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The Hissing Of Summer Lawns

Joni Mitchell Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
Price: 6.58 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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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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Frequently Bought Together

The Hissing Of Summer Lawns + Court And Spark + Hejira
Price For All Three: 17.18

Buy the selected items together
  • Court And Spark 5.22
  • Hejira 5.38

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Product details

  • Audio CD (19 Oct 1987)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Asylum Records
  • ASIN: B0000262T9
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,954 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. In France They Kiss On Main Street 3:190.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. The Jungle Line 4:240.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Edith And The Kingpin 3:360.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Don't Interrupt The Sorrow 4:040.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Shades Of Scarlett Conquering 4:570.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. The Hissing Of Summer Lawns 3:010.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. The Boho Dance 3:500.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Harry's House-Centerpiece 6:480.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Sweet Bird 4:110.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Shadows And Light 4:170.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Court and Spark had earned Joni Mitchell mainstream pop acceptance but its underlying spirit of discovery pushed her to risk new-found success with this edgier, experimental sequel released in 1975. Although the session crew is largely the same, and sleek jazz elements again abound, these songs find her introducing Burundi drums (on "The Jungle Line"), layering magisterial but forbidding vocal harmonies ("Shadows and Light") and casting rueful shadows across the sun-dazed Southern California of the title song. Her daring promptly earned critical scorn and halted her commercial expansion, but the album's confident eclecticism and dark beauty have outlived that reception; from the safety of hindsight, Hissing was a promise to stay hungry and creatively adventurous, a promise kept then and now. --Sam Sutherland

Product Description


Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LA life analysed by the Queen 6 July 2006
By Ms. Felicia Davis-burden VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD
This is Joni's expert analysis of LA life, as both observer and ambilvalent participant. A masterpiece it definitely is.

I must disagree with those who have said that 'Jungle Line' is sub-standard, weak or horrid. It is a wonderful portrayal of innocense newly lost on arrival in the 'jungle' of LA. The metaphor of Rouseau's art and the sounds of burundi drums, Moog synth and Joni's voice and guitar, work hypnotically together to break up the smooth veneer of the album as a whole (representing the smooth veneer of LA itself!) exposing the lusting and dangerous 'belly of the beast'. I actually see 'Jungle Line' as one of Joni's finest tracks.

'Edith and the King Pin' is a fine study of how an LA millionaire builds up his charmed hareem, seducing with jewels, champagne and drugs, choosing his women like Rouseau would his shades of paint. Another beautifully detailed highlight.

This is one of Joni's masterpieces. Along with Hejira, Blue and Court & Spark, Summer Lawns represents her artistic maturing and daring as a writer. A fabulous collection
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sonically Joni's best album 5 Feb 2006
By Nocode
Format:Audio CD
While Hejira is my favourite Joni album this record is fighting it out with 'For the Roses' for second place. The record generally has quite a laid back feel to it. The opener takes up from where 'Court and Spark' left off, after that however the album becomes more adventurous without compromising on melody. Some have cticised the 'the jungle line.' True it isn't in keeping with the rest of the album and for that reason it perhaps disrupts the record's rhythm. Yet it is undeniably innovative. Other tracks, especially 'Harry's House/Centrepiece' incorporate overt forays into jazz. All in all this is an essential and original album.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ah, Joni! 2 Nov 2006
Format:Audio CD
This was Melody Maker's album of the year in 1975 or thereabouts, so I bought it, played it twice and put it aside as rather uninteresting. Oh foolish youth, I fortunately did not take it down the local student-fund-raising second-hand store, but listened again and became gradually entranced by the melodic and lyrical flair contained therein. Barely a poor moment (the Jungle Line - sorry! - the Centrepiece interlude and Shadows and Light don't sit well with the rest, just to be picky) - the good stuff just keeps on coming. In France they Kiss... followed by [er...OK, where's that skip button!] then Edith ... Don't Interrupt ... Shades of Scarlett ... Hissing ... Boho Dance ... Harry's House... Sweet Bird.... The rest are perfectly fine, but those 8 are sublime, 30+ years on.

I have failed in my attempts to get friends to love this, but I sometimes sit after everyone has gone to bed with a glass of wine, and wallow in the combination of current appreciation and nostalgic association which old favourites engender. Sigh!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An album years ahead of its time 14 Sep 2008
Format:Audio CD
Joni fans tend to divide between those those that prefer the naked confessional of 'Blue' and those that regard the jazzy trio of mid-70s albums that comprise 'Court & Spark', 'The Hissing of Summer Lawns' and 'Hejira' to be her creative peak. I'm in the latter category.

