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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 19 December 2002
Joni Mitchell's 13th album came at a time when her sales were dropping but her personal life was better than great! She married her bassist Larry Klein soon after this album was released towards the end of 1982, and Klein offers a major role in the music of 'Wild Things Run Fast'.
It is not her greatest album by any means, but attempted to win back fans who had left her when she became more experimental from 1975 onwards.
The music here is easily pop-rock, and has a distinct 80s sound. But that doesn't mean terrible synths, multitracked vocals etc. Mitchell does the '80s thing' with grace, and the music does not sound too dated at all. Her songs here are about love, with the catchy "Solid Love" an obvious reference to her relationship with Klein ("we've got this solid love").
Some songs have good melodies but you can tell they're pretty weak ("Underneath The Streetlight", "Wild Things Run Fast"), but they are not at all bad songs.
Probably the most stylish of these tunes is "Moon At The Window", a song that recalls her recent jazz endeavours with soprano sax in abundance. The song that rightfully gains the most attention is the opener, "Chinese Cafe - Unchained Melody", a strong song about the fast passage of time, with plenty of mentions of Carole King.
If you are only interested in the great works of Joni Mitchell, then you should try albums such as 'Blue', 'Hejira' and 'The Hissing of Summer Lawns' (just three of an astonishing number!), but if you want to explore the less well-known albums and Joni's often-missed 80s work, 'Wild Things Run Fast' is a great record for you. It's not bland, it's very rhythmic and unlike a lot of Joni's other albums, you can actually dance to the upbeat nature of the songs.
'Wild Things Run Fast' should be a lot more recognised than it actually is.
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on 16 July 2001
I was bowled over by this album when it first came out. I got to know her through her early albums, which often tend towards painful introspection. For me later albums produced a variety of hits and misses. Wild Things Run Fast captures the joyfulness of Big Yellow Taxi, but shows the jazz influence of the Mingus album. It has all the introspection you expect but it's more upbeat in tone and tempo. She was obviously happy when she wrote these songs and it shows.
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on 1 March 2012
Wild Things Run Fast is such an underrated album in the Joni Mitchell catalogue. It rocks, it swings, it grooves, and more importantly the songwriting is still there. Lyrically she's at the very top of her game, with 'Moon At The Window' being possibly the greatest (and truest) rumination on love to every appear in popular music. Others such as 'Chinese Cafe' are just impossibly nostalgic and wistful.

Those aside, the songs are either fun rockers that she pulls off surprisingly well (Wild Things Run Fast, You're So Square) or lyrical, melodic masterpieces about love and heartbreak and living (Love, Man To Man). Stuff like 'Be Cool' makes you move and groove in the way little else in her catalogue does, and this record on the whole displays her immense versatility, with various styles tackled to brilliant affect, jazzy touches adding to a lot of the tracks. Further props must go to the band, who are incredibly tight (Larry Kelin on bass especially), and the production which has aged amazingly well for an early 80s album.

This is unlike anything else in her catalogue in sound and style, and just as essential as 'Blue', 'Hejira' or 'Court and Spark'.
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on 18 May 2016
Absolutely the last consistent flowering of a great talent, 'Wild...' is a little regarded record which was her only new album within a 6 year timespan between 1979-85. To me, it's one of her finest, and most under-rated. There's a jazzy groove to many tracks, in a much more accessible style than on 'Mingus', and sufficient for her to claim mastery of the style; 'Be cool' is just so... cool. Elsewhere, 'Chinese Cafe' is something of a valedictory to her piano-led classic style, first essayed on 'Ladies of the Canyon', and on the title track and an interesting take on 'Baby I don't care', she really untypically rocks out - but it works. Finishes with the elegant Corinthians-set-to-music of 'Love'. You need this record, and truth to tell, your Joni collection could stop here and not miss much.
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on 18 August 2006
Wild Things Run Fast was the album Joni Mitchell brought out before Dog Eat Dog,and there is a marked difference between the easy going and smooth jazz-type songs on Wild Things,and the aggressive music and biting lyrics of Dog Eat Dog.I would describe the music on Wild Things as easy listening and the lyrics as easy to listen to - there are no lines as cryptic and indecipherable here as you will find on an album like The Hissing of Summer Lawns.Joni really opens her heart on Wild Things:
"Carol..your kids are coming up straight
And my kid's a stranger
I bore her
But I could not raise her."
And:
"A lot of good guys gone through my door.."
"I guess you learn to refuse what you think you can't handle."
"What makes you run wild thing..
I thought you loved me."

Overall,this cd is well worth listening to.The painting on the front cover is one of the best Joni has done.
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on 28 December 2014
This was one of the first Joni CDs that I ever bought - and, at the time, I found it a mixed bag compared to her classics like "Blue" and "Court and Spark". Recently, though, having invested in the early albums again and also latter triumphs like "Night Ride Home" and "Turbulent Indigo", I felt the urge to re-invest in this, and was really pleasantly surprised! As mentioned by many, this is probably Joni's most uptempo and joyous album ever, reflecting her new love and marriage to Larry Klein. The new relationship created a new-found happiness evidenced by numbers like "Solid Love" and "Underneath The Streetlight", as well as sparking a return to pop/rock with numbers like the title track and the cover of "(You're So Square) Baby, I Don't Care", all of which make easy and enjoyable listening. What makes the album so good, though, is that these are balanced by numbers like "Chinese Cafe", "Moon At The Window" and "Man To Man" which are classic Joni - reflective, deep and with jazzy undertones. Overall, the album is a great listen and an easy introduction to the wonders of Joni Mitchell. Highly recommended!
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on 9 June 2015
I have loved this album for many years. The tape I had is now useless and I've bought this as a replacement. Every song is a gem.
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on 4 March 2014
As ood as i remembered this album..simple and melodic with lots of variety in the tunes and lyrics. Brilliant album by a legend!
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on 14 August 2013
haven't stopped playing it since I bought it - fantastic! Joni singing some Jazz - we need more of it!
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on 11 April 2015
Not much to say, simply one of the great albums. It should be in everyone's collection.
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