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203 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
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Hejira + Court and Spark + Blue
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The compelling character portraits on this 1976 LP (a #13 hit) are finely detailed with Joni's yearning melodies and the sensitive bass of Jaco Pastorius. The wonderful title tune joins Amelia; Coyote; Refuge of the Road , and more!

After the expanded instrumental scale and sonic experimentation of Court & Spark and The Hissing of Summer Lawns, Joni Mitchell reverses that flow for the more intimate, interior music on Hejira, which retracts the arranging style to focus on Mitchell's distinctive acoustic guitar and piano, and the brilliant, lyrical bass fantasias of fretless bass innovator Jaco Pastorius. Known for his furious, sometimes rococo figures beneath the music of Weather Report, Pastorius is tamed by Mitchell's cooler, more deliberate ballads: these meditations coax a far gentler, subdued lyricism from Pastorius, whose intricate bass counterpoints Mitchell's coolly elegant singing, especially on the sublime "Amelia," which transforms the mystery of Amelia Earheart into a parable of both feminism and romantic self-discovery. This isn't Mitchell at her most obviously ambitious, yet the depth of feeling, poetic reach, and musical confidence make this among the finest works in a very fine canon. --Sam Sutherland

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
  1. Coyote 5:01$1.29  Buy MP3 
  2. Amelia 6:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Furry Sings The Blues 5:06$1.29  Buy MP3 
  4. A Strange Boy 4:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Hejira 6:42$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Song For Sharon 8:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Black Crow 4:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. Blue Motel Room 5:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. Refuge Of The Roads 6:42$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Elektra / Wea
  • ASIN: B000002GYC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (203 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,196 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

133 of 141 people found the following review helpful By Busy Body on January 21, 2006
Format: Audio CD
By 1976 Joni Mitchell was something of an American singer-songwriter legend, and with good reason. In the previous nine years she had released some of the most critically-acclaimed albums of the rock era, and was certainly the most prolific female singer in the world. Her popularity increased in the mid-Seventies, and peaked with the release of her No.2 hit album "Court And Spark," which received several Grammy nominations. The folk sound that had dominated so much of her earlier was gradually receding with each album, so that by 1976's "Hejira," she was making music that many people saw as being more jazz/blues, when in actually fact it was nothing like it. It was Joni, pure and simple.

Now I have been listening very intensely to Joni Mitchell's music in the past four weeks, and I have to say she is the most honest and truthful voice I've ever heard. As Q-Tip stated on Janet Jackson's 1997 Joni-samping hit Got Til' It's Gone, "Joni Mitchell never lies!" The passion in her delivery is unrivalled, her persistence, her determination to get her point across, the range in her voice, her lyrics suspend me in a state of disbelief when I really listen. This woman painted with her voice and words. Hejira is easily my favourite album by this legend, and definitely one of the best albums I've ever listened to. If there is one album you should take on a road trip, it's this one! I can just imagine driving down the long, straight roads that carry on for hundreds of miles in the middle of nowhere and having this album as my constant companion.

The album opens with "Coyote," probably the most upbeat song on the album. It's a perfect opener and quite positive in tone. The lyrics in this work so well and I love the way Joni weaves them all together in such an untraditional way.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By MusicFreak on March 15, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I bought this album because I play bass and I learned that Jaco Pastorius played on it (I also got "Mingus" - "Don Juan's..." and "Shadows and Light" are on my wish list). Mr.Pastorius is a powerful presence on the songs he plays on, his melodic sense really empowers the music. But, I could not help but fall in love with Joni as an artist. Her songs most of the time seem to have no beat - the music seems to be floating around you. You almost feel like she is improvising a story right along with her guitar. I imagine her sitting by a campfire with her guitar, singing her stories all through the night. This aspect is to me, musically speaking, the one that really sets her apart. This is not verse/chorus/verse/chorus/guitar solo/chorus music. Joni takes you by the hand and guides you through the twists and turns of love, fate, loss, and the structure of the music (or apparent lack of it) reflects that perfectly.Of course, her voice itself is absolutely beautiful and evocative. Joni is one of the greatest musical talents of the XX century, and I don't think she has gotten all the recognition she deserves. Joni Mitchell is in a class by herself, and this album proves it beyond the shadow of a doubt.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By on January 29, 1999
Format: Audio CD
By the time of Hejira's release in November of 1976, Joni Mitchell had already established herself as one of the most gifted singers and composers in popular music. While "Blue" had validated her formidale reputation, each successive album -- For the Roses, Court & Spark, Miles of Ailes and The Hissing of Summer Lawns -- pushed Mitchell's star-maker machinery into high gear. She became what she ironically most feared: a bona fide celebrity whose only real peer, in an industry she mistrusted, was Bob Dylan. And so she fled. And, because of her consummate artistry in turning her life's ups & downs into music, she bestowed on us her finest work to date: the mournful, soulful, elegiac Hejira. This record, which is more than 20 years old, still remains as haunting and vivd as it did on the first listen. It remains her finest statement on the burden of being a successful woman without a family trying to quell the competing desires (in all of us) of the need for unbridled freedom and the beckoning of hearth and home. Hejira transports the listener to a bleak landscape peopled with crazy black crows, promiscuous coyotes, childhood girlfirends, Amelia Earheart, restless hitchhikers, blue motel rooms and one strange boy. With Hejira, Mitchell acheived what most songwriters hope to aspire to: a poignant musical piece which stands on it's own terms as masterful poetry. Even after the epic title track fades away, you can still feel those wheels turning...
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Donn Hart on November 20, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This album, released in 1976, is largely considered to be Joni's best. Joni alienated a lot of people with her previous album, 1975's "The Hissing of Summer Lawns." That album was lambasted by critics, leaving her very bitter. "Hejira" was very experimental but a bit more controlled. Here is a sound that is indigenous to Joni, you will never hear another album that sounds like this. The sound was described as being "as open and free as the Canadian prairies that spawned her." Joni herself says it has an "introspective, Buddhist quality." In late 1975, early 1976, Joni was driving alone from California to New York. Every time she stopped somewhere for the night, she would sit down and write a song. This is a song cycle about traveling, and the tales of the strange and not-so-strange people she met on the road, and also of different thoughts that came to mind. I'll tell you right now, you can sit down and listen to this album and appreciate the talent of the musicians, the beauty of Joni's lyrics, melodies, and arrangements, and the brilliance of her wild, out-there guitar tunings. But in order to really "get" this album, you have to travel a great distance along an unfamiliar route, by yourself, with this record playing. I've done this, and I can honestly say that I now appreciate the album on a great many levels. All of these thoughts really do come into your head. And I'll tell you, I lived parts of "Refuge of the Roads." Read along with the lyrics; I met a guy who drank and womanized but had some smart things to say. I also met a few drifters in a beach town (but I didn't wind up fixing dinner for them and Boston Jim). The title itself is pronounced hee-ZHEER-uh.Read more ›
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