Northern Songs

It’s time for another list of favourite records again. Nick Hornby makes a living out of it but I’m doing it for free. This time I’ve chosen to focus on Joni Mitchell’s hugely varied work. Young folk may sneer but what do they know about music ? Bah !

1. It’s got to be Blue at number one – the joy of Carey, the misery of Last time I saw Richard not to mention River or in fact nearly any of the songs on it.

2. Hissing of Summer Lawns – world music before we knew what it was. Sublime Burundi drumming.

3. Travelogue – a recent two record set featuring 30 years of her songs set to an orchestral backing but with a jazz swing. Listen without prejudice.

4. Ladies of the Canyon – contains the well-known songs Woodstock and Big Yellow Taxi but I much prefer Rainy Night House and The Arrangement.

5. Court and Spark – Joni does pop.

6. Hejira – this record doesn’t impress on first listen but I suspect I’ll go to my grave trying to get Amelia out of my mind.

7. For the Roses – a bit melodramatic but there’s nothing wrong with melodrama in it’s rightful place.

8. Night Ride Home – the first of a run of great 90’s releases.

9. Both Sides Now – Jazz standards given the Joni treatment plus an amazing husky and sexy rework of Case of You

10. Can’t decide between the live albums. Maybe Miles of Aisles for the hypnotic version of Woodstock or Shadows and Light for Dreamland where Joni is accompanied only by bongo drums.