Joni Mitchell – Both Sides, Now

Two versions of her own song. A classic from Joni Mitchell. The versions are 31 years apart.

Wiki:Both Sides, Now” is a song by Joni Mitchell, and one of her best-known songs. First recorded by Judy Collins in 1967, it subsequently appeared on Mitchell’s 1969 album Clouds. She re-recorded the song in a lusher, orchestrated version for her 2000 album Both Sides Now; this version was subsequently featured on the soundtrack to the 2003 film Love Actually.

Mitchell wrote “Both Sides, Now” in March 1967, inspired by a passage in Henderson the Rain King, a 1959 novel by Saul Bellow.

I was reading Saul Bellow’s “Henderson the Rain King” on a plane and early in the book Henderson the Rain King is also up in a plane. He’s on his way to Africa and he looks down and sees these clouds. I put down the book, looked out the window and saw clouds too, and I immediately started writing the song. I had no idea that the song would become as popular as it did.

Judy Collins recorded the first commercially released version of the song, shortly after Mitchell wrote it, for her 1967 Wildflowersalbum. In October 1968 it was released as a single, reaching #8 on the U.S. pop singles charts by December. It reached #6 in Canada. In early 1969 it won a Grammy Award for Best Folk Performance. The record peaked at #3 on Billboard’s Easy Listening survey and “Both Sides, Now” has become one of Collins’ signature songs.

Rolling Stone ranked “Both Sides, Now” #171 on its list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.


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