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4.8 out of 5 stars
80
4.8 out of 5 stars
Court And Spark
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Price:£6.39


on 13 May 2017
A very gentle and polite album from Joni Mitchell..
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on 21 December 2015
don't think it's her best album but still way better than most other artists
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on 12 April 2017
Very good
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on 30 August 2017
Excellent
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on 9 April 2017
Brilliant album
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on 5 June 2014
I had heard of Joni Mitchell in the '70's, of course, but I was listening to other things and catching up with other business. Now, at a time when I'm catching up with The Dead, early Fleetwood Mac, early Van Morrison, and others, here I pick up Joni Mitchell for under $5.00, and very worthwhile it is. What strikes me first is the way that the melodic material in many of her songs seem to come from the words, which she sings with very clear diction. The lyrics themselves are fresh and often funny, totally avoiding cliche. They have affinities with Paul Simon's, but Simon's often have a cultural resonance, where Mitchell's are more personal and wry. The voice itself has affinities with the voices of folk singers like Joan Baez or Judy Collins, but the material is sophisticated rather than folksy. The middle and bottom parts of the voice are lovely, but she can sound a bit strained at the top, and, as if she knows her instrument well, she is careful about how she deploys it. I like all the songs, but particularly "Free man in Paris" and "Down to You." The final song, "Twisted" is an odd song, sung in a scatty, almost proto-rap fashion: very engaging. And one song that sounds as if it was melody before it was a lyric is the marvellous "Raised on Robbery." Joni Mitchell might seem like an acquired taste -- but it's a taste a lot of people have acquired. Count me in.
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VINE VOICEon 8 April 2007
'Court And Spark' belongs to an exclusive club of albums that are as close to perfect as you're ever likely to find. Just like Carole King's 'Tapestry', with 'Court And Spark' it really is difficult to find anything that could be deemed insubstantial or filler.
Of course this takes great songwriting skills which Joni has managed to provide successfully over the years but the arrangements, musicianship and production also have to be spot on - which they are here, right down to the finest detail.
At this point in time Joni was working on a much larger canvas than in previous years and with the introduction of jazz elements to her folk sound (courtesy of Tom Scott) Joni recorded what is perhaps her most sophisticated album to date. A great many of the songs deal with the stresses of stardom ('Free Man In Paris') and personal relationships ('Court And Spark' the title track, 'Help Me', 'Same Situation','Down To You' amongst others). Her vocals on every track are also exquisite.
To those unfamiliar with much of Joni's work, compared with contempories like James Taylor and Carole King she lacks a little of their melodic traits although this is not altogether a bad thing. Her songs often stretches musical boundaries to a much greater degree with various textures and experimental flavouring. This can sometimes result in an album like 'Court And Spark' seeming a little disjointed on a first listen yet the true beauty of these songs soon shine through after repeated listens and they manage to stay in the conscience of the listener over a greater period of time. Joni also places greater emphasis on her often poetic and occasionally opaque lyric writing.
Ultimately, 'Court And Spark' is an album that many of Joni's contempories can only dream of.
It really is hard to find an album which sounds so complete as this.
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on 12 July 2009
This album marks the transition from folkie to Jazzy Joni. Over these next three albums, she'd move into a gear far above her contemporaries. Unfortunately, nobody appreciated how far she was ahead at the time. If anybody were to ask me why I consider Joni Mitchell to be a genius, I'd just hand them the trilogy of 'Court & Spark', The Hissing of Summer Lawns' and 'Hejira'. Just beautiful musical poetry. These records will change your life.
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on 15 August 2017
Filling a gap in my collection, memories of borrowing my sisters LP's thirty years ago!
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on 1 May 2007
Dame Joni entered a new phase with "Court and Spark". Self designed album sleeves and deep, confessional lyrics were already a stalwart, but additional elements were added to the mix on this effort. Jazz pop inflections, musical departures that Mitch was eager to explore, flavor this offering, her most popular of this era.

As society spiraled down from idealistic utopia to self conscious anaylsis, Joni never failed to deliver. " Help Me" the only single of her career to break the top ten, sets the tone for the album's concept, the power of love verses the desire for freedom. " Free Man in Paris" is an interesting spin on the musings of David Geffen, perhaps the most ambitious start-up mogul to ever enter the industry.

"People's Parties" could be a snap shot from most social scenes. Excellent. "Same Situation" and " Down to you" seem to be the beginning and conclusion of the same book; doubt at the beginning of a relationship, confirmation in the end that all things are passing. The musical bridge in "Down to You" is amazing for what it says without the words; listen carefully and you'll hear the rise of anticipation, the fall of disappointment, and, finally, tentative optimism tempered with a dose of melancholy.

"Just Like This Train" is a simple song with a loaded message. Jealousy colors the best of love with a very unattractive green. "Twisted" is just the right ironic bit of humor needed to encapsulate, and lighten, the collection of songs. "Court and Spark" has been outstripped by " Blue" as the years passed, but the relevance of this recording is still fresh today.
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