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Shine CD

Price: £8.31 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Amazon's Joni Mitchell Store


Image of album by Joni Mitchell


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When the dust settles, Joni Mitchell may stand as the most important and influential female recording artist of the late 20th century. Uncompromising and iconoclastic, Mitchell confounded expectations at every turn; restlessly innovative, her music evolved from deeply personal folk stylings into pop, jazz, avant-garde, and even world music, presaging the multicultural experimentation of the ... Read more in Amazon's Joni Mitchell Store

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for 69 albums, 4 photos, discussions, and more.

Frequently Bought Together

Shine + Taming The Tiger + Turbulent Indigo
Price For All Three: £22.81

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Product details

  • Audio CD (24 Sept. 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Hear Music / UMTV
  • ASIN: B000UR366S
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,076 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. One Week Last Summer (Album Version) 4:59£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. This Place (Album Version) 3:54£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. If I Had a Heart (Album Version) 4:03£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Hana (Album Version) 3:42£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Bad Dreams (Album Version) 5:40£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Big Yellow Taxi (2007) (Album Version) 2:46£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Night of the Iguana (Album Version) 4:36£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Strong and Wrong (Album Version) 4:02£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Shine (Album Version) 7:28Album Only
Listen10. If (Album Version) 5:32£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

Shine, recorded and released in 2007, is the sign from the heavens that Joni Mitchell has come out of retirement. She left in the early part of the century, railing against a music industry that only cared about "golf and rappers," accusing it of virtually every artistic crime under the sun. So the irony that she signed to Hear Music, Starbucks' music imprint, is pronounced. The company has been embroiled in controversy over its labor and trade practices, and has been accused of union-busting and spying on its employees and union members. It's especially ironic given the nature of the music on this set, which is political, environmental, and social in its commentary. Hear Music has also issued recordings by Paul McCartney and Bob Dylan, so she's in great company. But it's music that we're after here, and Mitchell doesn't disappoint on this score. She doesn't have the same reach vocally that she used to. A lifetime of cigarette smoking will do that to you. But given the deeply reflective and uncomfortably contemplative nature of some of these songs, it hardly matters. Mitchell produced this set herself, and with the exception of guest performances -- saxophones by Bob Sheppard, steel guitar by Greg Leisz, some drum spots by Brian Blade, and bass by Larry Klein, all selectively featured -- Mitchell plays piano, guitar, and does all the other instrumentation and arrangements herself. The drum machine she uses is so antiquated that it's corny, but it's also charming in the way she employs it. The songs carry the same weight they always have. Her off-kilter acoustic guitar playing is as rhythmically complex as ever, and her commentary is biting, sardonic, and poetic. The set begins with a five-minute instrumental that would be perfect to accompany the images of the ballet dancers on the cover. "This Place," where her acoustic guitar, a synth, and the pedal steel are kissed by Sheppard's soprano saxophone, follows it. It's a statement of place, and the knowledge that its natural beauty is heavenly, but will not remain that way: "You see those lovely hills/They won't be there for long/They're gonna tear 'em down/And sell 'em to California...when this place looks like a moonscape/Don't say I didn't warn ya." She ends it with a prayer for the "courage and the grace/To make genius of this tragedy/The genius to save this place." It's hardly the standard pontificating of rock stars. Thank God. The next tune, "If I Had a Heart," with Blade, Klein, and Leisz, offers this confession: "Holy war/Genocide/Suicide/Hate and cruelty...How can this be holy?/If I had a heart, I'd cry." It's the acceptance of the dehumanization of the culture as well as the increasing uninhabitability of the planet, this resignation that's so startling even as these melodies take you to the places in Mitchell's songwriting we've always loved. The massive drum loops, didgeridoo samples, and bass throbs -- with additional percussion by Paulinho da Costa -- is a story-song that is meant to be a backbone, hands dirty working and improving things. It's haunting, as it hovers inside its groove with startling electric guitar distortion and effects. But only two songs later we move to "Big Yellow Taxi [2007 Version]." It's radically revisioned and reshaped. It's full of darker tones, soundscapes, an accordion sample, and a tougher acoustic guitar strum. What used to be a hummable if biting indictment of the powers that be, who wanted to develop every last inch of natural space, has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The exhortation to farmers is still there, but it's more a bitter reminder of the refrain. It's the only song here, and followed by the most beautiful cut on the entire set in "Night of the Iguana," a big, elegant, polyrhythmic allegory that features some of the greatest guitar playing Mitchell has ever done


In 2002, Joni Mitchell--folk legend and creator of timeless albums like Blue, Hejira and The Hissing of Summer Lawns--went into retirement. Following the release of that year’s Travelogue album, she denounced the music industry and at the same time announced plans to pursue her other passion: painting. Shine, Mitchell’s 17th studio album and her first collection of new songs in almost a decade, is therefore something of a surprise. Inspired by the need to speak out against warmongering politicos and environmental myopia, Mitchell has written ten elegant, sparse songs that match idiosyncratic arrangements (think chamber folk merged with curious 80s drum sounds and painterly daubs of sax and guitar) with incisive lyricism and her classic story-telling technique. Opening instrumental "One Week Last Summer" sets an optimistic tone, but the album veers mostly between melancholy, introspection, bitterness and even misanthropy. Mitchell’s voice is more cracked than it used to be--but there’s no denying her passion, nor her continued ability to write engaging tunes. -- Paul Sullivan

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 58 people found the following review helpful By C. O'Brien VINE VOICE on 3 Oct. 2007
Format: Audio CD
A while back, Joni Mitchell announced her retirement. She'd found and become reconciled with the long-lost daughter she'd given up for adoption in the 60s, and had no more need to run the gauntlet of a corrupt music industry for the sake of writing songs. The composer of "Both Sides Now", "Woodstock" and "Hejira" fell silent.

