March (2) 2020: Joni Mitchell - Hejira (1976) Mar 9, 2020 14:37:16 GMT
Post by petea on Mar 9, 2020 14:37:16 GMT
My all-time favourite album by Joni Mitchell is "Don Juan's Reckless Daughter", but this is probably my second favourite. I chose this instead though as it is a single album rather than a double and has a more 'standard' structure (ie, without a long instrumental etc). Apparently written during three long car journeys and following a break-up with a relatively long-term lover, it also starts the period in which she collaborated with jazz musicians rather than rock session players and is also the first time she worked with Jaco Pastorius: his fretless bass and her distinctive guitar sound dominates the album (and those that followed, until his untimely death).
The album is part autobiography, part travelogue and contains songs such as "Amelia" in which she uses a 'discussion' with Amelia Earhart and her recollections of time spent driving through the desert to exorcise her break-up with John Guerin. Another song is about the time she met bluesman 'Furry' Lewis, and so on through the album. So, although not strictly a 'concept album' there is a theme linking the collection of songs and the style is quite consistent. A more in-depth analysis can found on Wikipedia.
If you are unfamiliar with the albums by Joni Mitchell I think a good follow-on is "Don Juan's Reckless Daughter" and, the prior album, "The Hissing of Summer Lawns", which, although different is style, is the beginning in some ways of her more complex, story-based writing I often think. Live performances such as "Shadows and Light" are certainly worth exploring too as are some of her rarer, solo performances.