy flow of this album was new and refreshing for me. The track and album lengths were nice too, nothing was dragged out and some songs were so full of ideas that they felt much longer. I'm not crazy about the vocals, they worked well for some songs but others missed the mark by a lot. Overall, this was my favorite so far and I hope more Joni comes up on this list.

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4

An exploration of woman, both inside and out-from romantic relationships to psychoanalysis, Joni Mitchell applies both a light touch of humor and surprising maturity. The jazz-kissed arrangements help some of the heavier lyrics go down smooth.

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4

Felt a bit like a Gordon Lightfoot album, good storytelling and easy folksy sounds. Still not a Joni Mitchell fan (or the big hit Help Me) but respect for this album. Free Man in Paris is a good tune and Raised on Robbery is so different from the rest of the album’s sound but it is a fun tune. Down to You is my favorite track - lovely piano composition.

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4

This was a pretty intriguing album. I really liked her vocals throughout. I also liked how some of the songs bled into each other. The lyrics... I started to lose a bit of focus on them. Bob Dylan's lyrics I can listen to them and get really into the tory of them, but these kinda just lost me. The last song was a bit of a jazzy riff, and I get what she was going for there. Yes, it is a cover and it was fitting for her to sing a song about analysis because she had gone through some of her own. It's weird how almost 50 years later we still don't totally accept therapy. This song is kinda making fun of it, and I mean we should be able to move past that. But we should also be able to be a little tongue in cheek about it too, right? This is one of those albums I had to listen to twice. I could tell there is more to it than what I was hearing. I think I may need another listen, but as it is, I like what I hear. But I don't think I should have to listen to it three or more times to say if it's good or not. So I'm going to say that it was good, bordering on great. But I am cautious on that. I mean, maybe I am just going off of what other people are saying? Shouldn't I be able to decide it for myself? Don't know. Perhaps I should give it another listen.

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4

With different lyrics, or no lyrics, this would be lovely music for a Christmas party, for example. The melodies are not impersonal, like in jazz, but beautifully intricate. The texts are totally unrelatable, however.

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4

Joni Mitchell just always has to most beautiful of timbre to every one of her songs. A wonderful album from top to bottom. Can certainly recommend this one.

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4

A couple of huge misses on here, but some monster tracks that just about make up for it. Best track: Down to You

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4

This is album is between a 3 and a 4, but I'll give it a four for one reason; There were no songs I disliked. There were songs that I thought were fine, but nothing was awful. Court and Spark is an album that reminds me of my parents. I tend to like most of the songs, but they also feel like products of their time. It's a good album but not a classic, in my opinion. Best Songs: Help Me, Raised on Robbery Worst Songs: NA

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4

Great storyteller with a beaut3voice

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4

Similar in style to "The Hissing of Summer Lawns". Folk, pop and jazz brilliantly intertwined with thoughtful, melancholy lyrics sung in Joni Mitchell's distinctively smooth and relaxed voice. This is great. Rating: 4/5 Playlist track: Down to You Date listened: 01/09/22

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4

Creative. Awesome voice

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4

Female Neil Young with jazz. Great album. Should explore more Joni Mitchell.

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4

classic chill joni

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4

I like the folksy singer songwriter sound. It reminds me of Taylor Swift's Foklore album. Still carries that 70's sound though. Flutes, clarinets and a disregard for rhyming. In any case, it seemed to arrive at the right time. I was ready for this. Feels good to listen to it.

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4

Great jazzy beats

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3

Spotify. Liked the singles. Fave song “help me”.

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3

its alright but there is no song that really stands out to me

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3

Decent album which for a name like that, falls a bit short of expectations

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3

Great night-driving music.

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3

Joni Mitchell isn't really my thing. The album absolutely has its moments, but ultimately it didn't hold my interest well 3/5

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3

Pretty good Joni Mitchell album. Includes help me.

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3

Mellow listening!

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3

I liked this better than the other Joni Mitchell albums we've had, but it doesn't do anything transcendent for me. Free Man in Paris was prob my favorite track.

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3

3.2

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3

A few of these songs resonated with me, but overall Joni Mitchell is too mellow for my taste.

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3

Beautiful. Wasn't a huge fan of the jazzier parts but very nice overall

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3

Ahora si pude disfrutar mejor la voz y sentimiento no como el disco anterior que me tocó en roadtrip, es genial como su voz se mezcla con el ritmo que sea, pasamos del folk hasta el jazz sin ningún problema y suena muy bien. Una sorpresa ver 2 discos del mismo artista tan juntos.

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3

Es interesante que haya (al menos) dos discos de Joni Mitchell en esta lista, y fue afortunado que ambos tocaran tan cerca uno del otro. Me gustó que el álbum tiene varios géneros: no sólo folk, sino también rock y hasta jazz. Saca mucho mejor provecho de su timbre de voz y su versatilidad. Con todo esto, dejo la calificación en tres porque sólo hay un par de canciones que me gustaría escuchar de nuevo (que de hecho ya puse en un playlist). Un par de reflexiones adicionales: - Es desafortunado que Joni no haya sido más famosa. Creo que su selección de canciones no le ayudó. - Esta es otra muestra de que se necesita estar en el mood adecuado para escuchar música nueva. Quisiera regresar a “Blue” y subirle la calificación a tres

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3

It's nice, but nothing shattering for me. I can see why people would love it though.

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3

Nice.

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3

Pretty good. I liked the one where she called everyone on their bullshit.

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