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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mitchell's Third Personally Chosen Collection
As you may know Joni Mitchell has decided a while back to stop writing and singing -sad, sad news- so since Travelogue, her album of full orchestra arrangements of many of her great songs, fans of her stunning songbook have been confined to compilations like this.
Now, the question is why would you add this album to your collection? Well, if you are relatively...
Published on 5 Jun. 2005 by Juan Mobili

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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
brilliant album so pleased I got this one.
Published 8 days ago by jenksy


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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mitchell's Third Personally Chosen Collection, 5 Jun. 2005
By 
Juan Mobili (Valley Cottage, NY USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
As you may know Joni Mitchell has decided a while back to stop writing and singing -sad, sad news- so since Travelogue, her album of full orchestra arrangements of many of her great songs, fans of her stunning songbook have been confined to compilations like this.
Now, the question is why would you add this album to your collection? Well, if you are relatively unfamiliar with Mitchell, or do not own much of her discography this release or the earlier "Beginning of Survival," are valuable places to go for surveying such extensive and extraordinary body of work.
In both cases, Joni has selected each of the songs included herself and, rather than doing so based on personal preferences or sentimental attachments, these anthologies were created with a certain theme in mind.
Whereas the earlier, above mentioned predecessor focus on songs that showed Ms. Mitchell's personal philosophy on the state of the world through her lifetime," Songs of a Prairie Girl reunites those songs, through the years, where she's looked back at her childhood growing up in Canada.
In that sense, this collection is quite revealing of someone's life, a diary of how a powerful and sensitive soul came to be what it is, moments of youth that may even bring to mind memories of yours. Certainly, a more interesting proposition than the typical "greatest hits" fare that merely tries to milk past successes.
Still, other than a remix of "Paprika Plains" and the beautiful "Urge for Going" which was released before on a prior anthology, there's nothing "new" here. And this fact, for someone like me who owns most of her albums, it's hardly enough to justify its purchase.
All that said, most of the selections contained here, spanning over thirty-plus years, are remarkable proof of the breadth and longevity of Mitchell's talent. Quite a feat given the praise bestowed to people who do not have half the track record and influential power of Mitchell's music.
Four stars, then, on the strength of these stunning songs, the nature of the anthology and the gorgeous packaging in which this CD is presented.
As far as the complaints some other people have expressed about Mitchell compromising of her values by releasing anthologies, I believe Joni's integrity over almost forty years of honest and intelligent songwriting outweigh any indictments. Besides, would you accuse a painter of selling his soul for mounting a retrospective of his earlier works?
So, buy it or don't buy it. Either way, celebrate a woman who gave us some of the most touching and courageous music of the last four decades.
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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Get A Hot Coffee And Have A Listen, 17 May 2005
By 
Mr Jamie A Zubairi (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
You might wonder why we would need another collection of songs by Joni Mitchell, especially when, since 2002, everything has been old songs, re-contextualised. Everyone knows that Joni Mitchell is a folk/jazz/pop/rock'n'roller, everyone knows she writes songs that blow your mind and sings with such vulnerability that would make Mussolini melt. Sometimes despite all that, we (I) miss the point. 'The Beginning Of Survival' was songs that should've opened people's eyes. 'Songs Of A Prairie Girl' are songs by someone who is more Canadian than we think.
Taking these songs out of their original setting and putting them here to be re-appreciated like jewels on a necklace, made me think about how Canadian these songs are. Within their original albums, they merely become quirky references within the rock'n'roll, freewheeling LA setting, but here they show their roots. Finally Joni can reply to her patriotic detractors just how Canadian she is.
There isn't much 'new material' here unless you're not a completist like me. 'Urge For Going' has been previously released and 'Come In From The Cold' is the single edited version. 'Paprika Plains' however, is a remix (and not by Jellybean Benitez!) but what a remix. Brighter sounding, fuller orchestras and more dynamic band and piano interplay. Worth the price of the CD alone. Did she correct that middle piano section that Mingus pulled her up on?
In todays times of downloadable music what would be the point of buying a cd of music we might already have? Well, as with any Joni Mitchell release, it's the thought and consideration that have gone into it. For 'Survival' we had paintings, for this, its the beautiful photographs by Joel Bernstein, taken from the same photoshoot that gave us the striking cover to 'Hejira'.
Any songwriter that writes with depth, insight, heart and a certain wit is a rarity. To be able to sing through that emotion is even rarer. Joni Mitchell is one of those geniuses not only can nail a feeling or an experience accurately but her emotional honesty disarms the listener, we become her companions on that journey: sometimes thrilled, sometimes shocked, sometimes just there to hold her hand and say, 'It's okay, I'm here.' And we are here with Joni, walking through her prairies, sometimes the ground is rough'n'tumble, sometimes you can see the entire landscape. Mostly it's just beauty.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just another anthology!, 26 Sept. 2010
Why another rehash?
Well it's in the official cd description above. This is a collection that reflects Joni Mitchell's Canadian roots.
As a life long fan... I have to say this cd is worth the price for 'Sharon's Song' alone. The visual imagery is strong, you can feel the breeze on the ferry crossing, the dark edges of despair on the way down the deep and muddy well and hear the angry car door slam at the North Dakota junction.
I am not sure how many times you can hear a song without becoming tired of it, but it hasn't happened yet.
Overall this cd has the look and feel of Hejira, which in my view, was and still is, her best.
I wont go over all the tracks in detail, as this has already been very well covered by other reviewers.
Whether your a 'Joni' fan or a first timer, just buy it and enjoy!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic collection, 12 Feb. 2014
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Some of Joni`s masterpieces fully orchestrated and digitally remastered superb tracks like Paprika Plains,Chinese Cafe and Cherokee Louise. Brilliant album very speedily dispatchedand well packed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Songs Of A Prairie Girl, 4 Sept. 2012
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Excellent CD and extremely pleased with this purchase.Top choice of varied tracks, featuring different era's of Joni's work throughout her career.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars, 26 Feb. 2015
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brilliant album so pleased I got this one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 13 Jan. 2015
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brilliant
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantasti, 29 Aug. 2014
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Fantastic
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Songs of a Prairie Girl
Songs of a Prairie Girl by Joni Mitchell
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