Happy 50th: Joni Mitchell, CLOUDS
50 years ago this month, Joni Mitchell released her second album, two of the most iconic songs in the singer/songwriter’s illustrious catalog.
Produced by almost entirely by Mitchell herself – except for “Tin Angel,” which was done by Paul A. Rothchild – at Hollywood’s A&M Studios, CLOUDS had a different sound from her debut album, SONG TO A SEAGULL. As it happens, that sound was one that rock critic Robert Christgau didn’t particularly love, writing in the Village Voice that “without David Crosby’s production, Joni’s voice sounds malnourished.” Fortunately, Christgau was in the minority: the album was extremely well received, climbing to #31 on the Billboard 200, although you may be surprised to learn that it didn’t actually go gold until 2001.
CLOUDS is arguably far more representative of Mitchell’s sound than the album that preceded it, with songs like “Both Sides Now, “Chelsea Morning,” and “Roses Blue” all offering a perfect encapsulation of the music she was doing in her early career. If you’ve never heard it, well, what are you waiting for?!
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