on 1 September 2002
Having never really heard much of Joni's music before I went out on a limb and gave this CD a go and have not regretted it. This album shows her amazing songwriting ability in a number of different genres, capturing the attitude of the 1960s perfectly using a voice that is soft but full of attitude and an acoustic guitar. The songs are raw and relatively underproduced which highlights the atmospheric lyrics and singing. She swings with some aplomb between folk music (Urge for Going), soft rock (Raised on robbery), pop (You turn me on), easy listening (Both sides now)and creates her own emotional genre (Chinese Cafe, Come in from the cold). All her classics are on this album from Woodstock to Big Yellow Taxi and some other songs that I bet you didn't know she wrote. Takes a couple of listens to get into but once you do you'll never look back.
on 1 April 2005
This cd is absolutely perfect for new and old fans of Joni Mitchell. She is one of the best singer/songwriter's ever and this cd is some of her best songs. I listened to the whole album the first day I got it and can't leave it alone. Her songs are moving and beautiful. If you're interested in Joni Mitchell buy this cd!
'Joni' was born 'Roberta Joan Anderson' in 1943 in 'Fort Macleod' Alberta, Canada.
Singer/ Songwriter 'Joni Mitchell' is known for her 'Folk' and 'Rock/Pop' releases down the years, her chart success was
largely in the U.S A/C Charts, achieving several high-peak numbers such as - 'Help Me' (U.S A/C '1' 1974) and 'Free Man
In Paris' (U.S A/C '2' also 74') (These are on-board this release)
Her album sales in the U.S phenomenal for the style of her music, between 1969 and 2007 she had 15 Grammy Award
nominations for her music winning an impressive 8 times (not too many can boast that in truth)
'Joni's' image that we all know is playing guitar and singing on stage, she is in fact a multi-talented instrumentalist as well
as accomplished song-writer.
In the U.K I guess she is best known for her song - 'Big Yellow Taxi' which charted at number '11' here in the U.K 1970,
ironically not doing nearly as well in the U.S. until it's 1996 re-release when it took the number '2' slot.
This album contains many of her best known songs down the years including - 'Both Sides Of Now' (a hit for 'Judy Collins)
A great reflection of 'Joni's' works.
(obviously many will know that she collapsed earlier this week and is in intensive-care in an L.A Hospital currently, we wish
her a full recovery of course)
Joni was never a singles artist. Hits have been few and far between, in whatever country you care to name. Yet her albums have always sold well, and some of her songs have become popular. This compilation of her best songs could be called Best of, or Classics, or even Gold, but not Hits. There aren't many of those. Some might have been hits if they had been covered by other artists, as Woodstock and Both sides now. While Joni has a lovely, clear voice, her style of music never fitted the singles market.
The most famous song here is surely Both sides now, which has been covered by many singers since Judy Collins had a hit with it. Legend has it that Joni rang Judy in the small hours one morning and sang it to her, begging her to record. Neither of them were especially well known at the time, but Judy was more widely recognised than Joni. After the song became a big hit (in Britain and America), both quickly established themselves. Judy also covered Chelsea morning, another fine song of Joni's included here.
Woodstock, a song about the pop concert of 1969, was a British number one hit for Matthews southern comfort in 1971. They never had another hit.
Big yellow taxi was Joni's biggest hit by far - it just missed the top ten in Britain, although I must confess I'm not sure if the hit was the original studio version (included here) or a live recording. I know that it was the live version that was a hit in America.
Country singer Gail Davies did a lovely cover of You turn me on I'm a radio, but my favorite song here (apart from Both sides now) is Chinese café, a song which cleverly weaves a segment of Unchained melody into the lyrics. I'd love to hear Joni sing Unchained melody on its own, but I don't actually recall her covering anybody else's songs - and why should she, when she can write such great songs as those here?
Of course, these are generally her best songs. They are not the only ones worth hearing, but this a good place to start a Joni Mitchell collection. Her style changed somewhat over the years, so you can easily decide which other albums to go for after hearing this.
on 24 November 2003
With the likes of an artist like Joni Mitchell no collection that a record company puts out is going to cover such a long and varied recording career as hers.
The "Hits" compilation tries to cover the more popular tracks from Ms Mitchell.
The songs presented here have been re-mastered by the artist herself supervising the process,as a "HDCD" (high definition compact disc),giving the tracks a rich warm sound that brings out the detail that was lost in the previous pressings of her albums on C.D.
The problem I have with this anthology is that the tracks are not in Chronological order.
The running order is all over the place historically,we start with an early recording from 1967 Urge for Going.
