For The Roses

This was the original cover for the 1972 album 'For The Roses' and was Joni's initial response to the music business, as heard in the song 'For The Roses'. As the record company suggested that album covers should have her face on the cover, she opted for a photo of her naked behind on the cover. Geffen suggested that she wouldn't like 'Only $4.99' slapped across her ass, she opted for the neutral photograph that was eventually released. The nude photo became the landscape shot on the inside cover. This drawing became the billboard poster on Sunset Boulevard once the album was released. Joni Mitchell, and her drawing with a bunch of roses sticking out of a horses ass, had the last laugh. In the lower right we see a goldfish bowl, a possible reference to the poem 'The Fishbowl' that Joni wrote in high school about fame and celebrity, another theme of the album.

The Fishbowl The fish bowl is a world reversed
where fishermen with hooks that
dangle from the bottom up
reel down their catch without a fight on gilded bait.
Pike, pickerel, bass, the common fish,
through distorting glass,
see only glitter, glamour, gaiety,
fog up the bowl with lusty breath,
lunge towards the bait and miss and weep for fortune lost.
Envy the goldfish?
Why? His bubbles break 'round the rim
while silly fishes faint for him and say,
'Oh, look there, he winked his eye at me!

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I have the original artwork by Joni Mitchell of "For the roses" & was offered to put it to into auction in L.A...USA

Kit Autry on

Would have loved that album cover. Although really liked the cover Geffen finally approved. the inside photo gave me the constant yearning as a young man from Colorado to go and experience California. Also I thought she had a GREAT ASS

7he4rtist on

Joni sorry to hear your dad passed
where is the photo in the gulf islands taken pls
looks like my old prayer site.

bozito on

Hi Golda Fish,

I am a horse's ass, full of bloody roses ...

Much love, true genius,

c.gar  [ed.]