Feature Friday : Joni Mitchell – A career overview in photos.
1967. Joni works closely with Leonard Cohen whom she met at age 24 and reportedly has a fling with him that widely interested the public at the time.
Photo by Robert Altman
1968-1969. These years would change Mitchell’s career forever. She records her first album “Joni Mitchell” / “Song to a seagull” and second album “Clouds“. During this time,she works hard promoting them and plays live in coffee houses, folk clubs and festivals. Finally, in 1970, with the acquisition of her first Grammy, she starts carving her way steadily into the industry and the hearts of the public.
Photo by LIFE Magazine
1970-1974. This period marks Mitchell’s highest time of commercial and critical success. Her sound starts to embrace pop and rock influences and she releases “Blue“, one of her most successful albums to date.
Photo by Gary Smaby. Provided by Backstage Gallery
1974-1980. Joni begins a new musical period in which she takes a break from her folk past and moves into a time of jazz and pop experimentation. She releases albums “Court and Spark“, “Hejira” and “Don Juan’s reckless daughter“. With these, she breaks free from the mainstream but believes that she is becoming more unique in her approach to music and songwriting.
1982. Joni Mitchell marries her basist Larry Klein. The marriage lasts twelve years and their divorce results in her writing the album “Dog eat Dog“.
Photo by Life Magazine
1981-1993. Mitchell signs onto David Geffen’s new label and records “Dog eat Dog” during this period, an album with religious and political commentary which was received negatively by reviewers. This period is marked by her quiet but persistent presence, with very few to almost no live performances.
Photo by Jonathan Exley
1994-2001. Mitchell returns with a bang and her Grammy winning album “Turbulent Indigo“. During this time she agrees to compile albums which revisit her older hits and brings forth some new material with “Taming the Tiger“. Her voice however suffers great changes in tone and quality which she attributes to vocal nodules and a compressed larynx. It has never seen the same since.
2002-present. Joni goes into retirement in 2002 but manages a comeback in 2007 with new material – her album entitled “Shine“. The track “One week last summer” wins her a Grammy for Best Instrumental Pop Performance.
Joni Mitchell stands today as one of the most influential Folk artists and technically and creatively innovative (with her unique guitar style and harmonies) artist of our times.