Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Joni Mitchell - The Hissing Of Summer Demos (1975)

In January 1974 Joni MItchell release her 'Court And Spark' album, marking the beginning of her flirtation with jazz and jazz fusion, and the start of her experimental period ahead. 'Court and Spark' went to No. 1 on the Cashbox Album Charts, and made her a widely popular act for perhaps the only time in her career, on the strength of popular tracks like 'Raised on Robbery', 'Free Man In Paris', and 'Help Me', which became her only Top 10 single when it peaked at No. 7 in the first week of June. While recording 'Court and Spark', Mitchell had tried to make a clean break with her earlier folk sound, producing the album herself and employing jazz/pop fusion band The L.A. Express as what she called her first real backing group. In the Spring of 1975 Mitchell went into the studio to record acoustic demos of some songs she'd written for a potential follow-up record, including an early version of 'Dreamland', a song that two years later would appear on the album 'Don Juan's Reckless Daughter'. A few months later she recorded band versions of the tunes with most of the same musicians she employed on 'Court And Spark', and this song cycle was released in November 1975 as the album 'The Hissing Of Summer Lawns'. The LP was a big seller and peaked at #4 on the Billboard album charts. Generally, however, the album was greeted less than enthusiastically, with fans feeling that Mitchell had ceased being the confessional song-writer, and had turned her razor sharp observations outwards to society, and this was not what fans and critics expected or wanted from her. This was probably the first time that a musical direction of her's had been questioned, really wounding her, and she's since talked of the sting she felt at those bad reviews. As is generally the case, though, there were also quite a few good notices for the album, and over the years it has become one of her best known and most-loved releases. When these songs appear on bootlegs they are often packaged with filler, but this album contains just those 1975 demos, apart from one extra song 'Hunter (The Good Samaritan)', which was originally scheduled for 'Blue', but was only ever included on a rare test pressing, and has never since been officially issued. The cover uses Mitchell's own painting which was later adapted for use with the actual album.  

Track listing

01 Harry's House
02 Edith And The Kingpin
03 In France They Kiss On Main Street
04 Sweet Bird 
05 Shades Of Scarlett Conquering
06 Shadows And Light
07 Dreamland
08 The Boho Dance
09 Hunter (The Good Samaritan)

Enjoy / Enjoy


  1. This is off topic but can you tell me how to download from the blog Albums Forgotten Reconstructed? Thank you!

  2. Sure. He hides the links in the text, so the latest one for The Who live album is here .....were played live. bit.ly/69tW70lr The album was re-called....., and if you search through the other posts it should be there somewhere.