Both Sides Now – Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970

by Frederic Goaty
Jazz Magazine
September 28, 2018

Saturday August 29, 1970, Isle of Wight. A huge crowd awaits Joni Mitchell. Backstage, guitar in hand. The young woman in a yellow dress, she's running, running... And here she is alone on stage, between the amp walls. She takes all her time to tune her guitar, and just from her first chords, time stops, a universe from her fairy fingers appears, then from her mouth, chosen words escape, those of a true poetess, a princess, an already unrivaled Queen of Folk. She will masterly know how to move the boundaries of folk.

In the meantime, she is there, in front of a giant, moving, impressive crowd, "The Ocean" as one of her greatest admirers, Robert Plant, the singer of Led Zeppelin, calls it. A crowd come to cheer the Who, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, the Doors, Jimi Hendrix, beaten up by the electric jazz of Miles Davis and his henchmen (Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, Jack DeJohnette ...). Miles, his trumpet, his red leather jacket, preceded on stage by a few hours by the brilliant Canadian who met him, going up the stairs, just behind the scenes...

Soon after facing the human tide, she says: "It looks like they're shooting Ben Hur..." After a few songs, Yogi Joe, a half-heartedly vindictive hippie, dares to interrupt her emotional performance... Telling you more, would oblige ourselves to add more than it would be advisable to avoid a spoiling effect. So get hold of this DVD without delay, it allows to see the whole concert or its documentary version, by Murray Lerner, accompanied by an exciting interview with the Grande Dame herself, recalling the animated circumstances, to say the least, of this XXL size festival, during which the public regularly expressed its anger - the hippie ideals were already starting to be archived with memories...

Joni Mitchell, as usual, spells it the way it is (a small part of this interview was already featured in the "Miles Electric - A Different Kind Of Blue" DVD), and returns with her blistering intelligence and mordant irony to this memorable performance.

DVD or blue-ray, 132 min, LPCM Stereo, DTS-HD Master Audio, French subtitles available.

Printed from the official Joni Mitchell website. Permanent link:

Copyright protected material on this website is used in accordance with 'Fair Use', for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis, and will be removed at the request of the copyright owner(s). Please read 'Notice and Procedure for Making Claims of Copyright Infringement' at