For the Roses

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For the Roses
Joni Roses.jpg
Studio album by Joni Mitchell
Released November 1972
Recorded 1972
A&M Studios, Hollywood, California
Genre Folk rock, Jazz
Length 40:20
Label Asylum
Producer Joni Mitchell
Joni Mitchell chronology
For the Roses
Court and Spark
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau A[4]
MusicHound 4/5 stars[2]
Pitchfork Media 9.1/10[3]
Rolling Stone (not rated)[5]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4/5 stars[6]
Martin C. Strong 7/10[6]
Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music 4/5 stars[6]

For the Roses is the fifth studio album by Canadian singer-songwriter 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.[7]

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 is a self-portrait exploring the frustration and sadness of being 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."

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Joni Mitchell. 

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Banquet"   3:01
2. "Cold Blue Steel and Sweet Fire"   4:17
3. "Barangrill"   2:52
4. "Lesson in Survival"   3:11
5. "Let the Wind Carry Me"   3:56
6. "For the Roses"   3:48
Side two
No. Title Length
7. "See You Sometime"   2:56
8. "Electricity"   3:01
9. "You Turn Me On, I'm a Radio"   2:39
10. "Blonde in the Bleachers"   2:42
11. "Woman of Heart and Mind"   2:38
12. "Judgement of the Moon and Stars (Ludwig's Tune)"   5:19




  1. ^ Cleary, David. For the Roses at AllMusic. Retrieved 13 August 2005.
  2. ^ 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. 
  3. ^ "Joni Mitchell: The Studio Albums 1968-1979 | Album Reviews". Pitchfork Media. 2012-11-09. Retrieved 2014-03-20. 
  4. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Joni Mitchell > Consumer Guide Reviews". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 13 April 2006. 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ a b c "Joni Mitchell For the Roses". Acclaimed Music. Retrieved 2014-03-20. 
  7. ^ "The National Recording Registry 2007 : National Recording Preservation Board (Library of Congress)". 2011-05-13. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 

External links[edit]