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Song To A Seagull

Joni MitchellAudio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)

Price: $11.16 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 10 Songs, 1968 $9.49  
Audio CD, 1990 $11.16  
Vinyl --  
Audio Cassette, 1987 --  

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.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. I Had A King 3:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Michael From Mountains 3:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Night In The City 2:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Marcie 4:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Nathan La Franeer 3:20$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Sisotowbell Lane 4:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. The Dawntreader 5:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. The Pirate Of Penance 2:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Song To A Seagull 3:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Cactus Tree 4:38$0.99  Buy MP3 


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When the dust settles, Joni Mitchell may stand as the most important and influential female recording artist of the late 20th century. Uncompromising and iconoclastic, Mitchell confounded expectations at every turn; restlessly innovative, her music evolved from deeply personal folk stylings into pop, jazz, avant-garde, and even world music, presaging the multicultural experimentation of the ... Read more in Amazon's Joni Mitchell Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Song To A Seagull + Clouds + Ladies of the Canyon
Price for all three: $25.14

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  • Clouds $6.99
  • Ladies of the Canyon $6.99


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Off Roster
  • ASIN: B000002KOE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,472 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Amazon.com

Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell debuted in 1968 with this impressionistic and slightly overwrought album. Produced by David Crosby, the album uses very sparse instrumentation--mostly Mitchell on acoustic guitar with Stephen Stills on bass--to back Mitchell's incredibly complex lyrical forays. (The original LP's sides were subtitled.) But despite her grand plans, the disc is most successful in its humblest moments. "Michael from Mountains" (successfully covered by Judy Collins), "Night in the City," and "Marcie" all contain the seeds of Mitchell's best work, her melodic explorations, and observant eye. Tracks such as "The Dawntreader" and "The Pirates of Penance" are too close to creative-writing exercises to succeed. Nonetheless, a tantalizing debut. --Rob O'Connor