I first heard this album in a musical instrument shop. they were playing 'Harry's House' and the line "A helicopter lands on the Pan-Am roof like a dragonfly on a tomb" caused me to ask the staff what it was. Joni's lyrics are cinematic - like little movie pitches - and beautifully evocative of that period. That track and the album's title investigate the dark side of the suburban dream, set to cool jazzy accompaniment that will make everything else you listen to sound crude.

Elsewhere 'The Jungle Line' discovers Burundi drums a good five years before Adam Ant. 'Edith and The Kingpin' has luscious orchestration that seems to literally seduce you and the multi-layered harmonies of 'Shadows & Light' indicate an artist that is at the peak of her game.

The fact that this got lukewarm reviews on its release either shows how clueless some journalists can be or demonstrates how far ahead Joni was. An astonishingly good album.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite 21 Jan 2000
Format:Audio CD
How can this piece of work possibly be allowed to go unheard? By turns romantic and savage, Mitchell's observations are wrapped in some of the most stunningly arranged sounds you will ever hear. All the tracks are standout; I couldn't even attempt to pick a favourite.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Career Defining 1 Oct 2007
Format:Audio CD
Along with the more obvious Blue, this is Joni's most career defining record. Whilst the former perfected her internal, almost confessional work, The Hissing of Summer Lawns epitomises her role as observer, or even satirist, and her musicianship. Broadly speaking it is a concept album that juxtaposes the human, the animal, and the spiritual in a dense series of portraits of - mostly - Californian life. Think of David Lynch movies and you get a little bit of an idea - the title refers to the hiss of sprinklers on grass, the keeping up of appearances, repressing of darker desires... you get the picture. Elsewhere she explores drug cultures and exploitation (The Jungle Line and Edith & The Kingpin), suburban desperation (the title track, Harry's House) and ruminates on what it all means (the two closers). Throughout her lyricism, once sparse and raw, is lush and layered with imagery - Shades of Scarlett Conquering (a sharp look at a young socialite) both sounds like something from Hollywood's golden age and looks/reads like it e.g. "with her impossibly gentle hands and her blood red fingernails". The depth of playing with a small team of musicians and engineer Henry Lewy never falters - varyingly paced with layers of latin, jazz, and african influences co-existing alongside Joni's own keyboard and guitar work. It's an album that rewards almost constant playing year on year, never failing to reveal more light, more shade. Not only important for Mitchell but a landmark in modern music.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Broken Plastic
Music was great, delivery quick. But the cover plastic was in pieces and the text part well used. And not from the transport!
Published 1 month ago by Urban
4.0 out of 5 stars Old But Good
One of Joni Mitchell's older recordings but still worth adding to any collection . I first bought this on vinyl a few years back.
Published 1 month ago by cgee
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Mitchell
If you like Joni Mitchell (and many people cannot stand that 'voice') you will not fail to like this CD. No surprises, no tracks that stand out, just classic Mitchell.
Published 2 months ago by N. Goldsmith
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than Blue?
Every Joni Mitchell fan has their favourite album and this is mine.I love it even more than "Blue". Read more
Published 7 months ago by Martin Purssell
5.0 out of 5 stars Jazzy Joni
By this stage Joni had completely abandoned her folk roots and decided that the jazz world was more to her liking. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Ben
5.0 out of 5 stars An Outstsnding album
Jazzy, folksy, African fusion of rich tapestries of sound. Beautifully arranged, this album has been a favorite of mine for many years, with two of the most outstanding tracks,... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Me
5.0 out of 5 stars Joni Mitchell
I lost my original cassette of this album some time ago and feared I would not be able to hear it again. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Mike Howarth
5.0 out of 5 stars SUPERB.
IT WAS? ... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Jeffrey R. Reed
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime Jungle
One of the greatest albums of all time. The Jungle Line one of the greatest ever songs. Joni combined art and music with power, majesty, sex, drugs and honesty. Read more
Published 17 months ago by R. Hart
5.0 out of 5 stars In France they kiss......
Although I have known the 'Big Yellow Taxi' song and the Mingus album for decades, it is only since reading `Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon---and the... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Oldromola
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