Author: Marie

The Best Album of All Time

The Best Album of All Time

Joni Mitchell tells Elton John what fans have hoped for: A new album might be coming soon.

What does “a new body” mean?

Let me explain.

In the 1970s, Joni Mitchell was the most electrified and innovative artist on the planet. She was the rock ‘n’ roll poet, the feminist singer-songwriter, the singer with the greatest range from the blues to the avant-garde and beyond. In that decade, she was one of the most influential artists from the West; she and Bob Dylan took the country music world by storm — and then she broke all the rules. She was a genius. She was also a woman. She was born a woman, and she didn’t like herself as a woman either. So when she recorded “ Court & Spark,” on the 1982 album of same name, she tried to change all of that. She did it in one of the most remarkable (and, at times, heartbreaking) records of all time. But she did something much more: she showed us female rock ‘n’ rollers (and female musicians in general) that they could, indeed, write rock ‘n’ roll, too.

“Court & Spark” was the beginning of a great musical tradition that continues, and is just getting started. In its best moments, this music is as radical and uncompromising as the best rock ‘n’ roll ever made. But in its best moments, this music also seems like the product of a woman who was ready to be completely human all of the time, including the part that was not human.

She was ready to make the album, the best album of all time, because she was ready to take her own humanity out of the equation in a way that no one had thought possible. She wrote with a voice that was both tender and ferocious, in a way that made her truly one of the best singers of all time; her voice, in turn, was made of the same kind of raw, untuned, unadulterated music, but with what felt like incredible nuance. And her lyrics were something that felt profoundly new, even when she was singing about things that had been �

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