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Joni Mitchell's Court and Spark (33 1/3) Paperback – 15 Feb 2007

4.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 126 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Continuum (15 Feb. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826417736
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826417732
  • Product Dimensions: 12 x 0.9 x 16.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 164,875 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'A brilliant series of pocket-sized books focussing on a classic album. Each one a work of real love.' --NME Magazine

About the Author

Sean Nelson is the Associate Editor and Senior Staff Writer of The Strangerand is a partner in Seattle independent label Barsuk Records.


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By therealus TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 6 April 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
At last, a book about Joni Mitchell which cuts out the fluff and concentrates on the music. It is, of course, almost impossible to write a book like this without some biographical detail, the author's as well as the subject's, just as reviewers cannot resist imparting a little of their own back story, so with apologies, that's how I'll start.

Since the early eighties, Joni Mitchell has been a constant presence for me, and before that, on and off, she drifted in and out, sometimes hanging round for a while, sometimes just making a quick call and then wandering off again. This one artist has nursed me through more heartaches, disasters, long drives, celebrations, lonely evenings, social evenings and loose ends than all the others put together. To say she provided my adult life with a soundtrack would be an understatement.

She is also, incidentally, one of two musical figures to whom I would willingly attribute an, albeit ironic, lifestyle influence, with the line "business men in button downs" determining my work attire for many years. (The other, in case you're asking, was "Sipping Jack Daniel's in Third World bars," from America For Beginners by Latin Quarter, the second part of which is, regrettably, little more than an aspiration.)

With some relationships though it takes a while to appreciate their significance, and so it was I came quite late to thinking I might read a book about Mitchell. The first of these, Mark Bego's Both Sides Now, was a big disappointment; the second, Karen O'Brien's Shadows and Light, much more satisfactory, but it still falls short on the bit I am most interested in, the music, and specifically in looking at how the continuum that is Joni Mitchell's lifework interrelates.
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Format: Paperback
I've read a few of these 33 1/3 dissertations on great pop music and they range from pretentious waffle to careful analysis. Sean Nelson's treatise on 'Court & Spark' is definitely in the latter category.

Like any good essay it sets the scene with albums that have gone before and concluded with the work that followed. I disagreed with him that C&S was a peak and the subsequent 'Hissing of Summer Lawns' and 'Hejira' were the beginning of a wilfully obstinate decline. However, he argues his points very intelligently and perhaps pinpoints why Joni spent a decade almost ignored. She was ahead of her time and frustrated with the critics and her audience's inability to see her as more than a winsome folky.

If you love this album, this is a highly recommended read. And even if you don't agree with all that's said, you'll appreciate that the author is a dedicated fan who has earned the right to say it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
a life time Joni fan and yet I missed this album-but this book bought me to the album and it may well end up as a favourite album of all time. Having now read a few of the 33 1/3 series this is one of the better ones giving deep insight into the album,the historical context and a great examination of the lyrics (essential for Joni) . Thank you Amazon for the recommendation !
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Format: Paperback
Court & Spark, the album, is a high point in the career of Joni Mitchell and deserves better than this drivel. If you have insomnia, I recommend buying this small tome as it will certainly solve your sleeping problems.
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Great series. great book.
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