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Both Sides Wow Print-ready version

Veterans Joni Mitchell and Patti Smith Couldn’t Be More Different or the Same

by Rick Collins
Chilliwack Progress
April 23, 2000
Original article: PDF

They began as completely different animals, and that is where they remain 25 years later. Patti Smith, the original punk poet, and our own poetic flower child, Joni Mitchell, have survived more than three decades of hammer-and-nail. The business has not always been kind to them, but their music has certainly been sweet: so sweet to all of us smart enough to recognize the legend in the ladies.

Although Joni Mitchell's Both Sides Now is a reminiscent look back, it has all the earmarks of a twenty-first century record. Mitchell, Canada's quintessential pop poet, songwriter, folkie and painter, revisits her favorite songs here, adding a jazz twist and the fresh look of a painter's eye.

That's not to say Mitchell, after forty years in the art world, is getting stale and looking to regurgitate fame. If you know anything about our Joni, fame is furthest from her mind.

In a recent CBC interview the 56-year-old icon tells of begging her record company to remove her from their artist list. "I'm a painter," she insists.

But on Both Sides Now Mitchell has created one of her most intelligent efforts. The songs are fresh and new in their jazz clothing---comfortable as standards recreated for a time and place outside of their original era.

Mitchell takes us back for a brief peek; but as quickly as clouds change from horses to wind-filled ships on a blustery day, we are moved to the future. And the future sounds wonderful with Joni around.

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Added to Library on July 27, 2021. (1959)


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