The third album by legendary Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell is a must-have for music fans in general, and even more so for fans of folk rock. "Ladies of the Canyon" was released in 1970. The album peaked on Billboard at No. 27.
The critical acclaim for the for the album stems from its representation of Mitchell's growth as an artist. "Ladies of the Canyon" contains some of the singer's best known songs, including "Big Yellow Taxi," "Woodstock," and "The Circle Game." "The Circle Game" in particular is known for including the members of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young on backing vocals.
There is a rock sensibility that runs through even the more gently rendered tracks, such as the title track. In addition to "Ladies of the Canyon," another not-to-be-missed song on the album is "Woodstock."
"Ladies of the Canyon" by Joni Mitchell
Layered-sounding guitar makes for a soothing soundscape here. The backing vocals move from "normal" pitched to stratospheric. The singers use the syllable "doo" which creates an atmosphere of looking at lives different from those of listeners.
The lyrics illustrate the activities of women who populate the canyon. They all appear satisfied and kind. And, they are kind to others. The portrayals create a vision of women in a post-1960s world. The song seems to answer the question, "After the revolutions, what now?" The singular ways in which the women lead their lives answer that. And who is to say those choices aren't revolutions of sorts?
"Woodstock" by Joni Mitchell
This is the same song lyrically as Crosby, Stills, and Nash's version. However, Mitchell's piano and voice combo encourages a stillness in listeners so that they settle in to hear every word. Her voice is clear, high and earnest. Mitchell's soprano is a sound that should be cherished. Buy this re-release of a folk rock classic.
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