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What was she thinking ... ?
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.