9 Songs, 51 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

There's a windswept quality to Joni Mitchell's Hejira that goes beyond the landscapes depicted in its songs. This 1976 album is a travel diary set to an expansive and evocative jazz-rock score. Coolly luminous, the music frames lyrics at once intimately conversational and meticulously poetic. Love and distance are the two great themes on Mitchell's mind — "Coyote" and "A Strange Boy" recount affairs on the run, while "Amelia" and "Black Crow" examine the high costs of freedom. Extended narratives like "Song For Sharon" and "Refuge Of The Roads" have the emotional nuance and detail of fine short stories. The title track rushes by like a cold stream, lit from within by haunting imagery. Hejira's sound is defined by Mitchell's resonant acoustic guitar and Jaco Pastorius' molten fretless bass — together, they create an atmosphere suggestive of rolling clouds and open highways. Miles removed from the genteel folk of her early years, Joni's vocals display the shadings of a seasoned jazz chanteuse.

EDITORS’ NOTES

There's a windswept quality to Joni Mitchell's Hejira that goes beyond the landscapes depicted in its songs. This 1976 album is a travel diary set to an expansive and evocative jazz-rock score. Coolly luminous, the music frames lyrics at once intimately conversational and meticulously poetic. Love and distance are the two great themes on Mitchell's mind — "Coyote" and "A Strange Boy" recount affairs on the run, while "Amelia" and "Black Crow" examine the high costs of freedom. Extended narratives like "Song For Sharon" and "Refuge Of The Roads" have the emotional nuance and detail of fine short stories. The title track rushes by like a cold stream, lit from within by haunting imagery. Hejira's sound is defined by Mitchell's resonant acoustic guitar and Jaco Pastorius' molten fretless bass — together, they create an atmosphere suggestive of rolling clouds and open highways. Miles removed from the genteel folk of her early years, Joni's vocals display the shadings of a seasoned jazz chanteuse.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.9 out of 5
129 Ratings
129 Ratings
Pecific Playlander. ,

Love

I was at a record shop digging through a huge collection of old used records. I came across this album and I was quite curious about it. I’ve always known of Joni Mitchell but had never really listened to her music before, the cover of this album spoke to me so I decided to buy it. I gave it a listen the other night while painting and it was definitely not what I expected but I most definitely fell in love. It’s beautifully recorded and written out, made me feel like I was on a road trip across the south west and each song belonged to a different location I stopped at to spend the night. I’m a huge fan of hers now and can’t wait to explore the rest of her discography❤️

jel lo ,

No regrets, coyote...

Joni at her peak lyrically, musically, and vocally. Not only her best album, easily one of the greatest albums of all time by anyone. Brilliant!

Jennifersman ,

Classic

With a stark B&W photo of Joni superimposed on an endless highway you immediately get the idea that this is an album about travels. Much of the album was inspired by Joni's time with Bob Dylan as a member of his Rolling Thunder Review and a series of cross-country road trips she undertook alone. From the opener “Coyote” you feel like you're leaving California, heading through the Arizona desert using Amelia Earhart as a metaphor for freedom (“Amelia”), stopping in Memphis for a visit with blues man Furry Lewis (“Furry Sings the Blues”) and reminiscing about small town Canada (“Song for Sharon”) while on the Staten Island Ferry as well as the loneliness of a roadside motel in Savannah (“Blue Motel Room”). The closer “Refuge of the Roads” tells of the camaraderie travelers like her can find out on the open road. It's a fabulous album meant for long road trips.

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