In this article, we have created a ranking of Joni Mitchell.
This person is a big name singer-songwriter who is well known.
However, I believe that she is a person who loses out on image.
I think people are fixated on the image of her singing folky, slow songs, such as “Both Sides, Now”.
Of course, there are many great songs in that style.
But on the other hand, it seems to me that it limits her appeal.
So this time, I’ve selected songs with medium tempo or higher.
The time period is limited from her debut to the 1970s.
- 1 No.1「All I Want」(Album:Blue)
- 2 No.2「Coyote」(Album:Hejira)
- 3 No.3「Carey」(Album:Blue)
- 4 No.4「Talk to Me」(Album:Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter)
- 5 No.5「Big Yellow Taxi」(Album:Ladies of the Canyon)
- 6 No.6「Help Me」(Album:Court and Spark)
- 7 No.7「The Jungle Line」(Album:The Hissing of Summer Lawns)
- 8 No.8「Chelsea Morning」(Album:Clouds)
- 9 No.9「Car on a Hill」(Album:Court and Spark)
- 10 No.10「The Dry Cleaner from Des Moines」(Album:Mingus)
- 11 Other「The Circle Game」(Album:Ladies of the Canyon)
No.1「All I Want」(Album:Blue)
■Song Title：All I Want
■Video link：「All I Want」
I’m not sure if this song is up-tempo or not, but I classified it as such.
This is because it is one of my favorite songs.
First of all, the guitars by Joni and James Taylor are amazing on this song.
The album is called “Blue”.
The title song is about a singer/songwriter named David Blue, with whom I used to be in love.
The song is also said to be about her love affair with Leonard Cohen.
She was also in a relationship with James Taylor, who plays guitar in this song.
I think she is the type of person who falls in love easily and once she falls in love, she goes as far as she can go.
This song is also played in The Band’s The Last Waltz.
Many of you may have heard this song at that concert.
Jaco Pastorius’ participation in this song makes it a very thrilling song.
Please listen to the intro first.
There is a popping sound after the guitar, which I think is Jaco’s harmonics.
Jaco Pastorius is said to be the best bassist in fusion music.
He may be the unifying champion of all genres of bass.
You may think that his bass playing is too free, but this is just a part of his world.
Incidentally, the live album “Shadows and Light” is not included in this list.
If you like the songs with Jaco Pastorius this time, I recommend that album.
“This is the other of the two great songs from Blue.
I put this one in third place, but it can be considered a tie.
The appeal of this song is almost the same as “All I Want”, but this song is more light-hearted.
The lyrics are not as heavy as the previous song.
The main character is apparently traveling around the world with someone else.
The lyrics are not as heavy as the previous song, but the main character seems to be traveling around the world with someone, wondering which city to visit next.
But there is a twist at the end. The lyrics suggest that it was probably a man who was traveling with her.
It seems that he has decided to leave Joni.
No.4「Talk to Me」(Album:Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter)
■Song Title：Talk to Me
■Album Name：Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter
■Video link：「Talk to Me」
This is another song in which Jaco participates.
In Weather Report, which Jaco was a part of, he participates in the group expression.
However, when he plays with Joni, he plays in a selfish way, for better or worse.
As you can feel in “Coyote” earlier, Joni’s guitar and Jaco’s bass sounds don’t seem to be playing under the same intention at all.
This song is quite unique in that only the guitar and bass play, but there is no sense of unity in the performance.
Jaco is a bit more reserved in his usual gurgling phrases.
Instead, he mainly plays long tones, but I don’t understand why he plays long tones when he is a bass player.
On the other hand, Joni is also Joni.
What is the point of Joni’s chicken-like voice at about 2:48?
After that, Jaco’s bass responded to Joni and played a chicken-like phrase back to her.
They had been playing in an uncoordinated manner, but I thought they were going to match up just there.
It’s hard for ordinary people to understand how talented people can be so in tune with each other.
No.5「Big Yellow Taxi」(Album:Ladies of the Canyon)
■Song Title：Big Yellow Taxi
■Album Name：Ladies of the Canyon
■Video link：「Big Yellow Taxi」
This album has a lot of moist songs, but this song is a unique up-tempo number.
Milt Holland’s percussion adds to the humorous effect and strengthens the strangeness of the song.
The carefree Joni, laughing like a mischievous child at the end of the song, is still alive and well here.
If you think the song is a bit hippie-like in its strangeness, this song seems to be about environmental issues.
Hippies have been sensitive to environmental issues since those days.
I like her moist songs, but I’ve always thought it would be nice to have a 50/50 split between these brighter, pop songs.
So I decided to collect such songs myself, and created this ranking.
Except for “Song to a Seagull” from the first album, I always include such up-tempo songs.
For the Roses,” which was not included in the ranking this time, also contains such songs as “You Turn Me On, I’m a Radio.
If you are interested, please check it out.
No.6「Help Me」(Album:Court and Spark)
■Song Title：Help Me
■Album Name：Court and Spark
■Video link：「Help Me」
This song is a selection from her pop-oriented album “Court and Spark”.
Joni is a Canadian artist, so that means the Canadian charts, and this song is climbing to #6.
