JONI MITCHELL – ” Live At The Isle of Wight Festival ” 1970

Posted: July 30, 2018 in MUSIC
Tags: , ,

Joni Mitchell’s iconic appearance at the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival is the subject of a new concert movie, Both Sides Now.

Academy Award-Winning Director Murray Lerner creates a masterful addition to the Isle of Wight canon of films with Joni’s excellent performance. The concert/documentary film features Joni Mitchell in a modern interview, explaining the events and her reactions. The complete performance is also intercut with vintage footage from the festival attendees and the promoters to give better context to Joni’s personal recollections from the Isle of Wight in what is one of the most unique and memorable performances of the era.

The set will be released on multiple formats on September. 14th. It was directed by award-winning filmmaker Murray Lerner, who died soon after the project had been completed last year.

The festival was overshadowed by controversy after an estimated audience of 600,000 rebelled against the organizers, staging angry demonstrations and breaking down fences until it was impossible to continue charging for entry. During Mitchell’s set, a stage invader attempted to preach to the crowd before being dragged away, inspiring her to accuse attendees of “behaving like tourists, man” and demanding, “Give us some respect!” They did just that.

“There was this sense that the artists had all sold out,” Mitchell said in a later interview, which appears in the film. “It was the ‘hate the performer’ festival. … I said, ‘Have some respect,’ and they did. They were quiet!”

Isle Of Wight 1970 was the last of the three original festivals on the island off England’s south coast, and starred major British artists such as The Who, the Moody Blues, Free, Procol Harum, Jethro Tull, Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Ten Years After, as well as visiting North American notables including Mitchell, Jimi Hendrix, Sly & the Family Stone, the Doors, Miles Davis and Chicago.

The attendance at the event far exceeded the population of the entire island, leading to huge logistical difficulties, and Mitchell’s set (on Saturday 29 August) was especially challenging for the Canadian artist. It was interrupted on several occasions in a rancorous atmosphere, which later led her to say that “they fed me to the beast.”

In a press release, EagleVision called Mitchell’s performance a “an outstanding performance against all odds.” “It was a battle against the audience, as they tore down barriers and shouted obscenities,” the company notes. “She later commented, ‘It seemed like an appropriate time to flee … ’ but still the seemingly fragile folk-rock singer stood her ground. Instead she returned to her piano … continuing her set with ‘My Old Man,’ she won over the crowd and the atmosphere softened. In response, the front page of Melody Maker hailed her with the headline, ‘Joni triumphs!’”

You can see the track listing for Joni Mitchell Both Sides Now: Live at the Isle of Wight Festival below.

Joni Mitchell, ‘Both Sides Now: Live at the Isle of Wight Festival’

Track Listing:
1. “That Song About The Midway”
2. “Chelsea Morning”
3. “For Free”
4. “Woodstock”
5. “My Old Man”
6. “California”
7. “Big Yellow Taxi”
8. “Both Sides Now”
9. “Gallery”
10. “Hunter”
11. “A Case Of You”


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