Don Juan's Reckless Daughter

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Don Juan's Reckless Daughter
Joni DJRD.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedDecember 13, 1977[1]
StudioA&M Studios, Hollywood; orchestra recorded at Columbia Studio C, New York City; additional recording at Basing Street Studios, London
GenreFolk jazz, folk rock, jazz fusion, world
ProducerJoni Mitchell, Henry Lewy, Steve Katz
Joni Mitchell chronology
Don Juan's Reckless Daughter
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic2/5 stars [2]
Christgau's Record GuideB–[5]
MusicHound Rock3/5 stars[7]
Pitchfork Media6.1/10[3]
Rolling Stone(not rated)[4]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide3/5 stars[6]

Don Juan's Reckless Daughter is a 1977 double album by Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell. It is unusual for its experimental style, expanding even further on the jazz fusion sound of Mitchell's Hejira from the year before. Mitchell has stated that, close to completing her contract with Asylum Records, she allowed this album to be looser than anything she'd done previously.[8]

Don Juan's Reckless Daughter was released in December 1977 to mixed reviews, but managed to peak at #25 on the Billboard charts and attained gold record status within three months.

Background and content[edit]

Much of the album is experimental, but especially so are: "Overture," played with six simultaneous guitars, some in different tunings from others, with vocal echo effects; "The Tenth World," an extended-length instrumental of Latin percussion; and "Dreamland," which features only percussion and voices (including Chaka Khan).

Most experimental of all is "Paprika Plains," a 16-minute song played on improvised piano and arranged with a full orchestra; it takes up all of Side 2. In it, Mitchell narrates a first-person description of a late-night gathering in a bar frequented by Indigenous peoples of Canada, touching on themes of hopelessness and alcoholism. At one point in the narrative, the narrator leaves the setting to watch the rain and enters into a dreamstate, and the lyrics – printed in the liner notes but not sung – become a mixture of references to innocent childhood memories, a nuclear explosion and an expressionless tribe gazing upon the dreamer. The narrator returns inside after the rain passes. In speaking to Anthony Fawcett about working on "Paprika Plains," Mitchell said:

"The Improvisational, the spontaneous aspect of this creative process – still as a poet – is to set words to the music, which is a hammer and chisel process. Sometimes it flows, but a lot of times it's blocked by concept. And if you're writing free consciousness – which I do once in a while just to remind myself that I can, you know, because I'm fitting little pieces of this puzzle together – the end result must flow as if it was spoken for the first time."[8]

Don Juan's Reckless Daughter attracted contributions from prominent jazz musicians, including four current members of Weather ReportJaco Pastorius, Wayne Shorter, Manolo Badrena, and Alex Acuña.


The album jacket is a photomontage and includes three photographs of Mitchell. In the foreground she is in blackface as her "reputed alter ego, a black hipster named Art Nouveau."[9][10]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Joni Mitchell, except where noted.

Side one
1."Overture - Cotton Avenue"6:41
2."Talk to Me"3:45
Side two
1."Paprika Plains"16:21
Side three
1."Otis and Marlena" 4:09
2."The Tenth World"Joni Mitchell, Don Alias, Manolo Badrena, Alex Acuña, Airto Moreira, Jaco Pastorius6:45
3."Dreamland" 4:38
Side four
1."Don Juan's Reckless Daughter"6:36
2."Off Night Backstreet"3:20
3."The Silky Veils of Ardor"4:01





  1. ^ "Don Juan's Reckless Daughter". Rate Your Music. Retrieved May 27, 2011.
  2. ^ Ruhlmann, W. (2011). "Don Juan's Reckless Daughter – Joni Mitchell | AllMusic". Retrieved 19 July 2011.
  3. ^ "Joni Mitchell: The Studio Albums 1968–1979 | Album Reviews". Pitchfork Media. 2012-11-09. Retrieved 2014-03-20.
  4. ^ Maslin, Janet (2011). "Joni Mitchell: Don Juan's Reckless Daughter : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". Archived from the original on January 24, 2009. Retrieved 19 July 2011.
  5. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: M". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved March 8, 2019 – via
  6. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian, eds. (2004). "Joni Mitchell". The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. London: Fireside. pp. 547–548. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. Retrieved 8 September 2009. Portions posted at "Joni Mitchell > Album Guide". Archived from the original on July 31, 2011. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  7. ^ Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel (eds) (1999). MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide. Farmington Hills, MI: Visible Ink Press. p. 769. ISBN 1-57859-061-2.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  8. ^ a b Joni Mitchell Biography from Archived August 4, 2008, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 2008-08-22
  9. ^ Evelyn White, "Joni Mitchell, Herizons, June 2010. Reproduced on a fair-use basis in Joni Library. Retrieved 30 March 2011.
  10. ^ Larry David Smith, Elvis Costello, Joni Mitchell, and the torch song tradition (2004), Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0-275-97392-1. p.64.