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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 13 August 2012
A lost classic and a rare treat to hear such gifted artists playing together. After hearing James Taylor play with Carole King I was delighted to find a rare album of him playing with Joni Mitchell. Both excellent singer song writers in their own field, Both come from a pool of artists that included Dylan,Crosby Stills Nash & Young, The eagles, Jackson Brown, Dan Folgenburg and The Eagles. Music at its best by those who had the talent to write, play and sing music. A talent as fresh today as it was thirty years ago. The Disk arrived quickly and was very well packaged.
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on 30 August 2010
Joni Mitchell at her very peak, the simpler arrangements make some of the material here that subsequently appeared on 'Blue' even more potent to these ears. Great great music, sublimely performed.

However, earlier reviewers with Albert Hall ticket stubs face a minor let-down since this recording was no more recorded at the Albert Hall than Dylan's infamous '66 bootleg. In fact it was recorded by the BBC earlier in the year in the far more intimate setting of the Paris Theatre on London's Regent Street, and broadcast as an hour-long John Peel 'In Concert' special on Radio 1. The BBC also filmed the performance and later broadcast an edited version of that (there are plenty of clips to be found on YouTube, just note the very cheesy set).

The bootleg history becomes even more muddied because James Taylor later recorded a separate 'In Concert' session, and over the years the two performances have been repeatedly cut together by bootleggers with different track choices all supposedly from the Royal Albert Hall.

Like so many recently issued live recordings from this era, this CD appears to be scarcely more legitimate than the bootlegs from which it has been sourced, exploitative of the artists and European copyright legislation in equal measure. But the original BBC recording (and FM broadcast) was of exceptional quality, more than good enough to withstand the inevitable audio deterioration that results from repeated analogue copying of off-air tapes. Assuming you haven't long since downloaded this easily available material, and you're not uncomfortable buying some sort of glorified bootleg, you'll certainly want this. I was fortunate enough to be in the audience for both the Paris Theatre and the later Royal Albert Hall performances and take it from me, this was the better of the two.
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on 4 February 2013
Am I reviewing the same item?

This review covers only the recording quality and has nothing against the actual performance/material of Joni Mitchell or James Taylor.

With 10+ 5 star votes I'm bound to be branded a heretic with lots of 'Not Helpful' votes but wanted to share my experience such that no-one else feels somewhat mislead.

I was completely knocked back when this arrived and I listened to it (and not in a good way).
This is not only clearly a bootleg recording but it's a CD copy of a vinyl bootleg with clicks and pops from scratches on there too.

The people amazed/pleased with the quality of the recording must have very low expectations of audio quality.
Perhaps people are being blinded by nostalgia or judging based on much lower quality bootlegs?

2 Stars = "I don't like it" which I don't, as I was expecting something better based on the other reviews here.
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on 16 April 2010
This is a long-awaited CD. I've waited more than 39 years for a better memento of the first time I ever saw Joni Mitchell or James Taylor in concert, than the Albert Hall ticket stub I've probably still got filed away somewhere. The tracks (plus a few other really good others) have been available on various MP3 download sites for a while now, but they lack the audio quality of this new CD. To be honest, it sounds like it may have been recorded from a vinyl master - just the faintest hint of crackles a few times in the opening tracks, for example. Stereo separation isn't great, but two musicians sitting centre-stage in a huge hall don't sound right when split across two speakers.

All the songs on this album were pretty much new when they were performed. "Carey" and "California" are here, and pre-date the "Blue" album by several months (ditto a version of "A Case of You" that sadly didn't make the album), but there's Joni's exact same note perfect, word-perfect rendition that's seen on the album Paul Gambaccini (I think it was) said "changed the world for ever".

My own recollection, vague that it is, is of the artists being dwarfed by the Albert Hall. Just occasionally, you hear a glimpse of sound that suggests the space in which this performance took place, but the quality is really good. Applause has been balanced so that it emphasises the spontaneity of the occasion, and doesn't drown it. You can hear every note of James Taylor's fretwork on "Steamroller", and every word too.

Easy to forget the effect at the time of songs like "The Gallery" and "The Priest" had at the time. They deliver a shiver of delight even now. Hear the soaring vocal of "Carey", and remind yourself that this is a live performance, captured decades before digital!

You may be a Mitchell or Taylor fan already, or may have heard nothing. Either way, you'll want this album, and you'll find yourself playing it over and over again.
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on 15 July 2009
Am Amazing album. To be able hear a Joni Mitchell concert of almost forty years ago, with Joni singing some of her most beautifully crafted songs from the 60's, and to hear how extraordinarily skillful both she and James Taylor on guitar were even then is fantastic. A great recording, and one that any self--respecting JM fan must have.
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on 7 November 2008
This is 50+ min.s of pure beauty and pleasure, at least if you're an avid Joni Mitchell fan like me. Joni really my fav. female artist: wonderful songwriter and lyricist, powerful singer, deep and interesting human being.

Here the young Joni is caught in early bloom - still somewhat immersed in the tradition of Joan Baez and Judy Collins - in the very good company of another fine artist, James Taylor. Captured live at RAH 10/28/70. Just two vioces, some acoustic instruments: guitar, dulcimer, piano and some truly memorable songs.

It's really Joni who shines, delivering some highly interesting versions of classics like "Carey", "For Free", "Circle Game", while James injects a healthy dose of humour with his "Steamroller Blues".

Another fine and important release from Woodstock Tapes. Absolutely timeless and classic music. And in a very fine soundquality (A+).
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on 15 January 2012
[Added May 2013 - NB: See following comments. Track list may be inaccurate.]

Tracks 1-11 were broadcast by the BBC. Tracks 12-16 were recorded in rehearsal and not broadcast.

Track 01 That Song About The Midway - Joni
Track 02 The Gallery - Joni
Track 03 Rainy Day Man - James
Track 04 Steamroller - James
Track 05 The Priest - Joni
Track 06 Carey - Joni
Track 07 Carolina in My Mind - James
Track 08 California - Joni
Track 09 For Free - Joni
Track 10 The Circle Game - Joni
Track 11 You Can Close Your Eyes - Joni & James
Bonus tracks not broadcast. All by Joni Mitchell
Track 12 The Good Samaritan
Track 13 River
Track 14 My Old Man
Track 15 A Case Of You
Track 16 Carey
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on 15 January 2013
I heard this show on the radio back in the early 70's and loved it. It's nie to have it on CD exactly the way I remembered it.
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on 1 May 2014
The beauty of Joni Mitchell at that time is painful to recall that the beauty has been lost to us other than in these recordings. This is a wonderful example of the voice, words and music of Joni and James Taylor. It a bit sad on the packaging and lack of detail, but thats just a personal preference and doesn't detract from the music.
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on 14 August 2013
For performance Jay & Jo need no intro - they are simply superb. I took off a star for the production which is inconsistent, and for the insensitive editing (there's a video of this somewhere on the net which allowed me to compare) and for the fact that this is a BBC performance and not as the liner notes say, at the Albert Hall.
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