However, her seclusion didn't last. As she told a recent interviewer, ""I tried to keep my legs crossed, but it didn't work." Enter an unlikely ally in the form of multinational coffee chain Starbucks, whose Hear Music label has recently tempted other ancient luminaries such as Paul McCartney and Bob Dylan into signing new album deals. The result is Shine, the delayed follow-up to 1998's "Taming the Tiger".

The album begins wordlessly. "One Week Last Summer" is an instrumental evocation of a numinous time when "the piano beckoned for the first time in ten years". But when the songs proper begin, Mitchell's words can still bite - "money makes the trees come down/it turns mountains into molehills".

There's little of the old romantic confessional in these songs of later life. Instead, she's decided to "put some time into ecology", as she hinted she might so long ago in 1976's "Song For Sharon". Like the wordless movie Koyaanasqatsi, "Shine" is a chronicle of a world out of balance: a world where technology threatens to vanquish nature, where "cellphone zombies babble through the shopping malls", where we are all but consumed in "the jaws of our machines". For Mitchell, we live on a planet we are slowly poisoning, and in "Bad Dreams" she expresses her deepening disgust in the vocabulary of a modern plague: "we live in these electric scabs, these lesions once were lakes".
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Herman Norford on 13 Oct. 2007
Format: Audio CD
Shine is the long awaited Joni Mitchell LP. In terms of anticipating what was to come from Joni, there is one surprise. The surprise is that on this LP there is no inward looking at self. Instead, Joni turns her attention to the environment, the misuse of science, the politics of selfishness, and domination through war. With only ten tracks on the LP, it was bound to be an ambitious task to address these huge issues satisfactorily.

The stance that Joni is going to take towards the themes of the LP is set out from the beginning with the 4 minutes and 58 seconds instrumental piece, "One Week Last Summer". In a brief explanation of the inspiration behind the piece Joni, in an oblique manner, outlines her stance on the the themes the LP raises. But this is not to suggest that there are hiden aims on this LP. On the contrary, in the main Joni is direct and to the point. She is critical of modern society and this is nowhere more telling than in "Bad Dreams". In this song Joni delivers some harsh words - for example, "The cell phone zombies babble/Through the shopping malls/While condors fall from Indian skies/Whales beach and die in the sand".

The suggestion that the songs on this LP represents Joni's stance about the environment is underpinned by the fact that Joni does a lot on the LP. The music is composed, arranged and produced by her. The lyrics are composed by her except for "If" and she plays many of the instruments. One could not help but wonder if Joni was showing off her considerable talents or keeping down production costs.

Certainly, Joni's talents extend to ambitious daring. The reprise of "Big Yellow Taxi" on this LP is quite apt. It fits in with Joni's evironmental concerns.
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42 of 48 people found the following review helpful By D. Richens on 25 Sept. 2007
Format: Audio CD
The sparse, poetic, beautiful 'Shine' is Joni Mitchell's first album of new songs in almost a decade, and it does not disappoint.

Lyrically she is, as always, completely self-assured, the new songs ranking alongside such mid-1970's classics as 'Court and Spark' and 'Hejira', although the themes are very different; most of the songs here focus on environmental and political issues rather than the search for love. One of my favourite lyrics is from the title track:

'Shine on the pioneers
Those seekers of mental health
Craving simplicity
They travelled inward
Past themselves'-

Brilliant, and pure Joni.

Musically 'Shine' is a much sparser affair than anything we have seen from her in the 1980's and 1990's; most of the songs feature Joni herself on piano (and occasionally guitar), with ex-husband Larry Klein on bass and Greg Leisz on pedal steel guitar. The result is that listening to the album is a much more intimate affair than anything she has done since her mid-1970's heyday.

'Shine' is a testimony to Joni Mitchell's unparelleled songwriting ability, and shows that she has certainly not run out of things to say. It sure is good to have her back.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Peter Steward on 3 Sept. 2014
Format: Audio CD
After nine years of silence Joni comes out with a new album. I have thoroughly enjoyed her previous journey through her classic songs, setting them to a classical base. So what could we expect from her 17th studio album. Sadly the answer is "a great disappointment." It really does sound like Joni has run out of ideas and any amount of marketing hype telling us that this is a return to form, a vital album and Joni on top form is just simply marketing hype. The voice is still there, perhaps deeper than in the great days, but the lyrics are becoming trite.

There's only so many times that you can rail against abuse of the environment. Sadly Joni has reached saturation level on this subject and the whole concept has become dated. In other words she has nothing more to say on the subject, however many interviews to the contrary she does. The album lacks ideas and that's pretty much illustrated by a new version of Big Yellow Taxi that gives us nothing new apart from a couple of new lines that includes changing "They took all the trees and put em in a tree museum and they charged the people a dollar and a half to see them into "They took all the trees and put em in a tree museum and they charged all the people an arm and a leg to see them."- wow it's scarcely pulitzer prize re-writing, but it does sum up the lack of originality here.
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