Joni Mitchell Says the “humanity” of Her Songwriting Made Her Male Music Peers “nervous”

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Submitted by karajayne on Tue, 05/18/2021 - 23:10

Joni Mitchell Says the “humanity” of Her Songwriting Made Her Male Music Peers “nervous”

Posted 18 May 2021
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Joni Mitchell. Doug Griffin/Toronto Star via Getty Images.

Folk icon, Joni Mitchell has given a rare interview recently, speaking about the impact and legacy of her prolific songwriting catalogue, while offering some priceless personal insight into the impact of her introspective songwriting style which, in her opinion, challenged the formulaic pop themes of her peers; in particular the male artists Mitchell famously held court with. 

The celestial star was speaking at a virtual Grammy’s party hosted by Arista Records founder Clive Davis, telling the host: “My early work is kind of fantasy, which is why I sort of rejected it. I started scraping my own soul more and more and got more humanity in it. It scared the singer-songwriters around me; the men seemed to be nervous about it, almost like Dylan plugging in and going electric. Like, ‘Does this mean we have to do this now?’ But over time, I think it did make an influence. It encouraged people to write more from their own experience.”

Mitchell continued by recalling a time she was told no one would cover her songs because they were “too personal” – but it would seem she was simply ahead of her time, adding: “…they’re getting a lot of covers. It’s just humanness that I’m trying to describe. This generation is ready for what I had to say, I guess, and is not so nervous about it.”

Joni Mitchell | “A Case Of You” [2021 Remaster]

Last month, Joni Mitchell announced a new box set titled The Reprise Albums (1968-1971) which collates the folk icon’s famous four-album run for Reprise Records in the late 60s and early ’70s, including 1968’s Song to a Seagull, 1969’s Clouds, 1970’s Ladies of the Canyon, and 1971’s Blue. The collection is set for release on June 25. Pre-order, here.  


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