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Joni - A Leader Once Again   Print

by John Peel
Sounds
December 22, 1973

Before we embark on this week's burst of badinage and persiflage a point or two. Firstly, I was guilty of a hideous error in a recent review. John Collis of "Time Out" wrote to point out that when I reviewed "Such A Night" by Harley Quinne, I suggested that this and Presley's "One Night" were one and the same song. The original "One Night" was by Smiley Lewis. I did in fact know all of this [cries of "Tell us another one, Peel"] but I apologise for being a silly little thing and dealing out inaccurate information. Secondly, this has been such a vile week for singles that I have taken the liberty of review a few imports. These will doubtless be released here early in 1974 -- a year that promises to be a whole nest of fun.

JONI MITCHELL "RAISED ON ROBBERY" (ASYLUM)

I FORGOT to mention that John Collis suggested that for my sins I should be condemned to a nightly listen to "Topographic Oceans." Can't we be reasonable people and just bring back the birch? When I first heard Joni Mitchell all those years ago I was bewitched by her. As time passed I became less enchanted, feeling that she, in common with so many artists, had fallen back on making money by making the noises people expected of her. Her "For The Roses" LP re-converted me. She has become, once again, a leader. "Raised On Robbery" affirms this. It's beautifully sung and the lyrics are superbly observed and highly realistic. The scene is a hotel lobby, the characters a bored businessman and a lady who is, as they say, no better than she should be -- whatever that means. Joni sets the scene with Andrews Sisters-like harmonies over a crisp backing stuffed with wah-wah guitar. The whole moves along at a fair pace and there's some fine tenor playing. Place an order for your copy now.

 

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