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Joni Mitchell's discography

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Joni Mitchell’s discography

Joni Mitchell (1968)
Don’t be fooled by the cover’s flower-child psychedelia. Spooky, lovely stuff, and built to last. B+

Clouds (1969)
Except for period biggies ”Chelsea Morning” and ”Both Sides Now,” it’s generic folkie crooning. D

Ladies of the Canyon (1970)
”Big Yellow Taxi,” ”Woodstock,” ”The Circle Game,” and the title song, celebrating brownie-baking earth mothers. A true hippie artifact. B-

Blue (1971)
The one Mitchell album everybody dotes on, and rightly so. Lacerating perfection. A+

For the Roses (1972)
A few first-rate songs, but dominated by monochromatic piano and squealing woodwinds. C

Court and Spark (1974)
Cheerful, sexy, sophisticated. The posthippie Joni arrives, and she’s nobody’s fool. A

Miles of Aisles (1974)
Live album, with lovely, grown-up versions of Mitchell’s early stuff. B

The Hissing of Summer Lawns (1975)
Luscious and complicated. Lots of people thought it was overwrought; years later, Prince said how much he dug it. Guess who was right? A+

Hejira (1976)
Songs about traveling life’s highway — and boy, can you feel those wheels. The best of the best. A+

Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter (1977)
Brave plunge into jazz. Crazily ambitious, and more lovable than many fans say. But you have to listen 10 or 20 times. B-

Mingus (1979)
Jazz again, but this time she’s seriously lost. Charles Mingus’ dying wish was that Mitchell put words to his music; it’s a grating fit, but with a few redeeming moments. C

Shadows and Light (1980)
High-energy live performances of ’70s songs, which need the greater finesse of their studio versions. B

Wild Things Run Fast (1982)
Smart lyrics; ”Chinese Cafe.” But tries too hard for rock & roll badness. C

Dog Eat Dog (1985)
Sledgehammer electronics and Mitchell’s outrage at the Reagan era make this a terrific catharsis. A

Chalk Mark in a Rain Storm (1988)
Much-praised return to her earlier introspective style, but flat and uneven. C-

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