Reckless Daughter

Reckless Daughter

A Portrait of Joni Mitchell

Book - 2017 | First edition
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"She was like a storm." --Leonard Cohen

Joni Mitchell may be the most influential female recording artist and composer of the late twentieth century. In Reckless Daughter , the music critic David Yaffe tells the remarkable, heart-wrenching story of how the blond girl with the guitar became a superstar of folk music in the 1960s, a key figure in the Laurel Canyon music scene of the 1970s, and the songwriter who spoke resonantly to, and for, audiences across the country.

A Canadian prairie girl, a free-spirited artist, Mitchell never wanted to be a pop star. She was nothing more than "a painter derailed by circumstances," she would explain. And yet, she went on to become a talented self-taught musician and a brilliant bandleader, releasing album after album, each distinctly experimental, challenging, and revealing. Her lyrics captivated listeners with their perceptive language and naked emotion, born out of Mitchell's life, loves, complaints, and prophecies. As an artist whose work deftly balances narrative and musical complexity, she has been admired by such legendary lyricists as Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen and beloved by such groundbreaking jazz musicians as Jaco Pastorius, Wayne Shorter, and Herbie Hancock. Her hits--from "Big Yellow Taxi" to "Both Sides, Now" to "A Case of You"--endure as timeless favorites, and her influence on the generations of singer-songwriters who would follow her, from her devoted fan Prince to Bj#65533;rk, is undeniable.

In this intimate biography, drawing on dozens of unprecedented in-person interviews with Mitchell, her childhood friends, and a cast of famous characters, Yaffe reveals the backstory behind the famous songs--from Mitchell's youth in Canada, her bout with polio at age nine, and her early marriage and the child she gave up for adoption, through the love affairs that inspired masterpieces, and up to the present--and shows us why Mitchell has so enthralled her listeners, her lovers, and her friends. Reckless Daughter is the story of an artist and an era that have left an indelible mark on American music.

Publisher: New York : Sarah Crichton Books, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780374248130
0374248133
Characteristics: xvi, 420 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm

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talk2terih
Nov 24, 2017

It is more than rare to find a skilled biographer who is also a well-schooled musician, but in David Yaffe we have both. This is a serious work by a serious writer about a strong, complex, genius of an artist who made solid contributions to virtually every popular genre of music embraced in the second half of the 20th century. This bio is a dream for the serious musician, but is also eminently readable as the portrait of a fascinating and unique individual.

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kneice
Nov 15, 2017

This is the Joni book I've been waiting for: a 3-D chronological telling from many interviews and from her colleagues, especially the jazz guys who worked with her. I am eager to read the second half and have it on hold. Got a great review in the Atlantic.

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