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Ladies of the Canyon (Audio Cassette) Import

4.8 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio Cassette (Oct. 17 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Warner Bros / Wea
  • ASIN: B000002KOR
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews
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Product Description

Joni Mitchell's third album offers a bridge between the artful but sometimes dour meditations of her earlier work and the more mature, confessional revelations of the classics that would follow. Voice and guitar still hew to the pretty filigree of a folk poet, but there's the giggling rush of rock & roll freedom in "Big Yellow Taxi", and the formal metaphor of her older songs ("The Circle Game", already oft-covered by the time of this recording) yields to the more impressionistic images of the new ones ("Woodstock"). The dark lyricism of her earliest ballads is intact (on "For Free" and "Rainy Night House"), yet there's a prevailing idealism here that sounds poignant alongside the warier, more mature songs to come on Blue and Court And Spark. --Sam Sutherland --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Apart from BLUE, most of the people who know the music of Joni Mitchell appreciate, above all, COURT AND SPARK (1974) and HEJIRA (1976). I won't blame it on them - those are beautiful, elegant albums. Nevertheless, I consider the trilogy formed by LADIES OF THE CANYON (1970), BLUE (1971) and FOR THE ROSES (1972), one of the finest works in pop music. The first chapter, released in April of 1970, is a group of songs written between 1966 and 1969. It is for this reason that the LP is like a summary, a compound of the best pieces she has written up to then. The lyrics go from the intimistic tone to protest and accuse, to just simply storytelling. "Willy" forewarns the tones of BLUE - it's a beautiful song about inadequacy in a relationship, in which is clearly perceptible a sense of impotence even in front of an immense love that makes her feel "like a shiny light breaking in a storm". Or "Conversation", in which she plays the part of someone's lover's lover and she's so in love that makes you feel in love too. On the other hand, songs like "The Arrangement" and "Big Yellow Taxi" develope a clear accuse against modern life abuses and consumer mentality. Together with these are some lyrics that remind the ones belonging to her first two albums, such as "Morning Morgantown" - which is obviously connected with "Chelsea Morning", in CLOUDS (1969).Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
There's really no serious debate among fans of Joni or pop-rock in general as to what her best album is - all those who have ears to hear proclaim the monumentally great Blue her high watermark. The real argument is over which disc ranks second best. Most fans and critics say Court and Spark holds that honor. I think it's unquestionably Ladies of the Canyon.
This is the album on which Joni cuts loose most confidently with the pure instrument which is the high end of her soprano range. In fact, part of Blue's greatness is in its retention of that singing style. However, her singing on this album is perhaps unique among her catalog for the innocence it conveys on many of the songs. This is without a doubt her last "flower child" album, and perhaps the one most deserving of the appellation.
While the album's mood bears some resemblence to Clouds, the differences and advancement over that album are revealed in the first track. Joni's rich acoustic guitar tones and girlish vocal approach familiarly carry the verse; then, in the chorus, a welcome new sound - the crystalline, icewater tones of a piano. The album unfolds with arrangements which convey at once a spare innocence and a gorgeous, multihued flexibility. I think that it is her best-arranged album (only Blue and Hejira really come close). The second song, "For Free," exemplifies why, using a cello and lovely syncopated clarinet solo to supplement Joni's vox and piano in a celebration of the spirit of musical expression.
What else makes Ladies of the Canyon a sublime masterpiece? Well, "Big Yellow Taxi" is probably the funnest, most life-giving musical expression in Joni's entire corpus - a shrewdly jaunty way of conveying a sobering message.
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By A Customer on Feb. 24 2001
Format: Audio CD
I discovered this album when I was about 10 (6 years after its release); my mother threatened to break it because I kept moving the needle back to the beginning several times a day, day after day. Joni Mitchell was the first singer/songwriter to take my brain beyond the literal into the more complex world of symbols, metaphor and personal mythology. Among my favorites, "Blue Boy" -a sensual song of forever-to-be unfulfilled longing, "Rainy Night House," "Willy," the title song, "The Priest," and "Woodstock," -- I love them all. This album has a seamless quality to it as well - one song blends beautifully into the next with the exception of a couple of spots like "Big Yellow Taxi," which is thrust jarringly in between "The Priest" and "Woodstock." Eventually my album became so decrepit from wear that I memorized the songs with their skips. It was wonderful to have it transferred onto CD so that I could have the lovely whole once more.
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Format: Audio CD
People often talk about the follow up to this album, Blue, and then Court and Spark as Joni's best works.
This one, her third, is vastly under rated. Her first two albums tend to suffer a bit from underproduction, perhaps intentionally highlighting her coffee house singer/songwriter appeal. But Ladies of the Canyon is a step up from those and a wonderful bridge linking her earlier work to her more popular work.
Without Ladies you wouldn't have Blue or Court and Spark. This album also marks the first time she started to use piano to play and compose on and it really lifts her songwriting talents up a notch: The piano driven For Free, about a popular singer watching a street busker playing for free, is an excellent example. Her voice and piano really shine on this.
This album also includes her classic Big Yellow Taxi and the song made famous by Crosby/Stills/Nash, Woodstock.
It ends with one of my faves, The Circle Game.
This album, to my mind, rates highly with Blue, Court, and Hejira.
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