Vast and bleak and godforsaken

Musical appreciation, subjective, blah, blah, blah, it’s been said before…

I love (most of) the work of Joni Mitchell but her 1977 release, “Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter” took some getting into.

Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter – Joni Mitchell

Some pieces immediately “grab” you, others seem to “grow” on you but here’s the question, if you have to take time to “get into” music, are you just getting used to it?

Over the past thirty odd years I’ve listened to the whole album many times, and when I listen, I listen to the whole album – I’m an album kind of guy and well, that’s what albums are for, isn’t it?

But, if I had to pick just one track from that album, it would be “Paprika Plains”. I bought the album sometime in the early eighties and the first time I listened to “Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter” I didn’t hear much, except for the song “Paprika Plains” which occupies the whole of the second side, side B in album parlance, of this double album.

That is to say, yes, I heard all of it but “Paprika Plains” really sank in. From the sparse piano introduction, the plaintive but enticing vocals, the strings and occasional saxophone to the laid-back almost “Jazz Quartet” like ending, well that’s how I would describe it, it’s a journey, which is what any good piece of music should be, in my opinion.

I bought the album “cold”, hadn’t heard any of it, hadn’t read a review, I just saw it whilst browsing through a record shop (remember those?) and I thought; “Joni, can’t be bad…”
Took it home and listened to it and my initial thoughts about the whole album were not entirely complimentary.
I’m glad I did buy it though 😉

Anyway, as a lot of us seem have time on our hands right now thanks to SARS-CoV-2, why not sit back and listen for 16 or so minutes and take a while to lose yourself in that vast and bleak and godforsaken plain.

One thought on “Vast and bleak and godforsaken

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