19. Dog Eats Dog (1985)

Joni Mitchell is a non-conformist – which is why this is so unpleasant listening. It is virtually unrecognizable here, underpinned by a homogenized '80s sound that makes you yearn for the astral lifelines of your earlier work.

18th Cretaceous in a rainstorm (1988)

It's hard to deal with that. Together with the guest artists Billy Idol, Tom Petty, Don Henley and Willie Nelson, this is a record of his time. And like Dog Eat Dog, Dog Eat Dog sounds unremarkable compared to their other works.

17. Wild Things Run Fast (1982)

There are a few things – such as Mitchell's decision to go jazzily into the tune of the unkempt Just Brothers – that will remain forever confusing. Is any Mitchell fan? really probably with her 80s issue? This is of course a rhetorical question – please do not tweet me.

16. Turbulent Indigo (1994)

What starts promisingly (opening track Sunny Sunday is a reminder of their 70s work) soon disappoints rhymes like "And the Oil Spills / And Sex Kills". That is, it won a Grammy for Best Pop Album. Make it what you want.

Mitchell in the early 70s.

Mitchell in the early 70s. Photo: GAB-Archiv / Redferns

15. Both sides now (2000)

A gorgeous concept album that may lack its supernatural side. Mitchell's crooning standards are fluid, which seems to contradict the artist we know and love. Still, it's a pleasurable listening experience and her revision of the title song, which she recorded for the first time in the Clouds of 1968, is a wise reclamation of a classic.

14. Taming the Tiger (1998)

The meandering melodies and the overlaid voice-over effects can cause problems. But there is enough lyrical reflection to make the mega-fans happy.

13. Mingus (1979)

If jazz – and in particular Jonis Jazz – It's a challenge, that's not the album for you. Mitchell's 10th studio album, which was recorded in the months before Charles Mingus' death, is a total sinking. Before Mingus, Mitchell said she had just dipped her big toe into the Lake of Jazz. When she met the jazz giant, he pushed her inside.

12th night drive home (1991)

It may not be as convincing as Hejira, but there is still much to admire. The percussive rhythms and jazz flexions are there – but the melodies are softer and their vocals are tender. More confident and relaxed where she is.

11. Shine (2007)

Following the publication of the 2002 Travel Report, Mitchell announced that she is retiring and returned five years later, which many felt was a return to the 1970s. Inspired by the environmental catastrophe and the Iraq war, the Blue-era piano in the opening series One Week Last Summer gave the fans exactly what they had been waiting for.

10. Travel Report (2002)

Revisionist albums tend to fail miserably. Not these – their orchestral reworking of past classics resonates with ascending strings and bittersweet tenderness. Outstanding tracks include Hejira and Amelia – rousing, soulful retellings of self-observation and exploration that flood you.

9. Don Juan's Ruthless Daughter (1977)

Also compared to last year's Hejira, this double album is one step ahead of abstraction and improvisation. And while not everyone is an avid Joni fan, it's impossible to hear the epic Paprika Plains (every 16 minutes and 21 seconds) and not be surprised at the size and scope of their ambitious transformation.

In the beginning ... Mitchell, 1968.

In the Beginning … Mitchell, 1968. Photo: Jack Robinson / Getty Images

Song of a Seagull (1968)

Mitchell once remarked that their chords are representations of emotions, that there is always a question mark in them. To understand what she means, you start with her searing debut – a record that questions far more than she answers. The opening track, I Had a King, is an ethereal complaint that portrays her catastrophic marriage to Chuck Mitchell with devastating lyric honesty. "I can not go back there / You know my keys do not fit the door," she sings. "You know my thoughts do not fit the man, you never can."

7. For the roses (1972)

You turn me on I'm a radio should be a sarcastic joke for her manager David Geffen, who challenged her to write a hit. The joke was directed at Mitchell – it became her first top 40 hit in the US. What aptly summarizes this excursion. It's a record that does not quite let go of its classic folk roots, but offers enough experimental jazz to remind us that this is a metamorphosing artist that makes no compromises. And she is on the move.


Hejira. Photo: PR Handout

6. The Hissing of Summer Lawns (1975)

Mitchell's successor, Court and Spark, may have received a kick from Rolling Stone at the time of its release, but is now considered a classic. There is a reason why Prince described it as a major influence in the 1980s. You can not nail it down. Mitchell rejected the traditional structure of her earlier work and continued to campaign for a fuller band sound. He explored a wild and roaming jazz score that eventually cut the connection to their past. If you want a real adventure try Mitchell's Synthesizer and Tribal Drums on The Jungle Line. It does not matter.

5th Court and Funke (1974)

The interplay between folk rock and jazz experiments with a pop sensibility that is increasing is a driving force and momentum in Mitchell's double platinum offering that sets it apart from their earlier work. It is a self-confident and solemn outbreak. Despite the melodic crash, it is a record that still grapples with Mitchell's core themes: alienation and isolation; temporary relationships; the need for love; the desire to escape. "We love our love," she sings on Help Me. "But not as if we love our freedom."

4. Ladies of the Canyon (1970)

Like her masterpiece Blue shows Mitchell's third offer, how rich and sumptuous her piano arrangements can be – played sadly, but always in search of the light. Alike and hopeful of Rainy Night House and For Free, the relaxing title track is a glorious – and outrageously romantic – homage to the magical hillside of Hollywood's Laurel Canyon. Oh, and there's a little-known track called Woodstock.

Mitchell in 2007 at the launch of her album Shine.

Mitchell in 2007 at the launch of her album Shine. Photo: Kevin Mazur / WireImage

3. Hejira (1976)

This is definitely one for the street that causes a hunger for movement, a feeling of yearning and restlessness that permeates every track. According to Mitchell, the album was written in the US between Maine and Los Angeles. Amelia reflects on the juxtaposition of concrete and sky after a breakup (an ode to the wild wings of Amelia Earhart – the urge to belong, the impulse to break free), while the title song of the album follows us with the insistent backbone inside directs -drilling work of jazz bassist Jaco Pastorius.


Blue. Photo: PR Handout

2. Clouds (1969)

Listening to clouds is taught, sparing and exposed and is a magical, immersive experience. Mitchell's second studio album interweaves a strange and unusual landscape with babbling guitars, hypnotic vocals, and a mystique that can not be precisely defined. It's worth mentioning that she produced almost all songs on the album, using the guitar skills of Stephen Stills to add depth to the instrumentation. And although Clouds is best known for the hits Chelsea Morning and Both Sides Now, the lesser known Roses Blue and Tin Angel are enchanting creations that are well worth staying.

1. Blue (1971)

As Mitchell packed her bags and went to Europe, she sent a letter to her lover Graham Nash saying, "If you hold sand in your hands too tightly, it will run through your fingers." A transparent line that painfully locks in the record The following year, she released a psychic masterpiece of melody, rhythm, and poetry that draws us into Mitchell's inner world with the urgent pulsations of an Appalachian dulcimer. Generally considered to be the best relationship balance ever (if not the best) recording Blue expresses a subtle truthfulness that is constantly transmitted to the listener to quote Mitchell like a tattoo. "Ink on Needle / Under the Skin," she sings on the title track of the album. "An empty room to fill in."