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4.2 out of 5 stars
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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After the mixed blessings of the prior separate CDs "Hits" and "Misses" one might wonder what this latest compilation will achieve. The answer (with a few doubts) is a great one stop compilation of Joni's best cuts chosen by the lady herself and remixed with great clarity (especially in the instrument separation). Combined together with a neat package of her paintings (better than the usual good and bad mix), notes by Cameron Crowe and full lyrics and track details this is the best starting point if you are new to the music and for longtime fans I would venture a better memory than her recent boxed set of Geffen recordings.
The order of the tracks is great in showing what an adventursome musical journey she has made, covering all her best known recordings though the choice of specific tracks will inevitably see indivdual fans disappointed (how they could ignore anything from "Turbulent Indigo" plus use the recent orchestral version of "Both Sides Now" in preference to the original would be my doubts).
Best of all it shows the range of consistent and varied songwriting achieved and will hopefully be a very simple answer to refute the "ice lady" image she has unfairly been tainted with over the years.
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on 22 September 2004
Joni's handpicked career retrospective. The prospect is tantalising, but no-one could have second guessed some of these choices. This is far from the perfect introduction for the beginner as it avoids some very obvious choices, and opts on occassion for later recordings of well known early songs. It is however intriguing, and almost every Joni Mitchell release is worthy of investigation. Some - 'Blue', 'The Hissing of Summer Lawns', 'Hejiera' - are truly peerless. Daring and experimental, wilfully uncommercial - 'Mingus' is a masterpiece - she is a unique talent. I own them all, I listen and re-listen to them all ... except 'Chalk Mark In a Rainstorm'. The nadir by some distance of an otherwise unimpeachable career. The worst track on this her worst release ? Yeah, there it is, pride of place on this handpicked selection: 'Dancin' Clown', co-starring Billy Idol. What was she thinking at the time? What is she thinking now ...? Does she owe 1980's label boss David Geffen the royalties ? Docked at least two stars just for this track.
Start with 'Joni Mitchell'(1968) and then buy your way forward into the most impressive career in modern music.
Buy 'Dreamland' for the art work but I beg you do not listen to 'Dancin' Clown', it will prejudice you against all else that she has ever done.
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on 12 May 2009
If you, like me, admired Joni's early work and think that Both Sides Now is the best song she ever wrote, you will be disappointed by some of the choices for this "very best of" compilation. Joni herself chose the tracks, so presumably she thinks they are her best. Some of the very best - 'Big Yellow Taxi', 'Carey' and 'California' - are there but not 'A Case of You' 'All I Want' 'Chelsea Morning' and 'My Old Man'. Instead we have 'Dreamland' and 'The Jungle Line' - which only have rhythm accompaniments - and a drearily slow and over-orchestrated 'Both Sides Now' which manages to lose all the naive charm of the original! This is not to say that the compilation is not interesting - it is, as is all her work - but it may not be what you would have chosen as "the very best of Joni Mitchell"!
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on 29 March 2014
Bought this for my sister for Christmas. Looked in excellent condition when it arrived. Find it difficult to find older CDs in store now so ideal coming onto amazon - it has everything! Sister has unwrapped it with absolutely no complaints
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on 18 March 2014
Great voice, great songs. Joni Mitchell is one of the best singer song writers of the 20th & 21st centuries. This certainly whetted my appetite for more. I particularly like the later versions of songs, with a more mature woman looking back, singing in a lower key - very poignant. This is wonderful stuff. You can quibble over the selection of songs but one cd is not sufficient for all the wonderful songs written and performed by Joni.
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on 30 April 2005
Anything Joni does is head and shoulders above any other artist in her field. I find it difficult to be other than subjective where she is concerned. I have all these tracks on other wonderful albums by her. Only Joni can do what she does.Others try but fail dismally. Check her out before too long -I guarantee you will not be disappointed. I have the distinct impression that she is largely unknown to the buying public these days, and thats sad. I have been a loyal fan ever since the first time I heard her way back in the late 60s. She is constantly changing and developing in a way unique to her.
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on 9 December 2012
I had this before and it got lost, this replaced it. I knew the songs just could not live without not being able to listen to it again.
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on 1 February 2014
Bought this to find out what it is about Joni Mitchell that most of my friends rave about, and boy did I found out!
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on 10 November 2004
Another great set of songs from a master, her songs will live
on for years to come. She's not everyones cup of tea but she
has always been mine. Well chosen set of songs, I even get a kick
out of listening to her and Tom Petty, Billy Idol& company ham it up
on Dancin' Clown, it lightens this whole "cool" persona people
have of Joni, reminds me of her having the boys over for some
pool and jamin out. There is so much to like on these songs
I'm glad their revisting classic Joni material!!
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on 18 April 2012
Let me start by saying that I won't be buying this album...because I already own all the tracks (except for the apparently atrocious Dancing Clown, but including the selection from Travelogue). Obviously, all Joni fans can find fault with the selections, but equally, Joni was always going to try to represent her whole considerable career - not easy on a single CD. She also selected the (extended) reworkings on the 2CD Travelogue, which seems to me to be more representative, although she does chose to end both with the trite Circle Game, my least favourite Joni song apart from Woodstock. Here, she goes for nine (US) singles. Many of them were not hits, but it still gives a rather upbeat feel, whereas, for fans, it's the introspective material which pushes the buttons. Good to see California and the late (1991) Come in from the Cold included (introspective singles!). Enthusiasts will carp, but this release is not meant for them, and it may draw new acolytes in: it's never too late to start collecting the backdated catalogue (starting with Blue, working backwards, of course) although it is (apparently) too late to get the buzz of waiting for her next release.
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