Top 10 Joni Mitchell Songs

Joni Mitchell Songs

Photo: Asylum Records [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Our top 10 Joni Mitchell songs list takes a look at ten of the most essential Joni Mitchell songs released over the past 55 years. Joni Mitchell stands as one of the most prolific and important songwriters in classic rock history. Her songs crossed the genres of rock, and jazz resulting in a handful of songs that became standards in the Great American Songbook. Joni Mitchell’s songs such as “Both Sides Now,” “A Case Of You,” and “River,” have been recorded by countless artists.

Joni Mitchell released her first album in 1968 entitled Song to a SeagullThe album was produced by David Crosby. Joni Mitchell followed up her debut album with the record Clouds in 1968. From that point on, Joni Mitchell continued to release musical albums that set the standard for musicianship, performance and brilliant songwriting. Joni Mitchell stands along with some of the greatest popular music songwriters of all time such as Bob Dylan, Carole King, Paul McCartney, Burt Bacharach, and George Gershwin.

From 1968 to 2007, Joni Mitchell released 19 studio albums. Joni Mitchell has also released two major live albums throughout her career. There have been many compilation albums and videos also released. We hope you enjoy our top 10 Joni Mitchell songs list. We urge you to not just settle with these songs. Joni Mitchell was an album’s artist. Her records are brilliant and should be heard in their entirety to fully realize the scope of the genius of Joni Mitchell.

# 10 – Bad Dreams

We open our Top 10 Joni Mitchell songs list with the song “Bad Dreams.” This extraordinary Joni Mitchell song was released on her 2007 album Shine. As of this writing in 2019, Shine still remains the last Joni Mitchell studio album released by the artist. The album’s opening number “One Week Last Summer,” won a Grammy Award in 2008 for Best Pop Instrumental Performance. James Taylor also made an appearance on the record playing guitar on the album’s title track “Shine.”

# 9 – Talk To Me

Joni Mitchell’s song “Talk To Me,” was released on the album, Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter. The double album was released in 1977. It was an album that saw Joni Mitchell exploring her jazz side even further. How could she not? The album featured some of the greatest jazz musicians in history.Listen to Jaco Pastorius opening bass line on this killer cut. The legend’s bass playing drives this track wrapping around Joni Mitchell’s astonishing vocals and deep lyricism. This is killer stuff.

# 8 – Big Yellow Taxi

One can simply not write a Top 10 Joni Mitchell songs list without including “Big Yellow Taxi.” The song was released on the album entitled Ladies of the Canyon in 1970. The song only reached number 67 on the Billboard Hot 100 but it just seemed to be more popular than that across pop culture. “Big Yellow Taxi,” was also covered by Amy Grant and the Counting Crows.

# 7 – Help Me

“Help Me,” was the perfect blend of pop and jazz. It was unlike anything else on the radio in 1974. The song was released on her brilliant album Court and Spark. “Help Me,” reached all the way to the number seven spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1974. It would stand as Joni Mitchell’s only top 10 song.

# 6 – Chelsea Morning

The beautiful Joni Mitchell song “Chelsea Morning,” was released on Joni Mitchell’s second album entitled Clouds. The album was released in 1969. The title Chelsea represents a New York City neighborhood. The song was also recorded by Judy Collins in 1969. Later on Neil Diamond also recorded a version of “Chelsea Morning.”

# 5 – Both Sides Now

Well, speaking of Judy Collins… The wonderful Joni Mitchell song “Both Sides Now,” became Judy Collins’ signature song. Almost everyone associates the song with Judy Collins. Nonetheless, Joni Mitchell composed the song and released her version on the album Clouds in 1969. It is easily Joni Mitchell’s most covered song. It stands as one of the most covered songs in popular music history. It’s been covered by hundreds of major label artists ranging from Frank Sinatra to Tori Amos.

# 4 – Coyote

There are three musicians on this brilliant piece of music, Joni Mitchell on guitars and vocals, Jaco Pastorius on bass guitar, and Bobbye Hall on percussion. There are no words to describe this captivating musical performance and piece. All you have to do is listen…..wow!

The song “Coyote,” was released on the album Hejira. The album was released in 1977. “Coyote,” was released as a single. The song also appeared in the Band’s concert movie The Last Waltz which was directed by Martin Scorsese.

# 3 – Woodstock

Joni Mitchell’s classic song “Woodstock,” scores this high on our top 10 Joni Mitchell songs list simply for the cultural impact the song had on classic rock history. It’s a great song, but its historic significance tied to the Woodstock experience is a window into the entire Woodstock cultural scene. Of course, the version that became very popular was Crosby Stills Nash and Young’s recording of the song.

# 2 – River

The next two songs on this Joni Mitchell songs list stand as two of the most beautiful songs ever written. Two completely different pieces that both share an earnest emotional center that is simply captivating. Both songs were released on Joni Mitchell’s masterpiece of an album titled Blue. The album was released in June of 1971. The song “River,” has become a modern-day Christmas classic even though it was never intended to be a Christmas song. The song has become another standard in the great American Songbook similar to “Both Sides Now.”

# 1 – A Case Of You

As previously stated Joni Mitchell’s’ song “A Case of You,” was released on the Blue album in 1971. The song was released as a single. James Taylor played guitar on the original recording on the Blue album. Like so many other Joni Mitchell songs “A Case of You,” has been covered by many artists including Prince, Tori Amos and Diana Krall. We especially love the live version that Nancy Wilson of Heart released on her 1999 album Live at McCabes Guitar Shop.

Don’t forget to check out our 10 Essential Joni Mitchell Albums List.

Top 10 Joni Mitchell Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022

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