For the Roses
|For the Roses|
|Studio album by Joni Mitchell|
A&M Studios, Hollywood, California
|Genre||Folk jazz, Folk-rock, Singer-songwriter|
|Joni Mitchell chronology|
|Rolling Stone||(not rated)|
|Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
|Martin C. Strong||7/10|
|Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music|||
For the Roses is the fifth studio album by Joni Mitchell, released in November 1972, between her two biggest commercial and critical successes – Blue and Court and Spark. Despite this, in 2007 it was one of 25 recordings chosen that year by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry. It is Mitchell's first, and so far only, album to accomplish this feat.
It is perhaps best known for the hit single "You Turn Me on I'm a Radio", which Mitchell wrote sarcastically out of a record company request for a radio-friendly song. The single was indeed a hit, reaching #25 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, becoming Mitchell's first top 40 hit released under her own name (as a songwriter, several other performers had had hits with songs that she had written). "Cold Blue Steel and Sweet Fire" — a menacing and jazzy portrait of a heroin addict — and the Beethoven-inspired "Judgment of the Moon and Stars" were also popular.
"Banquet" describes a metaphorical table from which "some get the gravy / Some get the gristle... and some get nothing / Though there's plenty to spare". In the sprightly "Barangrill", Mitchell uses the hunt for an elusive roadside eatery as a metaphor for the quest to "find herself", enjoying the journey, but with increasing impatience about reaching her destination. "Lesson in Survival" is the first of the love songs, about the longing for greater privacy, a sense of isolation, the frustration of incompatibility, and a love for nature. "Let the Wind Carry Me" contrasts thoughts of a more stable, conventional life, based partly on Mitchell's own adolescence, with the need to live with minimal constraints upon one's freedom. The title song explores the frustration and sadness of being in a relationship with a celebrity dealing with the challenges of fame and fortune.
The second side opens with "See You Sometime", which deals with fleeting feelings, including jealousy and romantic competition. "Electricity" extols the simplicity and serenity of the quiet country life against the way in which people in modern society think of themselves unconsciously as machines, and is thought to be motivated by a particular relationship triangle she was experiencing at the time. "Woman of Heart and Mind" is a portrait of a flawed lover and the complexities of being emotionally involved.
The album was critically acclaimed, with The New York Times saying "Each of Mitchell's songs on For the Roses is a gem glistening with her elegant way with language, her pointed splashes of irony and her perfect shaping of images. Never does Mitchell voice a thought or feeling commonly. She's a songwriter and singer of genius who can't help but make us feel we are not alone."
All tracks composed and arranged by Joni Mitchell.
- "Banquet" – 3:01
- "Cold Blue Steel and Sweet Fire" – 4:17
- "Barangrill" – 2:52
- "Lesson in Survival" – 3:11
- "Let the Wind Carry Me" – 3:56
- "For the Roses" – 3:48
- "See You Sometime" – 2:56
- "Electricity" – 3:01
- "You Turn Me on I'm a Radio" – 2:39
- "Blonde in the Bleachers" – 2:42
- "Woman of Heart and Mind" – 2:38
- "Judgement of the Moon and Stars (Ludwig's Tune)" – 5:19
- Joni Mitchell — vocals, guitar, piano
- Tom Scott — woodwinds, reeds
- Wilton Felder — bass
- Russ Kunkel — drums
- Bobbye Hall — percussion
- Bobby Notkoff — strings
- James Burton — electric guitar on "Cold Blue Steel and Sweet Fire"
- Graham Nash — harmonica on "You Turn Me On I'm a Radio"
- Stephen Stills — rock and roll band on "Blonde in the Bleachers"
- Cleary, David. For the Roses at AllMusic. Retrieved 13 August 2005.
- Christgau, Robert. "Joni Mitchell > Consumer Guide Reviews". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 13 April 2006.
- Davis, Stephen (January 4, 1973). "Joni Mitchell For The Roses > Album Review". Rolling Stone (125). Archived from the original on 12 March 2007. Retrieved 26 July 2006.
- "The National Recording Registry 2007 : National Recording Preservation Board (Library of Congress)". Loc.gov. 2011-05-13. Retrieved 2012-02-16.
- Joni Mitchell's New For The Roses, Robert Hilburn, Los Angeles Times, November 21, 1972; appears at the unofficial site JoniMitchell.com