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Joni Mitchell: The Complete Poems and Lyrics Paperback – November 17, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 341 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press; 1st Pbk. Ed edition (November 17, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609802186
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609802182
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,400,799 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The sweeping imagery and confessional tone of Joni Mitchell's lyrics have made her a pop icon for decades. Her writing, like that of Paul Simon and Bob Dylan, helped legitimize song lyrics as poetry by adding sophisticated shadings and nuances that earlier rock and folk music often lacked. What's more, as a woman writing in a medium dominated by men, Mitchell became an important role model for young women trying to make sense of their lives during turbulent times. Given her importance as a pop poet and the care and craft with which she approached her craft, it is a treat now to have her work compiled in one volume. Mitchell's has been an aural art, but having the words to read on the page without benefit of melody heightens one's appreciation of the lyrics as poems. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

In the generation of singer-songwriters who came to fame in the '60s, none has had more impact--or created a more evocative, bittersweet, literate, and reflective body of work--than Joni Mitchell. Today's music owes much to her innovation and inspiration. This complete collection of her poetry and song lyrics reads like a poem cycle that finds unexpected meaning and beauty on the page.

After displaying a haunting and sophisticated quality in her first albums, Joni Mitchell (1968), Clouds (1969), Ladies of the Canyon (1970), and Blue (1972), Mitchell reached her poetic apotheosis in the surreal and mythical Hejira (1976) and Don Juan's Reckless Daughter (1977). During the '80s, Mitchell used her words to explore and mirror the commercial energy of the decade. She became more reflective in the following years with Night Ride Home (1991) and Turbulent Indigo (1994). Mitchell continues to grow her already remarkable talent, as is evident with her latest work, Taming the Tiger (1998).

The importance of Mitchell's entire oeuvre is unequivocal when seen as a lifetime of accomplished writing. As epic poet and tragedian, the power and honesty of her voice has inspired generations past and those to come. Joni Mitchell: The Complete Poems and Lyrics gives us the first opportunity to reconsider Mitchell's written work and her exalted place among the great poets and lyricists of our time.

This paperback edition includes the lyrics to Joni Mitchell's new album, Taming the Tiger, as well as an index for easy access to all titles.

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Customer Reviews

Lovers of modern poetry and great lyric writing will enjoy the book immensely.
A. Wolverton
The main drawbacks to this book are two, and they're GLARING -- (1) THERE IS NO ALPHABETICAL INDEX WITH ALL THE SONGS AND CORRESPONDING PAGE NUMBERS.
mary
Unfortunately, they basically did the "wrong thing" this time around.
Michael Harris

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 5, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Mitchell's work is not given the care it deserves. There are numerous silly errors: the same little typos and mondegreens which we forgive on an album sleeve were reproduced in this high-priced book. Also, the title is misleading. "Poems AND Lyrics" implies (to my mind) that the book contains previously unpublished poetry as well as the lyrics to her recorded songs, and that is not the case. Joni deserves far better.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Matthew on December 2, 2001
Format: Hardcover
It's difficult to write a review about an artist's lyrics to her recordings, since they are all subjective. While I may love Joni, the next person may prefer the fluff of Christina Aguilera. Not that there's anything wrong with Christina, but she'll never be as poetic as Joni, or mean as much to the world of art as Joni has.
Since I was born in 1969, I am a second generation Joni fan. My Mom and Dad have always been fans, but I didn't become a serious admirer until Prince mentioned in an interview that the only CD he'd loved listening all the way through during that time period was "The Hissing Of Summer Lawns." While that's a fantastic album, it just opens you up to her world. My favorite track of her's is "A Case Of You." And my favorite album is "Hejira." No... wait. It's "Mingus." No... wait. It's "Shadows & Light." No...
It's simply impossible to pick just one album. "Shadows & Light" for the unbelievable band she had at that time. Pat Metheny, Jaco Pastorius in his prime. Lyle Mays. Don Alias. Michael Brecker. Wow....
Anyway, like Leah wrote in a previous review, this is an inspiring book. Any aspiring writer, should have this book, if only for the reason to have an insight into how to write honestly. I highly recommend it as a gift to someone you love. I'll have to keep that in mind if the opportunity presents itself again...
If your daughter loves Britney, or Christina, and you're having a hard time reaching her, buy her this book and leave it on her dresser. She may not thank you now, but she may tomorrow...
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Edward Aycock on November 15, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Wow, how exciting that we were going to get a book of Joni's lyrics and poetry! What do we get? A book of Joni's lyrics and poetry. No artwork. No commentary. No photographs (except for the nice one on the cover)... even worse, every album of Joni's has the lyrics included with anyhow, so if you have all her Cd's, do not bother with this book. Save your money and look for her old songbooks (with wonderful artwork) online. How disappointing, and what a slap in the face to Joni's fans from whoever threw this together. (Which is most likely what they did)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 12, 1999
Format: Paperback
I am a huge fan of Ms. Michell, so i was eager to buy this book. Although i was disapointed that there was no other content besides lyrics (such as interviewes, bio, or other artists feelings) i was pleased with it as a conversation/coffee table book.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Michael Harris on August 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Once again, someone just did not care enough to showcase Ms. Mitchell's work in the manner deserved. Aside from the gorgeous cover photo by Herb Ritts (a much larger version of which was originally published many years ago in "Rolling Stone" magazine), you might as well just pull out your old albums and read the lyrics printed on the covers (not to mention the accompanying beautiful photos and paintings included on all Ms. Mitchell's albums). Maybe someday someone will take the time, effort, and expense to "do the right thing" in terms of Ms. Mitchell's work. Unfortunately, they basically did the "wrong thing" this time around.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 2, 1997
Format: Hardcover
i'm writing this just to let joni mitchell fans know that this book does not contain line drawings, does not contain any kind of commentary or annotation, not even an introduction to shed new light on the artist. all it contains are the lyrics to mitchell's songs, the same lyrics you'd find on the record or cd inserts. the book doesn't even contain pictures, except on its cover. all in all, very boring.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
No new insight on Joni is contained here, but that is not really the point, is it? What we have here is a way to curl up with the words of a fantastic poet on cold night, to take her lyrics with us wherever we may roam. To those who would rather carry around their bulky CD cases to these scenes, be my guest. To those who would like to have the wisdom of Joni with you anywhere, this book is for you.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 10, 1997
Format: Hardcover
I was drawn to this book because of the gorgeous cover photo of Joni Mitchell by Herb Ritts. I pleasantly discovered how wonderful it is to hold her beautiful poems and lyrics between the pages of a book, and to have them all in one place. True, an intro or bio or artwork or other photos would have been a bonus, but I like this book for what is. A little pricey but a great gift. I hope a companion volume of Joni's visual art is in the works.
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