JONI MITCHELL - Song To A Seagull (1968) & Clouds (1969) & Ladies Of The Canyon (1970) & Blue (1971)
Song to a Seagull (also known as Joni Mitchell) is the debut album by Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell. Produced by David Crosby, the album was recorded in 1967 at Sunset Sound and released in March 1968 by record label Reprise. Crosby wanted Mitchell to sound pure and natural, so he asked her to sing into the studio grand piano, and set up extra microphones to capture her voice repeating off the strings; unfortunately the set up captured too much ambient noise, resulting in excessive tape hiss, which could only be removed post-production at the cost of the high sounds in the audio range, which gives the album a flat feel. Mitchell had written songs that were hits for other artists (e.g., "Both Sides Now" and "Chelsea Morning" by Judy Collins and Dave Van Ronk, "Eastern Rain" by Fairport Convention, "Urge for Going" and "The Circle Game" by Tom Rush), but none of those songs were recorded for her debut.
Clouds is the second studio album by Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell, released on May 1, 1969, by Reprise Records. After releasing her debut album to considerable exposure, Mitchell recorded the album at A&M Studios in Hollywood. She produced most of the album and painted a self-portrait for its cover artwork. Clouds has subtle, unconventional harmonies and songs about lovers, among other themes. Clouds charted at number 22 in Canada and number 31 in the United States. It has been certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America, for shipments of 500,000 copies in the US. Clouds was generally well received by music critics.
Ladies of the Canyon is the third studio album by Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell, released in 1970. The title makes reference to Laurel Canyon, a centre of popular music culture in Los Angeles during the 1960s. The album includes several of Mitchell's most noted songs, such as "Big Yellow Taxi", "Woodstock" and "The Circle Game". The album is notable for its expansion of Mitchell's artistic vision and its varied song topics (ranging from the aesthetic weight of celebrity, to observation of the Woodstock generation, to the complexities of love). Ladies of the Canyon is often viewed as a transition between Mitchell's folky earlier work and the more sophisticated, poignant albums that were to follow.
Blue is the fourth studio album by Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell. Exploring the various facets of relationships from infatuation on "A Case of You" to insecurity on "This Flight Tonight", the songs feature simple accompaniments on piano, guitar and Appalachian dulcimer. The album peaked at number 3 on the UK Albums Chart and number 15 on the Blllboard 200. Today, Blue is generally regarded by music critics as one of the greatest albums of all time; Mitchell's songwriting and compositions are frequent areas of praise. In January 2000, the New York Times chose Blue as one of the 25 albums that represented "turning points and pinnacles in 20th-century popular music".
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