JONI MITCHELL – ” Den Haag 1983 “

Posted: November 11, 2020 in Classic Albums, MUSIC
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Joni Mitchell and her band performed at Holland’s Congresgebouw venue, in the Hague, a show which was generally considered to be among the finest of the tour. The entire set they played that evening is now featured on this vinyl for the first time!. From Joni Mitchell‘s 1983 Tour. In early 1983, Joni Mitchell began a world tour, visiting Japan, Australia, UK, mainland Europe and the United States and Canada. Promoting her first Geffen album, “Wild Things Run Free”, released in October the previous year, the Refuge World Tour, as it was known, was Joni’s most extensive jaunt to date taking up the complete first half of the year. On 27th April, Joni Mitchell and her band – which included Russell Ferrante on keyboards Michael Landau on guitar, Larry Klein on bass and Vinnie Colaiuta on drums – performed at Holland s Congresgebouw venue, in the Hague, The entire set they played that evening is now featured on this album for the first time, providing a chance for fans to finally hear this previously unreleased radio broadcast recording.

At 51 minutes it isn’t the longest, but it’s everything transmitted on Dutch radio. Any long term fan of Joni will not be disappointed seeing release because of relaxed EU laws allowing publication of concerts transmitted on TV or radio by independent labels this is a well put-together package. Joni had developed the rock theme at the encouragement of then husband Larry Klein, a superb bass player and featured here to great effect with the bass mixed high on tracks where Joni is accompanied by the band. That band includes Vinnie Colaiuta, one of the world’s great drummers who provides fabulous backing; Michael Landau, often adding beautiful washes of colouring on lead guitar; and keyboardist Russell Ferrante. This was a five-star band, shown off to terrific effect on this album with many familiar songs given entirely new arrangements as a result and is worth obtaining for fans of Joni on that basis alone.

I was fortunate to catch this tour at Birmingham, and whilst that was an experience I shall long remember this album, together with “A Woman In The East” recorded in March 1983 (but featuring quite a different song selection) . A relaxed Joni rings the changes, playing electric guitar, acoustic guitar, grand piano and dulcimer – although memory recalls on some songs she was simply happy to act as lead singer to the well-integrated, tight backing band. At the time of release “Wild Things Run Fast” was a bit of a curio, with previous album “Mingus” so deeply grounded in jazz this was a shock, completely out of left field. Hindsight reveals that whilst Joni didn’t stay with the rock theme for long it was certainly not a cul-de-sac. Tracks like “Refuge Of The Roads”, originally from “Hejira” stand out, with Klein a very different bassist than Jaco Pastorius and no drums featured on much of that album. Indeed, the set opens up with a simply superb rendition of “Coyote” from that same album, setting a high benchmark for what was to come.

Joni pleases older fans by delving into her back catalogue, and there are satisfying versions of “Real Good, For Free”, “Big Yellow Taxi”, A Case Of You”, “You Turn Me On I’m A Radio”, and “Don’t Interrupt The Sorrow” which are all very enjoyable renditions. The concert does feature a good quantity of “Wild Things Run Fast” amongst it’s 12 tracks and these sit comfortably amongst the classics. For anyone who can’t get enough of Joni and wishes her health would improve enough to release new music there’s potentially a long wait.

Setlist: 1. Coyote 2. For Free 3. Big Yellow Taxi 4. A Case Of You 5. You Turn Me On I’m A Radio 6. You’re So Square 7. Solid Love 8. Love 9. Ladies’ Man 10. Don’t Interrupt The Sorrow 11. Refuge Of The Roads 12. You Dream Flat Tyres

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