A.V. Club’s Joni Mitchell Primer

The A.V. Club’s Noel Murray provided beginners with A guide to the music of Joni Mitchell in their Primer series on Thursday. The lengthy article runs through Joni’s life and career with great commentary and observations on her music. There’s also a generous helping of supporting evidence in the form of songs on YouTube. The article is broken up into several sections getting progressively deeper into her catalog, and then ends with what they consider the five essential Joni Mitchell recordings.

Here’s how they break it down:

Joni Mitchell 101:

  1. Ladies of the Canyon (1970)
  2. Blue (1971)
  3. Court and Spark (1974)
  4. Hejira (1976)
  5. Wild Things Run Fast (1982)
  6. Shine (2007)

Intermediate work:

  1. Clouds (1969)
  2. For the Roses (1972)
  3. The Hissing of Summer Lawns (1975)
  4. Night Ride Home (1991)
  5. Turbulent Indigo (1994)
  6. Taming the Tiger (1998)

Advanced studies:

  1. Song to a Seagull (1968)
  2. Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter (1977)
  3. Mingus (1979)
  4. Dog Eat Dog (1985)
  5. Chalk Mark in a Rain Storm (1988)

Miscellany:

  1. Miles of Aisles (1974)
  2. Shadows and Light (1980)
  3. Amchitka: The 1970 Concert that Launched Greenpeace (2009)
  4. Hits (1996) / Misses (1996)
  5. The Beginning of Survival (2004)
  6. Dreamland (2004)
  7. Songs of a Prairie Girl (2005)
  8. Both Sides Now (2000)
  9. Travelogue (2002)
  10. River: The Joni Letters (2007)
  11. The Fiddle and the Drum DVD (2009)
  12. Shadows and Light DVD (2003)
  13. Refuge of the Roads DVD (2004)
  14. Painting with Words and Music DVD (2004)

The Essentials:

  1. Court and Spark (1974)
  2. Blue (1971)
  3. Hejira (1976)
  4. The Hissing of Summer Lawns (1975)
  5. Wild Things Run Fast (1982)

About Corey Blake

Corey Blake does things on the Internet, and sometimes even in real life.
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