It is her biggest single hit.
The title of the song, “Help Me,” might make you wonder what it’s about.
The lyrics read, “I’m about to fall in love again. And when I do, I’m gonna be crazy. Because I’m falling in love too fast”.
These are lyrics that only a woman in love can write.
If you look at her love history, you will see that she has been with only handsome men, and all of them have a combination of musical talent.
You may wonder if Joni is that beautiful and attractive, as she has been losing difficult men one after another.
This person is losing it with the jacket.
There is no jacket that shows her well.
If you watch the video of this song, you will see that she seems to have an attractive expression.
I think Joni’s smile at the 2:42 mark is particularly wonderful.
No.7「The Jungle Line」(Album:The Hissing of Summer Lawns)
■Song Title：The Jungle Line
■Album Name：The Hissing of Summer Lawns
■Video link：「The Jungle Line」
Joni’s last album, “Court and Spark,” was a big hit, but she ended it with just one album.
Usually, when you have a big hit, you continue on the same path for now.
Instead, he did this song on his next album.
There is some kind of cheering and African-like drums in it.
These drums are apparently from Burundi, Africa.
She seemed to like this African taste, and did this kind of song on her next album.
It may remind some people of Paul Simon’s “The Rhythm of the Saints”.
This feeling is similar to the shock I felt when Suzanne Vega released “99.9F” produced by Mitchell Froom.
But originally, she had a somewhat strained side to her.
Even in her slow and folky songs, her guitar tuning is quite strange.
This time, when I re-listened to these up-tempo songs, I think there is something a little different about her.
That Prince seems to be a fan of Joni’s, but they both have one thing in common: they are both strident people.
■Song Title：Chelsea Morning
■Video link：「Chelsea Morning」
The most famous song on this album is “Both Sides, Now”.
It is her masterpiece, and is probably the most or second most covered song of hers.
However, I prefer this song.
The first album didn’t have this kind of pop song on it.
I think this song was probably written with a single cut in mind.
It’s a folk rock song with no peculiarities.
The name of the song is “Chelsea Morning,” and Chelsea is a place of her memories.
She used to be a folk singer under a different name, but after her first marriage and divorce, she moved to Chelsea, New York.
This song may be a reflection of her desire to make a fresh start and go straight into music in the city.
No.9「Car on a Hill」(Album:Court and Spark)
■Song Title：Car on a Hill
■Album Name：Court and Spark
■Video link：「Car on a Hill」
This album was a turning point for Joni.
This album was a turning point for Joni, as her last album showed signs of being a city pop album.
As for the backing musicians, Joni has assembled a lineup of up-and-coming fusion players.
Tom Scott, Larry Carlton, Wilton Felder, Joe Sample, and other members of The Crusaders also participate in this album.
This song is not often mentioned, but I think it is quite good.
The song starts off with a fusion style performance.
From the previous folky performance, the performance suddenly becomes more sophisticated.
The songs she writes are also becoming more and more light and airy with no dampness.
This album is often held up as Joni’s masterpiece, and in fact, this album reached number one on the Canadian charts.
However, she easily abandoned this line of work.
From the next album, she teamed up with Jaco Pastorius and moved to a more free and avant-garde sound.
No.10「The Dry Cleaner from Des Moines」(Album:Mingus)
■Song Title：The Dry Cleaner from Des Moines
■Video link：「The Dry Cleaner from Des Moines」
This album is dedicated to the jazz giant, Charles Mingus.
The name of the album is also “Mingus”.
“This album is dedicated to the jazz giant Charles Mingus.
This song is also in that vein.
The song is not too much jazz, but it is sung in a way that doesn’t lose its own stance, and it successfully expresses the middle ground between jazz and pop music.
Jaco is also involved in the vocals on this song.
Incidentally, Joni, a woman in love, was in a relationship with Jaco at this time.
This was an unusually long relationship for Joni, who had been changing partners at a rapid pace.
The partnership with Jaco seemed to have reached its peak with the next live album, “Shadows and Light”.
However, on the follow-up, “Wild Things Run Fast,” Jaco’s name was not in the credits.
This was probably the end of the relationship between the two.
Joni has lived this era to the fullest in love and music, and has left us with many rich achievements.
I would like to thank her very much.
Other「The Circle Game」(Album:Ladies of the Canyon)
■Song Title：The Circle Game
■Album Name：Ladies of the Canyon
■Video link：「The Circle Game」
Lastly, I’d like to take a look at some songs outside the rankings that are folky and moist.
I don’t mean to belittle the folky songs.
She is an excellent vocalist in her own right.
If you want to enjoy the beauty of her voice, I think this is the best song for you.
For example, in this song, there are no words to describe the beauty of Joni’s voice as she sings with the chorus.
She wrote a lot of songs that were covered by others in her early days.
As a songwriter, she specialized in relatively slow and folky songs.
Other than this song, she is also famous for a song called “Woodstock” which was covered by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.
This song is my favorite of all.
If I were to create a ranking of slow Joni songs, this song would be number one.
If you feel that this kind of song is not bad, why don’t you listen to the whole album?