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Joni Mitchell: Shadows and Light - The Definitive Biography

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Joni Mitchell is an icon of sixties rock n' roll and has long been regarded as the best female singer/songwriter of her generation. Beginning as a folk singer in her native Canada in the early 1960s, she was discovered by the Byrds David Crosby and threw herself into New Yorks bohemian scene. In the late 1960s and 1970s she enjoyed international hits including "Chelsea Mor Joni Mitchell is an icon of sixties rock n' roll and has long been regarded as the best female singer/songwriter of her generation. Beginning as a folk singer in her native Canada in the early 1960s, she was discovered by the Byrds David Crosby and threw herself into New Yorks bohemian scene. In the late 1960s and 1970s she enjoyed international hits including "Chelsea Morning"and "Big Yellow Taxi," and has recorded several critically acclaimed albums including the landmark "Blue" and the jazz-influenced "The Hissing of Summer Lawns." During the 1990s she has continued to create adventurous and highly-regarded music, while also turning her hand to the visual arts. Her idiosyncratic paintings and photography have been well received, and she regularly exhibits in the USA and Canada. "Shadows and Light The Definitive Biography" charts the life and loves of this fascinationg and complex woman, whose career has spanned over 30 years and defied fashion and genre. The story is told with an unrivalled degree of access, including first-person interviews with many of those closest to her, including her family, friends and musical collaborators. - The first in-depth biography of Joni Mitchell - Reveals the remarkable story of the life and loves of this complex and fascinating artist.


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Joni Mitchell is an icon of sixties rock n' roll and has long been regarded as the best female singer/songwriter of her generation. Beginning as a folk singer in her native Canada in the early 1960s, she was discovered by the Byrds David Crosby and threw herself into New Yorks bohemian scene. In the late 1960s and 1970s she enjoyed international hits including "Chelsea Mor Joni Mitchell is an icon of sixties rock n' roll and has long been regarded as the best female singer/songwriter of her generation. Beginning as a folk singer in her native Canada in the early 1960s, she was discovered by the Byrds David Crosby and threw herself into New Yorks bohemian scene. In the late 1960s and 1970s she enjoyed international hits including "Chelsea Morning"and "Big Yellow Taxi," and has recorded several critically acclaimed albums including the landmark "Blue" and the jazz-influenced "The Hissing of Summer Lawns." During the 1990s she has continued to create adventurous and highly-regarded music, while also turning her hand to the visual arts. Her idiosyncratic paintings and photography have been well received, and she regularly exhibits in the USA and Canada. "Shadows and Light The Definitive Biography" charts the life and loves of this fascinationg and complex woman, whose career has spanned over 30 years and defied fashion and genre. The story is told with an unrivalled degree of access, including first-person interviews with many of those closest to her, including her family, friends and musical collaborators. - The first in-depth biography of Joni Mitchell - Reveals the remarkable story of the life and loves of this complex and fascinating artist.

30 review for Joni Mitchell: Shadows and Light - The Definitive Biography

  1. 5 out of 5

    Harper

    I read this biography of Joni Mitchell last year, usually while I was on the bus between my exurban home and the place I had to go for everything in the world. My immediate and visceral associations for this book are of being next to the window pane of the bus, zipping down the highway between farmer's fields. I was also very depressed, so I remember responding to it very emotionally. When it was talking about how one kid who was like fourteen was really into Joni and subsequently became her off I read this biography of Joni Mitchell last year, usually while I was on the bus between my exurban home and the place I had to go for everything in the world. My immediate and visceral associations for this book are of being next to the window pane of the bus, zipping down the highway between farmer's fields. I was also very depressed, so I remember responding to it very emotionally. When it was talking about how one kid who was like fourteen was really into Joni and subsequently became her official photographer, I cried on the bus, thinking "everybody's lives are so connected!" As a biography, it was serviceable, but didn't communicate much grandeur. It was a very 90s book, in the sense that the background for comparison was the claustrophobic and outlandish landscape of that decade. Female songwriters of no note were being compared to Joni - Suzanne Vega, Jewel, and others. The 90s was really the height of the "starmaker machinery", a time when there was little discernible sense of the magnitude of different musicians. The best parts of the biography were the 'historical' parts, from her childhood to about Blue. From Blue on, it took on the aspect of an article - like, 'what's up with Joni this year' rather than what was actually happening in her life. The pitfalls of biography with a living subject, I guess. Unfortunately, there is nothing worthwhile in terms of criticism of her work. That really shows in the later part of the book, because most of what the author has to go on is the music and other artwork.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sonicrob

    The cover says that it's the definitive biography. I disagree. It's ok; worth reading - but the definitive biography has yet to be published. The cover says that it's the definitive biography. I disagree. It's ok; worth reading - but the definitive biography has yet to be published.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Elli

    Pretty well researched, poorly executed. I loved the language of this book, I really did, and I loved the first pages, up until Joan decides to become a folk musician. After that, it seemed to me that the flow of the book started changing. The language becomes bleaker and the narrative derailed by unrelated events. All in all, it’s worth the read, but it could’ve been a little shorter and tidier.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Morgan

    It skims the surface a bit, for a biography. But it's always great to read about the musicians you love. It skims the surface a bit, for a biography. But it's always great to read about the musicians you love.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tara

    Surprisingly interesting

  6. 5 out of 5

    Robert Vaughan

    One of my idols thanks to older sister Cheryl. Have loved Joni since the 1970s and continue to do so.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Neil

    shite

  8. 4 out of 5

    Tanya

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jenna

  10. 4 out of 5

    Marilyn

  11. 4 out of 5

    Michael

  12. 4 out of 5

    Joshua robertson

  13. 4 out of 5

    Douglas Roberts

  14. 4 out of 5

    CrimsonCrow

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jon

    The Woman is a genius - I love her

  16. 4 out of 5

    Clane

  17. 4 out of 5

    Laura

  18. 4 out of 5

    Brent Calderwood

  19. 5 out of 5

    G.J. Minett

  20. 5 out of 5

    Natalie Ward

  21. 4 out of 5

    Geeky Spice

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sean Harding

  23. 4 out of 5

    Samuel Jerónimo

  24. 4 out of 5

    Tom-Erik

  25. 5 out of 5

    McZine

  26. 5 out of 5

    Dick

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mark

  28. 5 out of 5

    Shanti

  29. 4 out of 5

    Melissa DeLorenzo

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ralph

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