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
84 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most underrated Joni CD September 15, 2001
Format:Audio CD
This album has so often been deprecated by fans and critics of the great Mrs. Mitchell. Too verbose and sophomoric! Too gloomy! Poorly-recorded! Stuck in its era! Or, the damning-with-faint-praise, It held forth the promise of what was to come! Well, admitting a partiality to her early work (pre-"Don's Juan Reckless Daughter"), I would rate this as the third-best Joni album (out of 17 in her career) behind only Blue and Ladies of the Canyon. Yes, it's even better than the great Court and Spark, or even its most-comparable competitor, Clouds.
Musically, Song to a Seagull is grand in its simplicity - the vast majority of the songs feature Joni's fascinating guitar work as the stark support for her piercing, soaring soprano. While Joni's vocals are schooled and formal, they are nonetheless heartbreakingly beautiful, and the looseness afforded by the spare instrumentation (not to mention "producer" David Crosby's love of cavernous echo) gives this a stormy romanticism reminiscent of Tim Buckley's Happy Sad. As for the song selection, it would seem that in response either to what was popular at the time, or to Joni's personal outlook and mood as the album was assembled, she eschewed the many of her songs already made popular by other artists - "Both Sides Now," "Urge for Going," "Circle Game," "Chelsea Morning," "Eastern Rain," etc. - in favor of several that consistently featured fairy-tale or nautical imagery. The lyrics, in all of their fanciful, Byzantine Tolkienisms, can be taken or left - I, for one, embrace them! And so will anyone else who appreciates colorful escapism.
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56 of 60 people found the following review helpful
By M. Hart
Format:Audio CD
Recorded in the midst of the Vietnam War and surrounded by sweeping social changes, Joni Mitchell's 1968 debut album "Song to a Seagull" is an elegant and timeless microcosm. The songs are captivating and complex, but use simple instrumentation. Her primary accompaniment is usually her own acoustic guitar, but she is occasionally joined by bass, piano or harmonica. She is also frequently heard providing her own backup singing by recording twice. The album draws the listener into a misty and often melancholic realm through her unique tenor voice, whose range is fully demonstrated. Her lyrics are as descriptive as looking at a painting. My descriptions and ratings (out of 5 stars) of each song follow.
1. "I Had a King" (5). A melancholic song about lost love sung expressively with an equally expressive acoustic guitar.
2. "Michael from Mountains" (5). Several key changes occur in this more upbeat song about romance
3. "Night in the City" (5+). Fast and exhilarating song about going out on the town, with Joni herself providing her own backup harmony and accompanied by piano and bass.
4. "Marcie" (5+). A soft, melancholic but very emotional song about a woman waiting to her from her man, sung in a minor key with several key changes.
5. "Nathan La Franeer" (4.5). An emotional and complex song about riding a taxi driven by Nathan La Franeer through busy city streets. Sung mostly softly, but with several instense moments. Accompanied occasionally by a harmonica that imitates the sounds of traffic.
6. "Sisotowbell Lane" (4.5). A soft, slow and airy song about being home and gazing out from the front porch, sung primarily in high octaves.
7. "The Dawntreader" (5).
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not your average debut December 17, 2002
Format:Audio CD
Joni Mitchell came out of the early-to-mid-60s folk scene, but her music defies categories such as folk, rock, folk-rock, etc. (Great music is certainly more than a categorical phenomenon.) "Song To A Seagull" (1968) was her debut, but in this case, debut by no means spells beginner. (Interestingly, many of the songs on "Clouds" (1969) were written prior to this album.) Even here, she very convincingly offers something that fills the cracks between genres: a unique artistry that blends, to varying degrees, the heartfelt simplicity of folk, the rhythmic, youthful allure of rock and the expansive, detail-mindedness of classical. (Later she would incorporate the improvisational, bonds-loosened feel of jazz as well.) She accompanies herself with double-tracked acoustic guitar--enchantingly played. Occasionally, other instruments are unobtrusively added. The sound of the recording is atmospheric, ideal for the program.
For the most part the music broods, but there are a few bright spots. Joni's a great storyteller and the characters are portrayed with a strong sense of reality: songs about common relationships, people we may have met, emotions we may feel at times or thoughts we may have once pondered.
As the album begins, her arpeggiated guitar chords mesmerize. The melody doesn't travel the well-worn path. We know straightaway that this is no average songwriter. The music is rich and complex, but she presents complexities so simply. One forgets how advanced the music is as she draws the listener into a world of magic and aural wonder. "I Had A King" and "Michael From Mountains" are moody and beautiful. "Night In The City" adds piano and bass and has a strong, rhythmic 6/8 feel. On the chorus, the double-tracked harmony is divine.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Not her best album.
Published 15 days ago by Bernadette Hackett
5.0 out of 5 stars The only entirely acoustic Joni Mitchell album, and I love that !!!
The ONLY entirely acoustic Joni album. It's all Joni except for Steve Stills on bass on one track and Stills, Nash & Crosby on backing voices on one other track. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Henry Rosner
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Her best
Published 1 month ago by topche
5.0 out of 5 stars Joni is a songbird and these songs define her, and lighten your heart.
Love this album. Huge Joni fan. This music is the essence of Joni. It's gorgeous. Joni is a songbird and these songs define her, and lighten your heart. You'll love this album. Read more
Published 2 months ago by hawkeye
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful album
Early Joni Mitchell which is so lovely. If one is a Joni MItchell fan this album is a must. The condition is fine and the price very fair.
Published 3 months ago by Susan G.
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my all time favorites!
One of my all time favorites. Night in the city is my favirite song on this disk.
Published 3 months ago by Sunny Redmond
4.0 out of 5 stars Blast from the past
Been about 35 years since I listened to Joni Mitchell. She stands the test of time. Solid folk music, with haunting melodies. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Mary Mary
5.0 out of 5 stars Joni's first album.
The songs and format are both great. It's surprising to find that it's Joni's first album. I knew that, but a long time ago (1971). Read more
Published 7 months ago by Clark R.
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Joni!
I've just rediscovered Joni with this CD. Absolutely wonderful with her vocals and her unique way of putting words to song. Read more
Published 9 months ago by bobbie jo
5.0 out of 5 stars joni mitchell
This cd is brilliant. The lyrics are so profound. This is one of my favorite cds of hers. Buy it!
Published 9 months ago by deborah fallender
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Song To A Seagull: Title or no Title on Album Cover?
Where is the title hiding? I've looked and can't find it?
Jul 3, 2007 by Marina Montell |  See all 3 posts
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