Joni Mitchel - Court and Spark

Joni Mitchel - Court and Spark

Album # 229 - January 1974

Episode date - June 19, 2024

The Top 500 of The Top 40
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    For a very brief period of time, Joni Mitchell was a genuine pop star. “Court and Spark” captures the moment when she flirted with stardom and seduced all of us who never expected the seemingly shy folk artist to explode on the pop music charts, but this was still the early seventies, when contemplative singer-songwriters ruled the roost.

    Until this point in time, Mitchell’s work was popularized mostly through the recordings of others, much like Bob Dylan’s early career. This album changed that scenario in an instant. To be sure, the arc of her career pointed in this direction, with her early folk-based recordings moving her closer and closer to the mainstream with each release.

    “Court and Spark” offered up a radio programmer’s dream variety of material, from the soft-jazz lilt of the hit single “Help Me” to the rocking yet playful coyness of “Raised on Robbery”. Fleshed out with other easily digested tracks such as the self-critical “Down to You”, the observationally brilliant “Free Man in Paris” and ending with a cover of Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross’ humorous jazz-vocal “Twisted”, Mitchell loaded the bases with a potpourri of song styles. The album was open-minded, hedonistic, and stylistically diverse in a manner that could have only worked in the seventies. What is surprising is how quickly she abandoned the mainstream. From here, she immediately moved toward more cerebral material, and never looked back. 

    Featured Tracks:

    Court and Spark

    Help Me

    Free Man in Paris

    People's Parties

    The Same Situation

    Car on a Hill

    Down to You

    Just Like This Train

    Raised on Robbery

    Trouble Child

    Twisted

    January 1974 Billboard Charted #2

     

     

     

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