Viral sob of the day: Joni sees both sides now

Viral sob of the day: Joni sees both sides now


norman lebrecht

July 25, 2022

Joni Mitchell adds perspective to a long performing life at the Newport Folk Festival yesterday.


  • Westfan says:

    I’m not crying, you’re crying…..

  • CarlD says:

    Hugely surprising and impressive performance. Brava, Joni!!

  • Alan says:

    Stunning. An absolute legend/hero

  • Elizabeth Owen says:

    Saw her at Blossoms music centre in the 70’s crikey an age ago.

  • TNVol says:

    Thank you for posting this! I don’t agree with Joni Mitchell about hardly anything, but I dearly love her – and this song in particular.

    This version (with Orchestra) used for the opening of the 2012 Olympics and paying tribute to people of the Canadian prairie (and using the words of W.O. Mitchell as an introduction) is perfection in my humble estimation:

  • Adrian says:

    What a triumph after a brain aneurysm. Incredible to see! And she played the guitar for Just Like This Train. Fearless, courageous and inspirational. What a moving performance. Beauty at its very best. Thank you Joni. Just being you is all you ever have to do. 1969 folk festival and 2022. Love it!

  • Christopher Stager says:

    If you have phrasing, don’t worry about the voice.

  • Jodi says:

    I can’t stop watching this & crying ….what a legend….these words are so beautiful & relevant. Love you, Joni!!

  • IP says:

    An absolute shame, she is not 80 yet and in such bad shape. Alberta Hunter made her second debut with 82 and she had all the pep.

  • Jeanne S says:

    I must admit to a different take. This felt so sad and a tad manipulative. Carlyle seems to be trying to suck Joni’s soul out and become her (she seems to sound more like a Joni impersonation every time I hear her sing), and Joni is clearly still in no condition to perform – missed notes everywhere, voice lower than ever, had to be steered into the third verse of “Both Sides Now”. This instantly reminded me of Liza Minnelli being wheeled out at the Oscars – lesser artists using the real star, however incapacitated, to try to bolster their own shine. At one point I wondered if Joni even knew she wasn’t in her Iiving room. I have all her vinyl in my collection and her autographed poster on my wall, so I am an undeniable super-fan, and this to me felt like a cross between Joni’s own song “Furry Sings The Blues” and elder abuse.

    • CarlD says:

      Jeanne, if you watch the video where Joni sings “Summertime,” it’s pretty darn impressive and almost note perfect, with wonderful phrasing and feeling. As for Brandi C., I tend to agree that a little of her goes a long way LOL.

    • Don says:

      J. you seem quite insensitive and maybe a bit insecure about yourself and your music past. Listen to what Joni is singing and has sung, sit by a quiet flowing stream and take in the reflection , if there is one. Maybe “you” really don’t know love…

    • JB says:

      Another Joni super-fan here – I completely agree. You can add that she never felt comfortable to perform in front of a big audience, as she told more than once. She gave relatively few concerts after her first years where she sang in small clubs.

  • Chris Wilford says:

    Amazing to think that she wrote this in her early 20’s.

    And now it takes on more weight with her advanced age and health.

    Simply stunning.

  • David says:

    Joni is brilliant. The only problem is that her voice is gone. I saw Judy Collins in concert twice last month (once in Sugar Loaf NY, and again in N Italy); at 82, her voice is still sweet and soaring. I don’t enjoy “interpretation” as a substitute for singing. That’s for Callas fans.

  • MER says:

    Her lyrics and harmonies remain astonishingly brilliant and touching at once.

  • Kyle says:

    Everyone, can you just remember that Joni had a brain aneurysm in 2015…there are performances from her just two years before and she was still astonishing.
    After the brain aneurysm she had to learn how to walk, speak, play guitar and eventually sing again…it’s testament to her genius that she was able to even sing at all.
    Comparing her to her younger days is not really the point here to be honest.

    A truly moving performance.