7E-1087 Hejira
Music director: Joni Mitchell
Released on November 1976
US CHART POSITION #13 . . . GOLD RECORD . . . UK CHART POSITION #11
Find it at GEMM
7E-1087 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

I t’s the luminosity of Hejira, I think, that beguiles critics into calling it Joni’s best album. This is the long ride back of reflection, where Joni Mitchell adds up the sum of her experience, calculates the cost of her mistakes and runs the risk of multiplying them again. What draws me into this album isn’t so much the poetry, though there is that, but the music. Each song is its own oasis. The presence of Jaco Pastorius naturally pushes envelopes, but Mitchell and Larry Carlton are right there with him, pushing, pushing. Joni Mitchell albums before this had their dry patches of acoustic guitar or piano, instances where the lonely girl locked in her room on a rainy day might have been better served by puddle hopping. Their isn’t one stuffy song on Hejira. Reflective, yes, even sad, but the lonely woman is driving a convertible this time and the sunlight and fresh air swirl around every couplet. It’s more a refinement of past albums, the reaching of a place where Mitchell and her muse were on easy terms. The opening trio of “Coyote,” “Amelia” and “Furry Sings The Blues” may be as strong a trio as Joni has led with, while “Black Crow” is one of the most amazing songs of her career. Hejira is a heavy album insofar as all of Joni’s albums are heavy, but it’s the little miracles glimpsed in the music, along the side of the road, that turn it from bitter to bittersweet. Despite the presence of Pastorius, it’s not an overtly jazzy record but a deeper and fuller flowering of the subtle shift in shading since Blue. On the road to appreciating Joni Mitchell, Blue, Court and Hejira are milestones that every fan should visit often.

TRACK LISTING

  1. COYOTE    5:00
  2. AMELIA    6:00
  3. FURRY SINGS THE BLUES    5:03
  4. A STRANGE BOY    4:15
  5. HEJIRA    6:35
  6. SONG FOR SHARON    8:30
  7. BLACK CROW    4:20
  8. BLUE MOTEL ROOM    5:03
  9. REFUGE OF THE ROADS    6:37

    All songs written by Joni Mitchell\

CREDITS

JONI MITCHELL -- vocals, rhythm guitar, electric guitar (8), mixing, cover design
Max Bennett -- bass
Larry Carlton -- lead guitar, acoustic guitar (8)
Chuck Domanico -- bass (8)
Victor Feldman -- vibes (2)
Chuck Findley -- horns (9)
John Guerin -- drums
Bobbye Hall -- percussion
Abe Most -- clarinet (5)
Jaco Pastorius -- bass
Tom Scott -- horns (9)
Neil Young -- harmonica (3)
Henry "Inspirational" Lewy -- engineer, mixing
Glen Christensen -- art direction
Norman Seeff & Joel Bernstein -- photos
Keith Williamson -- photo prints

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US November 1976 Asylum LP 7E-1087 gatefold cover, picture sleeve
UK November 1976 Asylum LP/CS K/K4-53053 gatefold cover, picture sleeve
CAN 1976 Asylum LP 7ES-1087 gatefold cover, picture sleeve
GER 1976 Asylum LP AS-53053 gatefold cover, picture sleeve
JPN 1976 Warner LP P-10270Y gatefold cover
US   Asylum CD 1087  
UK/GER   Asylum CD 60331  
JPN   Asylum CD AMCY-3161 HDCD remaster

 

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