The Acoustic Cafe is back this Friday from 9am with another Classic Blast from the Past. Joni Mitchell’s 2nd album, released in May of 1969 called “Clouds”.

The Classic Album of the Week is bought to you by Cranky Cafe and FCK late nite Take Away in Merimbula.

CLOUDS – JONI MITCHELL – 1969

After moving to New York City and signing to Reprise Records in 1967, Mitchell recorded her 1968 debut album Song to a Seagull with producer David Crosby. The album was a mostly acoustic set of songs, some of which were subsequently covered by more successful singers. Consequently, Mitchell received more outside exposure and began to earn a strong cult following.

‘Clouds’ by Joni Mitchell, is an album of melancholy and disillusionment of new hope and joy. With some characteristically beautiful melodies and lyrics, it is from a time before ‘Blue’ and widespread success.

The album begins slowly with the melancholy ‘Tin Angel’, where she declares “I found someone to love today”. Then skips into the sunshine of ‘Chelsea Morning’ in a perfect celebration of the joy of life. But straight after, the beautiful sadness returns in ‘I Don’t Know Where I Stand’.

Mitchell’s voice drifts angelically over each note of this song and into the wonderful ‘That Song About the Midway’. The tone grows much darker with the haunting ‘Roses Blue’. The songs which follow are lighter and pure joy to listen to, however sad the story of ‘The Gallery’ is. Though ‘Songs to Ageing Children Come’ seems a bit out of date and out of place now, ‘The Fiddle and the Drum’, as an a cappella plea for peace still seems relevant.

The well known ‘Both Sides Now’ ends the album. It reflects the mood of the other songs. There is a sadness that we have to give up a naive view of the world in adulthood when experience causes us to become disillusioned. But it also sums up what is beautiful about life and what still gives us hope.
In the end, ‘Clouds’ leaves you with a sense of subdued optimism and with an appreciation for its exquisitely crafted songs.