It’s late 1971, six months or so after the release of Blue, and Joni Mitchell is pondering on the thorny topic of Christmas presents when inspiration suddenly strikes in the form of her folder of lyrics, poetry, paintings and drawings. Just one hundred copies of the original handmade book they were transformed into were produced and given to family and friends that year. Now, almost fifty years later, the book has been reproduced for all to enjoy in a ‘coffee table’ format and on lovely thick paper. Subtitled ‘early songs and drawings’, it is exactly that, with thirty or so original watercolour paintings and sketches, accompanied by her (not that easy to decipher) handwritten lyrics and poetry. It’s a beautiful book to just flick through and enjoy, both for the words and the artwork, and includes, for example, the lyrics to Both Sides Now,This Flight Tonight, A Case Of You and I’m A Radio (later to become You Turn Me On, I’m A Radio of course), and portraits of David Crosby, James Taylor, Graham Nash and Judy Collins among others. There’s even a new introduction written by Joni especially for this edition, plus a wealth of previously unseen material, including additional artwork that was originally intended to be included back in 1971. In her introduction, she says ‘work is meant to be seen or heard’ and, although it’s been a long wait for this, it’s one that has ultimately proved to be well worth while.
Length of Read:Short
Might appeal to people who enjoyed…
Joni Mitchell, the Laurel Canyon artists of that era.
One thing you’ve learned
The title is taken from Neil Young’s ‘Motion Pictures (for Carrie)’