I will never forget the first time I listened to Joni Mitchell. During the summer going into freshman year of high school, my uncle recommended her album 'Blue' to me. I listened to it, completely unaware of how much it would change my life. Since that Summer, Joni Mitchell has become my all-time favorite songstress. I listen to her almost every day and I don't know what I would be doing, had I never been introduced to this important woman. It's very hard to explain my love for Joni Mitchell to someone who has never listened to her music before, but I finally figured out her formula to creating music that is so relatable and deeply emotional. Joni Mitchell's music has the power to encapsulate whatever I'm feeling into a little glass jar and when I feel like digging deep into these emotions, I can open this jar up. In there I find all the emotions I refuse to admit to myself that I'm really feeling. She justifies the things I'm feeling as normal and completely valid and that's why I love listening to her so much.
Joni Mitchell's resilient strength shines through in her music. It is clear and obvious to the listener that she has been battered and bruised, yet she prevails. In her song "Both Sides Now" Joni sings: "I've looked at life from both sides now From win and lose and still somehow It's life's illusions I recall I really don't know life at all." This song was sung when Joni was only starting her music career, however, at this time in her life, Joni had already survived polio, gotten married, given birth to a child, got divorced, and given her child up for adoption. In her album 'Blue', Joni speaks on her experiences with being involved with men who suffered from addiction. In the titular song "Blue" she sings "Well there are so many sinking now You've got to keep thinking You can make it through these waves", while these lyrics are about how her lover's addiction affected their relationship, I feel as if these lyrics can be applied to any rocky relationship you may face in your life and that is the magic of Joni Mitchell's music.
Joni Mitchell Both sides now on Mama Cass Show 1969 www.youtube.com
The most important thing to take in while listening to Joni Mitchell's music isn't to think about her personal journey as an artist, but to think about your own. The intent is that while listening to her albums you reflect on how you can relate to the lyrics or just straight up sob because of your own emotional turmoil going on at that time. Her music shines a mirror up to your face, says "You can get through this," and warms your soul. If you have listened to Joni Mitchell, you might know what I'm talking about. If you haven't, what are you doing? stop reading this immediately and experience this magic yourself.
My personal (and unfinished) Joni Mitchell Vinyl CollectionJacqueline Napier