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From fellow artists, a case of respect

Joni Mitchell is the latest focus of Starbucks-Hear Music’s “Artist’s Choice” series, which devotes an entire CD to songs that inspired the album’s subject. Mitchell is also saluted in a Hear Music collection in which various artists have chosen their favorite Mitchell song. Here are some selections from “Joni Mitchell: Songs Chosen by Her Friends & Fellow Musicians” and the artists’ feelings about them.

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Prince

‘A Case of You’ (from the album ‘Blue’)

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"[This] is one of my favorite songs 2 sing because the melody is so heartbreaking. The lyrics read as tho the writer is extremely enamored with the subject and yet the melody sounds as if they are about 2 break up ... [the record] has such a haunting feel that it would make even the hardest thug shed tears.”

Bob Dylan

‘Free Man in Paris’ (‘Court and Spark’)

“I always liked this song because I’d been to Paris and understood what being a free man there was all about. Paris was, after all, where freedom and the guillotine lived side by side. I’m not so sure that the meaning I heard in the song was what Joni intended, but I couldn’t stop listening to it.”

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Elvis Costello

‘For the Roses’ (‘For the Roses’)

“There are tiny details of a lover’s infidelity: ‘I get these notes on butterflies and lilac sprays from girls who just have to tell me they saw you somewhere,’ but the musical tone is also confidential and it sets up a bold and unflinching look at an artist trying to detach from the deceits of fame.... “

Seal

‘A Strange Boy’ (‘Hejira’)

“I chose this track because of all the musicians she has had, this features a group who I think were most sympathetic to her voice and music. The old adage ‘We all need someone to love us while we’re looking for someone to love’ becomes so vivid in the imagery that she manages to conjure up in this song in particular.”

Herbie Hancock

‘Both Sides Now’ (‘Both Sides Now’)

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“Joni has always created music that is beautiful, poignant and masterful. Her more-recent work shows that she has matured into an incredible song stylist. The poetry of her timeless lyrics is again proven on her orchestral album.... truly a Renaissance person.”


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