MUSiC: Joni’s For The Roses, 50th Anniversary Edition

It’s incredibly rare that I hear of this sort of thing before it happens. More typically I learn about it long after. And frequently – the Burt Bacharach or Magma complete box-sets, for example – it’s so long after that they are no longer available at anything but insanely high prices, if at all.

But, for once, I’ve heard some fab news with almost perfect timing. Joni’s For The Roses, released in ‘72, the year I was born, is now, like me, 50 years old. And it has been released in a remastered form, on vinyl. Including a rather snazzy blue version. So I’ve ordered me a copy.

Joni, Nordic mermaid nature girl Goddess.

Teresa and I are currently on holiday in Cardiff, with family, visiting my sister Abbie, and her husband Dan, who’re now living here, in the Welsh capital. When I learned of this reissue, yesterday, I immediately ordered it. And today I got an email confirming it has been dispatched. We travel home today, so I’m looking forward to it arriving soon.

For The Roses, her fifth studio album, is part of Joni’s early years run of pure gold. Rather like Woody Allen’s purple patch, or Tom Waits in his prime; such artistic genius and musical gloriousness is to be savoured and treasured.

Overshadowed by her two best-selling albums – Blue, which was her previous release, and Court And Spark, which came next – I hold Roses to be an overlooked meisterwerk. My picks/favourites are Barangrill, Electricity, and Woman Of Heart And Mind.

According to the Wikipedia article on For The Roses ‘she originally intended for the cover to be a drawing entitled For the Roses, the imagery in which relating to her feelings on the music industry.’ I’d love to see the artwork in question! I wonder if I can do some sleuthing in that direction?

POETRY: Leisure, W. H. Davies, 1911

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows:
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

I was made aware of both poet and poem by a guest public gardener, and their garden, on BBC TV’s terrific Gardener’s World.