Song to a Seagull

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Song to a Seagull
Joni Seagull.jpg
Studio album by Joni Mitchell
Released March 1968
Recorded 1967
Genre Folk[1][2]
Length 38:00
Label Reprise
Producer David Crosby
Joni Mitchell chronology
Song to a Seagull
(1968)
Clouds
(1969)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars [3]
MusicHound 3/5 stars[5]
Pitchfork 6.7/10[4]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[6]
Martin C. Strong 7/10[7]
Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music 3/5 stars[7]

Song to a Seagull (also known as Joni Mitchell) is the debut album by Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell. Produced by David Crosby, the album was recorded in 1967 at Sunset Sound and released in March 1968 by record label Reprise.

Production[edit]

The album was recorded at Sunset Sound in Hollywood, California during the later part of 1967.[8] David Crosby was assigned as producer as part of the deal with Reprise Records.[8] Crosby wanted Mitchell to sound pure and natural, so he asked her to sing into the studio grand piano, and set up extra microphones to capture her voice repeating off the strings; unfortunately the set up captured too much ambient noise, resulting in excessive tape hiss, which could only be removed post-production at the cost of the high sounds in the audio range, which gives the album a flat feel.[9]

Mitchell had written songs that were hits for other artists (e.g., "Both Sides Now" and "Chelsea Morning" by Judy Collins and Dave Van Ronk, "Eastern Rain" by Fairport Convention, "Urge for Going" and "The Circle Game" by Tom Rush), but none of those songs were recorded for her debut.

Content[edit]

Mitchell has said that "Sisotowbell" stands for "Somehow, in spite of trouble, ours will be ever lasting love".[10]

The album was dedicated to her Grade 7 English teacher, "Mr. Kratzmann, who taught me to love words".[citation needed]

Release[edit]

This album was originally released as Joni Mitchell because the LP album covers were printed incorrectly, cutting off part of the "Song to a Seagull" title (spelled out by birds in flight).[citation needed] The cut-off, as well as the publishers at Reprise Records not noticing the birds spelled out the album name, caused the eponymous album title.[citation needed]

The two sides of the LP were labelled as Part 1 – "I Came to the City", and Part 2 – "Out of the City and Down to the Seaside".

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Joni Mitchell. 

I Came to the City
No. Title Length
1. "I Had a King"   3:37
2. "Michael from Mountains"   3:41
3. "Night in the City"   2:30
4. "Marcie"   4:35
5. "Nathan La Franeer"   3:18
Out of the City and Down to the Seaside
No. Title Length
6. "Sisotowbell Lane"   4:05
7. "The Dawntreader"   5:04
8. "The Pirate of Penance"   2:44
9. "Song to a Seagull"   3:51
10. "Cactus Tree"   4:35

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ David R. Shumway (21 August 2014). Rock Star: The Making of Musical Icons from Elvis to Springsteen. Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 161. ISBN 978-1-4214-1393-8. 
  2. ^ Richard Carlin (2005). Folk. Infobase Publishing. p. 242. ISBN 978-0-8160-6978-1. 
  3. ^ Cleary, D. (2011). "Song to a Seagull - Joni Mitchell | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 19 July 2011. 
  4. ^ "Joni Mitchell: The Studio Albums 1968-1979 | Album Reviews". Pitchfork. 2012-11-09. Retrieved 2014-03-20. 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ Black, Les (July 5, 1968). "Joni Mitchell". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 22 August 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "Joni Mitchell/Song to a Seagull". Acclaimed Music. Retrieved 2014-03-20. 
  8. ^ a b Katherine Monk (7 Sep 2012). Joni: The Creative Odyssey of Joni Mitchell. Greystone Books. p. 77. 
  9. ^ Katherine Monk (7 Sep 2012). Joni: The Creative Odyssey of Joni Mitchell. Greystone Books. p. 78-79. 
  10. ^ JoniMitchell.com/JMDL Library: Joni Mitchell - A Portrait of the Artist: Billboard, December 9, 1995

External links[edit]