Court and Spark

Release date:  January 17, 1974

Image Gallery [click/touch to enlarge]

  • Photo &copy; by Sherry Rayn Barnett, used with permission. Read the <a style="color:red" href="https://jonimitchell.com/library/view.cfm?id=4593" target="_blank">story behind the photo</a>.
  • Photo &copy; by Sherry Rayn Barnett, used with permission. Read the <a style="color:red" href="https://jonimitchell.com/library/view.cfm?id=4593" target="_blank">story behind the photo</a>.
  • @ Joel Bernstein
  • Henry Lewy and Joni. Photo by Joel Bernstein

Album Notes

Drums and percussion - John Guerin
Bass - Max Bennett (on Trouble Child), Jim Hughart (on People's Parties and Free Man In Paris), Wilton Felder
Chimes (on Court and Spark) - Milt Holland
Woodwinds & reeds - Tom Scott
Trumpet (on Twisted and Trouble Child) - Chuck Findley
Piano - Joni Mitchell
Electric Piano - Joe Sample
Clavinet (on Down To You) - Joni Mitchell
Background voices - Joni Mitchell, David Crosby and Graham Nash (on Free Man In Paris), Susan Webb and David Crosby (on Down To You), Cheech and Chong (on Twisted)
Electric Guitar - Wayne Perkins (on Car On A Hill), Dennis Budimir (on Trouble Child); Robbie Robertson (on Raised on Robbery), Jose Feliciano and Larry Carlton (on Free Man in Paris), Larry Carlton on all others

Joe Sample appears courtesy of The Crusaders and Chisa/Blue Thumb Records Inc.
Larry Carlton appears courtesy of Chisa/Blue Thumb Records Inc.
Jose Feliciano appears courtesy of RCA Records
Cheech & Chong appear courtesy of Ode Records
Robbie Robertson appears courtesy of Capitol Records.

The strings on the 'Same Situation' were arranged by Tom Scott; 'Down To You" arranged by Joni Mitchell and Tom Scott; 'Car On A Hill' arranged by Joni Mitchell

Sound Engineer - Henry Lewy
Mastering Engineer - Bernie Grundman

All songs composed by Joni Mitchell, © 1973 Crazy Crow Music/BMI. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Except 'Twisted,' written by Ross and Grey, © 1965 Prestige Music/BMI. All rights reserved. Used by permission

Art Direction / Design - Anthony Hudson
Photography - Norman Seeff
Cover Painting - Joni Mitchell

© 1974 Asylum Records. Mfg. by Elektra / Asylum / Nonesuch Records, a division of Warner Communications Inc., 15 Columbus Circle, New York, N.Y. 10023. Printed USA

Reviews of the album from the Library:

Transcriptions of songs from the album:


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pepe on

Marvelous, lush recording that has stood the test of time superlatively. A narrative of non sequiturs. Inexorable, inevitable. Blue celebrated its 50th to great acclaim but this is her true peak as I hear it. I've listened to her stuff about 40 years now so. Acclaim, applause, Joni.

Toonful on

I can't seem to find the extra players on "Down to You", specifically French horn and bassoon. Surely this information exists, and I know it's not Tom Scott playing. As a professional musician myself, I think it's a shame when sidemen aren't credited. So . . . ?

Ian Welland on

I have to agree with Randyvent. 'Court and Spark' is a great listen. 'Free Man in Paris' is one of Joni's greatest tracks - brilliant lyrics with superb music and production throughout. I can so relate to 'People's Parties' when I was a teenager; but for me, 'Down To You' is outstanding - the lyrics are so memorable and I can recall word for word; the music is a dream (a section is not too dissimilar to Captain and Tennile's 'Wedding Song') - 'Down To You' is the perfect Joni mid-70s song that has stood the test of time.

salinasman on

So I am old enough to remember when this album was released. I was a high school senior listening to rock music of the times...KMET, a now defunct FM station out of Los Angeles played this whole album on the air on a Sunday night. I was blown away by the music, the lyrics, the voice. It was music that I fell in love with. This ablum has seen me thru good times and bad times. It is a timeless piece that ranks as one of the greatest musical works of the 20th century. A very humble person thanks you for this album Joni Mitchell.

brentholcomb84 on

So groovy, so jazzy, so reflective. The piano chords are astonishingly hip and plaintive at the same time. Trouble Child is such a gem: "Why does it come as such a shock to know that you really have no one?" Joni, I may not have a man, but I have your music, worth more than any coyote. Thank you for creating this masterpiece. You've blown my mind so many times with this record. With love, Brent Holcomb

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LKay09 on

I'm conflicted in my opinion of this album... OF COURSE I purchased it because by now I was completely obsessed with Joni Mitchell... but for me, this album came from 'left field'. It was very different from her earlier work and wasn't sure if I was feeling it.

One memory from this album I will always treasure is while living overseas with my Aunt (while attending school) who didn't speak much English. But she LOVED the song, "Help Me" -- she understood that, and thought it was a hoot! :-D  [ed.]

KennyB on

Following her previous five albums, this collection best epitomizes Joni's arrival at a new plateau. Filled with intelligent, reflective and creative songwriting; often complex arrangements; and masterful, tasteful instrumentals, this album best represents Joni's music as far as I'm concerned.