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Night Ride Home Single

4.3 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (20 Mar. 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Single
  • Label: Geffen
  • ASIN: B000000ORX
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 29,318 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Peter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 25 Nov. 2002
Format: Audio CD
Here JM displays a new-found sense of balance and harmony in her life and music. Night Ride Home proves that the creative embers were glowing brightly again. Her languid voice is accorded poetic justice by the sparse backing on themes eternal. Religious symbolism surfaces on Passion Play and Slouching Towards Bethlehem - the latter an adaptation of a Yeats poem. The topic of growing old, gracefully treated in Nothing Can Be Done and Come In From The Cold, is brilliantly balanced by the teenage romance of Ray's Dad's Cadillac, in which Joni puts one over Rickie Lee Jones, one of her followers. Savour these lines: "Ray's dad teaches maths/I'm a dunce, a decimal in his class/when it comes to mathematics/I get static in the attic." Well this is music - not maths - and Joni gets five out of five for composition and performance.
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Format: Audio CD
For some, Joni Mitchell lost the plot with 'The Hissing of Summer Lawns', when she moved decisively from first-person folk to narrating third-person tales in jazz and rock idioms. However, the change brought along a whole world of wonders, from the cool urban tales of life in the well heeled suburbs of L.A. on 'Hissing' through 'Hejira's' dreamscape of travel and escape and 'Don Juan' and 'Mingus'' deep explorations of jazz.
Then , in the 80s it all went terribly wrong. Joni released a succession of bland, poorly conceived albums seemingly aimed squarely at getting her a hit. 'Chalk Mark in a Rainstorm', 'Dog eat dog', 'Wild Things Run Fast' - each has its occasional flashes of brilliance but all were mired in squealing rock guitars, ill-judged cameo appearances from the likes of Billy Idol and Thomas Dolby and a general lack of warmth and sincerity.
All of a sudden , in 1991, she released 'Night Ride Home' and it was a revelation. The melody was there, the lyrical genius had returned and best of all, the rich subtlety of the arrangements was back. Much of this was probably due to the influence of her then husband Larry Klein, who seems to have helped Mitchell find her muse again.
There are no duff tracks, and indeed most are creative peaks, but to highlight a few, 'Cherokee Louise' is a heartbreaking tale of child abuse and runaways in a frighteningly adult city set to the most lilting and seductive melody Mitchell had written for years. 'Two Grey Rooms' is a cool, delicately orchestrated study of obsessional love. 'Ray's Dad's Cadillac' is a simply delightful evocation of 1950s teenage love and 'The Only Joy In Town' is a sunlit dance through Rome in pursuit of an idealised love. The highlight though has to be Mitchell's setting of W B Yeats 'Slouching Towards Bethlehem'.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I only discovered the wonders of Joni in the early 1980s, and soon collected all of her majestic 1970s output. What, though, soon became frustrating was the uneven quality of what came in the 80s - "Wild Things Run Fast" had some good stuff on it ("Chinese Cafe" for example), but I found it hard to love anything on "Chalk Mark In The Rainstorm" (except maybe the title!). Sadly, I then gave up purchasing new Joni CDs, not realising that I had stopped one too soon! I saw a 1990s concert, fell in love with "Night Ride Home", tried the CD and found that it was the first of new period where Joni recovered her form, re-finding conventional melodies and stripping out the synths and heading more acoustic. This CD has many delights - "Cherokee Louise", "Come In From The Cold" and "Slouching Towards Bethlehem" are all great, but actually there is nothing bad on this. Any Joni fan should re-connect here, then add "Turbulent Indigo" which is even better. A great CD.
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Format: Audio CD
If you have never listened to joni buy blue or her "hits" collection. If you know and love joni then search hard to add this to your collection. This album represents a return to her folk routes after her excursions into 80s pop with Dog Eat Dog and Chalkmark...This album contains several stand out tracks that rival her early work such as the superb night ride home.
The album also has one advantage over the early stuff for the person who has several of the early albums. This is a different older joni from the person singing about parking lots and cactus trees. She has lost nothing of her song writing ability and the music is tuneful and effective. This is not as intense as blue but some might few this as no bad thing. This album should be much more available than it is at present.
Not as consistant as blue or For the Roses this is still an excellent album for the person who either wants something more positive than blue or generally cannot get enough of Joni's faboulas music
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Format: Audio CD
Perhaps I was biased towards this album by the birth of my son in 1991, but I used to sing these songs repeatedly to him in every effort to lull him towards sleep. For me, it's one of the top 5 album releases of that decade, the others being 'Time Out Of Mind' by Bob Dylan, 'The Future' by Leonard Cohen, 'Nevermind' by Nirvana (also to show I'm not just some old fart stuck in the past), and best of all the greatest, most complete debut of all time: the evergreen 'Grace' by Jeff Buckley. 'Night Ride Home' is chock-full of great songs: from the brilliant opener (the title track) to the fine fine single release 'Coming In From The Cold' it almost purports to be Joni's finest hour, but I feel, personally, that the album slopes off a bit there. Admittedly, I'm not the biggest fan of Mitchell's jazzier escapades, and I have listened to the bulk of her work in search of that greatness that others tell me is there in her earlier works, but 'Ladies Of The Canyon' just for instance leaves me cold. I much prefer the poppier efforts of 'Clouds' and parts of 'The Hissing Of Summer Lawns' (esp. 'The Jungle Line' and 'In France They Kiss On Main Street') so when I originally bought NRH I couldn't believe how bowled over I was. The arrangements are, for the most part, light, loose, and uncluttered: 'Passion Play' (or 'The Magdalene Laundries' as rechristened by The Chieftains) has to be one of the finest songs ever written, and 'Coming In From The Cold' her best ever single, though I wouldn't have imagined for one minute that it could have ever made a dent in the top 40 here or Stateside. Doubtless, more ardent admirers of Mitchell's music will disagree with me, but if I ever want or need to hear a Joni Mitchell album I would choose this one every time.
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