Long before she was a music icon, she was a Canadian prairie girl who loved to paint. But art school wasn't for Joni Mitchell, so she dropped out and joined the folk music circuit. By the late 1960s, her star was starting to soar. Mitchell's musical style evolved significantly over the decades, but her sensitive yet spirited personality has always shone through.
Mitchell is plainly irritated by Porter's comparisons to other female or Canadian folk artists. She instead places herself squarely in the pantheon of classical and jazz greats. In this interview, Mitchell describes her fans (which she believes are predominantly black, female, gay men, sensitive men or men who have "been screwed by something.") And she has some unkind words for the "crooks" who now run the music industry, and the marketers who want to slap labels on her "like soap."
• In 1994 Mitchell released Turbulent Indigo, a commercially and critically successful return to her pop/folk roots. The album won two Grammy awards.
• In 1997, Joni Mitchell was inducted into the U.S. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, along with The Bee Gees, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Parliament/Funkadelic and The Jackson 5.
• In 1998 she released the more experimental album Taming the Tiger (a reference to the success of her previous album.) The album was promoted in a tour she shared with Bob Dylan and Van Morrison.
• In 2000, Joni Mitchell returned to jazz, even though it had not delivered critical or commercial success in the past. According to a biography on her official website, "Joni had lost her radio airplay with the Mingus album. Programmers with little imagination didn't know what niche to put her in. Was she a jazzer, a folkie, a pop singer, a rock singer, or what?"
• Though Both Sides Now was a jazz album, it was considerably more accessible than her Mingus work. The new album featured both jazz standards and reworked Mitchell songs, with an orchestral accompaniment. The album was well received.
Artwork by Joni Mitchell
All songs by Joni Mitchell. Publishers: Siquomb Publishing Corp., Crazy Crow Music, Joni Mitchell Publishing Corp., and Jazz Workshop Inc. (all c/o Sony/ATV Tunes LLC).
Recordings: Reprise Records, Asylum Records, Geffen Records, Nonesuch Records.
Grammy Awards: Recording Academy.
Videos: Universal Music Canada
Broadcast Date: Feb. 11, 2000
Guest(s): Joni Mitchell
Reporter: Ross Porter
For full credits, see p.5 of "Did You Know."
Last updated: January 20, 2012
Page consulted on May 23, 2013
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