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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. 4 out of 5

    Harperac

    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. 4 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. 4 out of 5

    Tara

    Surprisingly interesting

  4. 4 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.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Neil

    shite

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tanya

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jenna

  8. 5 out of 5

    Marilyn

  9. 4 out of 5

    Michael

  10. 4 out of 5

    Joshua robertson

  11. 4 out of 5

    CrimsonCrow

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jon

    The Woman is a genius - I love her

  13. 5 out of 5

    Clane

  14. 4 out of 5

    Laura

  15. 4 out of 5

    Brent Calderwood

  16. 4 out of 5

    G.J. Minett

  17. 5 out of 5

    Natalie Ward

  18. 4 out of 5

    Geeky Spice

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sean Harding

  20. 5 out of 5

    Samuel Jerónimo

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tom-Erik

  22. 4 out of 5

    McZine

  23. 5 out of 5

    Dick

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mark

  25. 5 out of 5

    Shanti

  26. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Corliss DeLorenzo

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ralph

  28. 4 out of 5

    OTIS

  29. 4 out of 5

    Stephen DiBartola

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

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