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Saturday, February 11, 2006

The Hissing of Summer Lawns



A friend sent me a copy of Joni Mitchell's The Hissing of Summer Lawns LP, along with the warning that it probably wouldn't leave my turntable for months. Well, so far, he's right.

Despite being critically panned when it was released, this album has aged well, to say the least. By far Mitchell's most experimental and daring work, I have become more fond of this record with each and every listen. The friend who sent me the album described it as having "screenplay-like detail and oftentimes disturbing views of American life in the 1970's", going on to add, "Joni Mitchell effectively gets a head start on Nas, Tupac and Biggie without even so much as a mic check".

If you don't already own The Hissing of Summer Lawns, I highly recommend you seek this out, you won't be disappointed.

Joni Mitchell Edith and the Kingpin mp3

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28 comments:

Anonymous Robasha said...

Hissing is one of my favorite Joni albums (along with Blue & Miles of Aisles). Elvis Costello is a big fan and talked with Joni about songwriting and other things in a relatively recent Vanity Fair interview.

2:16 PM  
Anonymous will stratton said...

you should check out the band summer lawns.

3:42 PM  
Blogger Rich said...

"In France They Kiss on Main Street" is one of my favorite songs. Ever. Glad to see this post.

3:54 PM  
Blogger The DoorKeeper said...

This is a wonderful album, (when'll you be home harry?) the boho dance is a favourite (get down offa there) Edith and the kingpin, In France they kiss on main st, (wheh'll you be home Harry) the poetry of the lyrics, coupled with Joni's great voice and (I said get down offa there) the tiht funk of the crusaders backing her up - wicked

4:53 PM  
Anonymous schlarb said...

Yes! Who knew there were so many closet Joni fans out there! Seriously though... what about that filthy synth-bass line on "The Jungle Line" totally forget that Joni was sampling the Burundi drummers like 20 years before P.M. Dawn was sampling this album...


heh...

6:06 PM  
Blogger xolondon said...

Yeah, while everybody crowed about Paul Simon and Sting using these sounds, they ignored the fact that she had written that book on this album. Prince loves this record too. I think "The Boho Dance" is my favorite Joni song (and that says a lot). The lyrics on this record are phenomenal, as is the artwork. The vinyl version, with a gatefold, is so cool. I think the snake is textured on it!

Excellent of you to introduce to some younger blog fans.

9:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some say it was overproduced but if you haven't heard "Both Sides Now" from "Court And Spark" it just may make you forget the Judy Collins version.

10:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow this blog is one big advertisement

10:45 PM  
Anonymous schlarb said...

erm, "Both Sides Now" isn't on Court & Spark. it's on Clouds. and that's also probably my least favorite Joni Mitchell tune...

and for the other anonymous up there... what other "indie" blogs are talking about an obsure 30 year old LP? if this is an ad than so is every conversation in the world...

12:07 AM  
Blogger Kell said...

I heard this album when I was 14, it belonged to a man I began a long love affair with so it always reminds me of that time. Amazing album.

4:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

was talking about the hundred or so ads that line the front page when you load up this blog... looks like more interested in ads than music... wasn't about Joni..

8:32 AM  
Anonymous barry from michigan said...

If 'Ladies of the Canyon' wasn't already so perfect this would be my favorite Joni Mitchell album. Also glad to see it listed as an LP, because that is the only format I have it on too. After inheriting my parents LP collection and fixing my turntable, this was the first record I bought. So great.
And jeez Chris, when are you gonna stop hocking your corporate goods and finally talk about some music? Where's the heart gone?
just kidding

3:38 PM  
Anonymous scott said...

this is a totally sweet album, and so is hejira. coyote has such a cool vibe. i actually got this for my mom for her birthday because she kept talking about it, and she loves it, except for the jungle line, which i really liked

4:34 PM  
Anonymous Sybil said...

For more than 30 years of my life, Joni has been the one by which all others are measured. She has been dubbed the "female Dylan" by various critics over the years - in my opinion, it's very much the other way around! Glad to see others appreciating her greatness.

I've always loved Shades of Scarlett Conquering from this album - a woman must have everything.

9:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I work in a record store and after reading this post I looked for a copy of this record in our stock. We didnt have it. Well,later that night I looked in our "trashed" vinyl bin and found a wonderful, FREE copy of it! (It had a few light scratches, but it still plays very decently) I went home and listened immediately. I love it! Thanks for the recommendation.

12:17 AM  
Blogger M. Austin Sipes said...

This album, Hejira, Blue, Clouds, and Court & Spark are all amazing. I remember looking at my CD collection one day and realizing that I had more Joni than any other artist, and I'm a 29 year old guy who loves him some loud guitar metal.

1:22 AM  
Anonymous Keith Knight said...

I have lived with The Hissing of Summer Lawns since its release in 1975 and it has slowly worked its way up my All Time list to the extent that it now stands as one of the top three albums of all IMHO. What is odd is how it seems to have been airbrushed from Mitchell's own history - that recent career retrospective she curated left the album off all together. But it's a brilliant, complex, innovative work which I have played hundreds of times and hope to play hundreds of times more.

2:59 PM  
Blogger thevitaminkid said...

"By far Mitchell's most experimental and daring work..."

Uh, I think that would be her Mingus album, with howling wolves and be-bop vocal lines. She totally stepped outside the mainsteam on that one.

However, I prefer this album to Mingus.

12:47 AM  
Anonymous schlarb said...

vitamin kid: I'd probably disagree and go with Hissing on the experimental/creepy tip. however, "The Wolf That Lives In Lindsey" is a downright amazing tune. on the whole though, Mingus is a kind of shambles of a record. and I have a hard time getting into Joni's pseudo-jazz singing.

6:40 PM  
Blogger adrian_wake said...

I count this as one of the greatest rock albums recorded; along with Daydream Nation - Sonic Youth. Which interestingly also takes an oblique look at American life. Do yourself a favour though and get it on vinyl. The CD just does not sound as good.

4:21 PM  
Blogger Vegan Steven said...

Yes this album really is something special. "Harry's House" is so perfect - wish she'd gone on to make more in style. Perhaps her last really good record? Jealous of you vinyl owners!

6:27 PM  
Anonymous Christopher Rollason said...

I agree with all those who rate THE HISSING OF SUMMER LAWNS so higly. Recently I have been playing it all the time and with hindsight I find it her best album by far. It does for her epoch what THE GREAT GATSBY did for the 20s, summing up the conundrum of wealth and decadence. Equally, I find Joni"s vocals on this album a remarkable summation of female creative energy. It is also worth noting that the title phrase is quoted by Salman Rushdie in his rock-era novel THE GROUND BENEATH HER FEET.

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