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Was Joni Mitchell The Best Musician of Her Time?

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  • Was Joni Mitchell The Best Musician of Her Time?

    As a new book and box set are released, Sean O’Hagan argues that Joni Mitchell’s very best albums contain a depth of songwriting that remains unsurpassed
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor,

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  • #2
    No she was not. She is very good but not the best IMO


    • #3
      I wouldn't say Bob Dylan was either or Neil Young and any others. I will agree with the author that Joni would likely have been more or better appreciated if she were a man. I really dislike attaching "the greatest" moniker to anyone. Music is personal.
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      • #4
        The Beatles were the best. There have been lots of great musicians, talented writers, great singers, and great bands. I just don't know of another band that had such an embarrassment of riches all wrapped up with just four guys. There is a difference in my book between saying someone is a great musician/singer/song writer vice saying they are the "best." There have been lots of great rock bands over the years, but there is only one that I consider the best. But as Johnny said, music is personal.
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        • mkuller
          mkuller commented
          Editing a comment
          Agree the Beatles were the best ever.

        • tom_hankins
          tom_hankins commented
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        • cpp
          cpp commented
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      • #5
        Perhaps Joni was the greatest female songwriter/singer of her time along with Joan Baez. On the other side, you have Dylan, Jackson Browne (my favorite), Neil Young and others.
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        • Johnny Vinyl
          Johnny Vinyl commented
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          Joan here is talking about under-appreciated. She had already started making somewhat of a name for herself in the early sixties, yet remains somewhat of a sidebar.

        • mkuller
          mkuller commented
          Editing a comment
          And now that I think about it Carole King belongs in there with Joni and may even exceed her.

        • MylesBAstor
          MylesBAstor commented
          Editing a comment
          I think you have a good argument for Carole King. She started writing songs when she was in HS. She must have had quite a time in HS doing demo records with Paul Simon and dating Neil Sedaka. Beautiful is still on my must-see Broadway list.

      • #6


        • Rob
          Rob commented
          Editing a comment
          Dolly is also one of the wealthiest female singers of all time according to celebrity net worth. she's best known as an entertainer but IMO, musically, she's quite talented in her own right.

        • Guest's Avatar
          Guest commented
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          Singer, songwriter, musician, producer.
          Over 100 million records sold.

      • #7
        I'd say Joni was probably the best female singer/songwriter of her time.
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        • #8
          It's really hard for me to pick a top 5 or 10 from that era. No way can I pick a no. 1. Hard to pick above the Beatles, Dylan, and Young
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          • #9
            I am assuming that musician = songwriter because I don't associate Joni Mitchell with playing any instruments other than strumming her guitar, it's her singing that she's known for. Lets define her career as 1968 - 2007 (first to last albums). That span encompasses most of the music people of our approximate age identify most with. If you limit the universe to folk-rock songwriting she is definitley around the top of the heap. Otherwise including all music in the comaparison puts her up against some mighty stiff competition.
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            • mkuller
              mkuller commented
              Editing a comment
              Actually she played her guitar with an open tuning that made it very difficult. She was quite a musician and songwriter.

            • Beaur
              Beaur commented
              Editing a comment
              I am not diminishing or extolling her playing. Just saying that when I think of her the singing/writing comes way before her skill with an instrument. That's what makes comparisons like this impossible. When I make them I usually emphasize that it's a favorites list not an absolute ranking.