Woodstock — Joni Mitchell


Wood­stock” by Joni Mitchell (Miles of Aisles (Live Album), Asy­lum Records, 1974). Writ­ten by Joni Mitchell.


My old* friend Michael from high school was rumi­nat­ing on face­book about Ash Wednes­day and how for­tu­itous it was for “Wood­stock” to play on the radio yes­ter­day, with its lines “we are star­dust” and all (*sorry about the old, but my 10 year high school anniver­sary is this year, so, yes, “old” is now the appro­pri­ate word. Forever­more). Any­how, as it turns out, Michael and I were both raised by hip­pie fathers on the sounds of the 1960’s, and Joni Mitchell/ Cat Stevens/ CSNY/ or just Neil Young are equally his child­hood mem­o­ries as they are mine. Cool. Our friend­ship finds yet another facet to grow in, yet another thing we have in com­mon* (*except Love Actu­ally. We won’t ever have that in com­mon, I’m afraid, though my favorite Joni Mitchell album, Blue, does play a promi­nent role in the film). ANYHOW.…

Michael and I agreed that Miles of Aisles was awe­some and the best, and wor­thy of blog­ging. Besides, this is my favorite ver­sion of this epic song (bet­ter than CSNY live at Wood­stock or in the stu­dio, bet­ter than her mel­low stu­dio ver­sion, etc.). This ver­sion rocks the high holy days and gets us right back to the gar­den. Rock on.

INTERESTING FACTS (a la wikipedia)

- Miles of Aisles is a 1974 dou­ble live album by Joni Mitchell backed by the L.A. Express, recorded on the Court and Spark tour.

- It reached #2 on the charts and became one of her biggest-selling records.

- Four years after “Big Yel­low Taxi” stalled at #67 on the charts in its orig­i­nal stu­dio ver­sion, the live ver­sion heard on Miles of Aisles was released as a sin­gle and reached #24 on the Bill­board Hot 100 charts, becom­ing Mitchell’s fourth top 40 hit and con­tin­u­ing her com­mer­cial hot streak at the time.

–Track list­ing (All tracks com­posed and arranged by Joni Mitchell):

  • You Turn Me on I’m a Radio” – 4:09
  • Big Yel­low Taxi” – 3:09
  • Rainy Night House” – 4:04
  • Wood­stock” – 4:29
  • Cac­tus Tree” – 5:01
  • Cold Blue Steel and Sweet Fire” – 5:23
  • Woman of Heart and Mind” – 3:40
  • A Case of You” – 4:42
  • Blue” – 2:49
  • The Cir­cle Game” – 6:29
  • People’s Par­ties” – 2:42
  • All I Want” – 3:21
  • Real Good for Free” – 4:27
  • Both Sides Now” – 4:14
  • Carey” – 3:30
  • The Last Time I Saw Richard” – 3:35
  • Jeri­cho” – 3:26
  • Love or Money” – 4:50

- The Double-LP has a length of 78 min.

- Per­son­nel: Joni Mitchell — vocals, gui­tar, dul­cimer, piano; L.A. Express: Robben Ford — elec­tric gui­tar, Tom Scott — reeds, winds, Larry Nash — piano, Max Ben­nett — bass, John Guerin — drums, percussion

- Recorded at the Uni­ver­sal Amphithe­atre, Los Ange­les, Cal­i­for­nia 14 — 17 August 1974, the L.A. Music Cen­ter, 4 March 1974 (track 5) and the Berke­ley Com­mu­nity Cen­ter, 2 March 1974 (track 13).


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