309. Joni Mitchell - Court And Spark (1974)
1. Court And Spark
2. Help Me
3. Free Man In Paris
4. People's Parties
5. Same Situation
6. Car On A Hill
7. Down To You
8. Just Like This Train
9. Raised On Robbery
10. Trouble Child
This is quite a different album from Blue, which was a lot more autobiographical and frankly depressing than this album. Court and Spark is a much happier album while still being reflective and as would be expected from Joni Mitchell, brilliantly written. There are few writers that are as honest in their lyrics as Joni Mitchell. Although Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan are just as good writers if not better, Mitchell's work is pervaded with an honesty and down to earthiness that is very particular to her.
Because of the more mundane themes of this album, it might not be as impressive as Blue but it is still a work of great beauty. The music has changed as well since Blue, not just the lyrics, there is more of a jazzy influence here, which might come from fellow Californians Steely Dan for example, but which work perfectly in Joni's songs.
So this is a brilliant album, the songs shine through in a lovely way and its lighter touch than Blue has its own charms. It really is an indispensable album by Joni Mitchell and something that everyone should own, so get it from Amazon UK or US.
1. Help Me
3. Free Man In Paris
4. Raised on Robbery
Three singles were generated from the album: "Help Me" (her biggest commercial hit, reaching #7 on the Billboard Hot 100), "Free Man in Paris" (about David Geffen, with whom she shared a house around the time of the album), and "Raised on Robbery". It was voted as the best album of the year in The Village Voice Pazz & Jop critics poll. In 2003, the album was ranked number 111 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In 2006, the album was included in 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
When Mitchell played the just-finished album for friend Bob Dylan, he fell asleep midway through the tape. Mitchell laughed off the incident, saying, "I knew it was good. I think Bobby was just being cute."
Got to Love Youtube, where grown men sing Joni Mitchell songs in faltering Falsetto, here's Help Me: