Musical Journey Stop 2: Joni Mitchell – Ladies of the Canyon


Joni Mitchell – Ladies of the Canyon(1970)

This is not my kind of music. However, I am treating each new album with a clear vision, as little of a bias as possible, and then trying to actually sit through the entire album and write what I feel.

As I was listening to the album I came across some info that I was not aware of about old J.M. This was her third album and her first gold album. As I listened to the opening title, Morning Morgantown, all I could feel was waking up in the Spring time to a fog over a lake while sipping decaf green tea and deciding which flowers to place in the vase for the day. I am not being at all sarcastic here as this is a great feeling to have while listening to music during Spring Break.

She covers Woodstock which was also performed by CSN(Crosby, Still, Nash) which many like her version much better. And of course the song Big, Yellow Taxi. This song makes me realize that I am getting old because I first heard of this song when the Counting Crows covered this song a couple years back. I am a huge CC fan. Obviously, I love the CC version better as this is the one that I am more familiar with. However, as other songs are being covered in the pop world today I find myself saying the same thing my parents told me over and over, “That is a cover. The original is so much better. OR Boy, they really ruined a great song.” If you really sit and think about the lyrics to Big, Yellow Taxi you cannot help but feel the need to help the world.

Joni Mitchel does not tour after the release of this album. She spends time writing and painting and the music she crafts during this time will lead to her Blue album which was a huge success. Anyways, back to the album. She adds the piano to almost half of this album where she has proved mastery of another instrument besides her legendary acoustic guitar.

I have to mention that I love the album art. I am a big visual person and I always gauge a cd or vinyl by the artwork. I think it is such a cool image. I get the sense of a simple person on the outside who has a whole world of knowledge to share from the inside.

All in all, a good album. I am sure that this was a big hit around certain circles during this time. A few songs stood out to me, but some of them I would probably never listen to again. I digged Morning Morgantown, Big Yellow Taxi, and Woodstock. I am glad I gave this a listen. It opened my eyes to some more of her music and once again reminded me that great music exists all over the time spectrum and an electric guitar is not always necessary.

On a side note, this was a drastic change from my first stop with Frank Zappa. I am still processing his albums that I purchased.

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One thought on “Musical Journey Stop 2: Joni Mitchell – Ladies of the Canyon

  1. This is sooo very interesting for me Aaron… Joni Mitchell did some wonderful things with lyrics. You should add to your, for adults, book collection Girls Like Us. This is written about Carly Simon, Joni Mitchell, and Carole King! All three wrote great songs, but my fave is Carole King:)