FIRST LISTEN: Joni Mitchell, "BOTH SIDES NOW"
By the time Joni Mitchell released her second album, Clouds, many listeners were already familiar with "Both Sides Now" - singer Judy Collins had already recorded the Mitchell original for 1967 LP, Wildflowers. The song was big enough to peak at #8 on the Hot 100 for the week of December 8, 1968. Not only was the track Mitchell's first hit song, Collins' version won the award for Best Folk Performance at the 11th annual Grammy awards in March 1969.
Mitchell's version of "Both Sides Now" was the last track on Clouds, and over time has become one of the artist's most beloved and enduring songs. The tune affected none less than Led Zeppelin mastermind Jimmy Page, who referenced the song during a 1975 Rolling Stone interview. This was his response when writer Cameron Crowe asked Page how "important" the song "Stairway to Heaven" was to him: "I don't think there are too many people who are capable of it. Maybe one. Joni Mitchell. That's the music that I play at home all the time, Joni Mitchell. Court and Spark I love because I'd always hoped that she'd work with a band. But the main thing with Joni is that she's able to look at something that's happened to her, draw back and crystallize the whole situation, then write about it. She brings tears to my eyes, what more can I say? It's bloody eerie. I can relate so much to what she says. "Now old friends are acting strange/They shake their heads/They say I've changed." I'd like to know how many of her original friends she's got. I'd like to know how many of the original friends any well-known musician has got. You'd be surprised. They think--particularly that thing of change--they all assume that you've changed. For the worse. There are very few people I can call real, close friends. They're very, very precious to me."
Below, tune into the 2021 remaster for Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now," originally found on album Clouds. It's taken from the forthcoming THE REPRISE ALBUMS (1968-1971), which will be available on June 25 in 4-CD and 4-LP 180-gram vinyl versions, as well as digitally. Pre-order the CD or LP from JoniMitchell.com to receive an exclusive, limited edition 7" x 7" print of a self-portrait by Joni Mitchell.