Both Sides Now

Joni Mitchell: Both Sides Now (2000)

Quiz by Sharon Michiko Yoneda

artist:  Joni Mitchell

songwriter: Joni Mitchell

date released: first released in 1969 by Joni Mitchell and re-released in 2000

Roberta Joan Anderson, better known as Joni Mitchell, was born in Fort McLeod, Alberta in 1943. Her mother was a teacher and her father was an officer of the Royal Canadian Air Force. She was eleven when her family moved to Saskatchewan which Mitchell regards as her home province.

 At the age of nine, Mitchell contracted polio, and in her long hours of convalescence, she developed an interest in singing. Her first remembrance of performing in public was singing Christmas carols very loudly in the hospital ward to irritate the boy beside her.

 As a teenager, Mitchell taught herself to play the ukulele and the guitars. These skills led her to play in coffeehouses and other venues in Saskatoon, and eventually to busk in the big city of Toronto.

 Joni Mitchell achieved mainstream success during the years of 1970-1974 with her release of songs such as 'Big Yellow Taxi' and 'The Circle Game'. From this early start in folk music, Mitchell went on to expand her talent into the genres of rock, jazz and the visual arts.

 Most recently, jazz luminary, Herbie Hancock released a CD called, '"River: The Joni Letters' in tribute to Joni Mitchell."

Many platinum albums, awards and accolades later, Joni Mitchell was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997. In 2002, she received the prestigious Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award which celebrated her as "as one of the most important female recording artists of the rock era."

In Canada, Joni Mitchell was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1981 and received a star in Canada's Walk of Fame in 2001. Her greatest honour in the country of her birth was being appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada in 2002 which is Canada's highest civilian honour.

 This rendition of Both Sides Now was produced in 2000 when Joni was older and wiser. Her smoker's habit is beginning to appear in her voice, yet the soulful execution of her illustrious song is still a sturdy pull for audiences.