Then from the 1969 album Clouds comes the song Chelsea Morning then from the key album Ladies of the Canyon from 1970,the most popular tracks of her career Big Yellow Taxi,Woodstock and The Circle Game can be heard.
The songs Carey and California from the huge album Blue from 1971 are next in the running order, followed by the 1972 cut from For the Roses album Turn me on I'm the Radio, then from the 1974 release Court and Spark the next 3 tracks are taken Raised on Robbery Help Me and Freeman in Paris so far so good. Then for some strange reason the complier has put a track from Blue next,River should be after California as they are from the same seminal Joni Mitchell release Blue.
The listener then fast forwards to the 1982 collection Wild things run Fast,in this song Joni marries her own words Chinese Cafe to the classic Unchained Melody giving the listener a wonderful hybrid of a track.
The following track is lifted from the underrated 1991 album Nigh ride Home,Come in from the Cold this track was released as a single edited version, but here the listener is treated to the full album cut and then to close the collection we jump back to Clouds from 1969 with the exquisite song Both sides Now.
This I can kinda forgive with the superb improvement in the overall sound, it's maybe me but I like to listen to tracks in correct running order to hear the progression of an artist.
The trouble with this collection is it brings to your attention how poorly the rest of her albums sound on C.D.
Can we the public have the rest of Joni Michell's back catalogue re-mastered to this standard or better ASAP...
on 12 July 2005
joni mitchell one of the best women songwriters ever, such deep meaning in her lyrics and vocals, that will make your hairs on the back of you're neck stand up, all the songs here are excellent not a single dud, which is cool,
it's great that you've got the lyrics too so you can understand the magic and know the actual words...
my favorites songs are chelsea morning, big yellow taxi,
woodstock, carey, raised on robbery, free man in paris and the beautiful come in from the cold[beautiful]
i don't really like female singers but mitchell is different she has a peaceful way with words that ill leave a lump in your throat, and soothing music to make a perfect escape from reality when you're that the worlds too much,
NOT enough HITS i want more
on 25 December 2005
Joni Mitchell is one of the few late-20th-century artists to whom the term 'Musical Genius' can be reasonably attached. In the singer-songwriter genre, she is equalled only by Bob Dylan and there is one area, I would say, in which she steps past him - musical diversity.
That explains the above title. It is impossible not to give the work presented in 'Hits' five stars, because it is exceptional, but equally it seems futile to try and condense such a totally varied, (now) forty-year catalogue of work into 15 tracks in 80 minutes. To take Joni - album-wise - at her two extremes, there is the folk singer debuted in 'Song to a Seagull', with the soprano voice, the purposefully constructed melodies and the first-person emotional considerations, and then there is the experimental avant-gardist with 'her big toe stuck in the metaphorical lake of jazz' (to quote Joni herself) exposed in 'Mingus', and a great musical journey comes in between. So while this compilation covers perhaps her most accessible work and it's companion, 'Misses', gives a eclectic taste of her more ambitious output, Joni Mitchell is really an 'album' artist and to fully appreciate the extent of her musical brilliance it takes, as I said, more than 80 minutes, 15 tracks.
If however you are looking for her most accessible work or her most famous songs, or you are new to Joni, this is a good purchase - either this or the album 'Blue', which is one of those every-track-is-outstanding albums (it also happens to be one of the finest ever made).
Just remember, what you are listening to really is the tip of the iceberg. Sort of like reading the back blurb of a really outstanding book.
I once read something about Joni which described someone introducing themselves to her by saying, "I think you're one of the greatest female singer-songwriters of our time," and how did Joni react? - she walked away, vaguely annoyed. I think she was quite right to do that, I think there is unintended offense in that, and I think that when you listen to this CD (even if you don't go on to explore the rest of her catalogue, which you should) you will see why.
She is one of the greatest singer-songwriters of all time, period. Gender doesn't come into it.
on 19 October 2006
Joni Mitchell's voice on this cd sounds beautiful,smooth and relaxed.
This is a collection of her most accessible songs that catch and charm the listener.I loved the lyrics - lyrics such as: "They paved paradise and put up a parking lot." Someone on this website said Joni was the Mozart of the 1960s.But with music and words as good as the ones you'll find on Hits,I have to conclude she was Mozart!
on 13 September 2001
When you've worn out all you vinyl copies, you can pop in this CD sit back, relax and listen to some of Joni's most memorable tracks. Find yourself singing along to each track, and even find yourself not leaving the house until "just after this track has finished".
A fantastic review of a great career and a great place to start if you are just discovering Joni Mitchell.
on 10 May 2010
We all need to listen to this lady at some stage in our lives so you might as well start with this one.