Joni Mitchell "Court and Spark"

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#152 in the Series) is Joni Mitchell, Court and Spark.

Court and Spark was the album that took Joni Mitchell from a pretty darn good selling artist to a star. It was a monster album.

It reached #2 on the Billboard Album charts but had long time staying power on rock radio. It fit in perfectly with the singer/songwriter period which was very hot in 1974.

Sure this was three or four years after she had written Woodstock, but it’s Court and Spark more often than not when people think Joni Mitchell.

This album contains songs such as “Help Me,” “Free Man in Paris,” “Car on a Hill,” “Raised on Robbery” and the fun, “Twisted.” Let’s not forget the title cut as well.

As you know, I always like to say who played on an album. Especially when I have names to type such as Tom Scott, Davis Crosby, Graham Nash, Larry Carlton, Robbie Robertson, Jose Feliciano and even …Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong!

They all appeared on the album.

Court and Spark was produced by Joni Mitchell.  Rolling Stone Magazine called it the 111th Best Album on their All-Time Top 500. Jonl was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.

You can hear the entire album below. I’ve also added some live videos of “Free Man in Paris” from the tour with Jaco Pastorious on bass, Pat Metheny on guitar, Lyle Mays on keys, Michael Brecker on sax and Dan Alias on drums.


  • Joni Mitchell – Vocals, including background; acoustic guitar; piano; clavinet on “Down to You”
  • John Guerin – Drums and percussion
  • Wilton Felder – Bass
  • Max Bennett – Bass on “Trouble Child”
  • Jim Hughart – Bass on “People’s Parties” and “Free Man in Paris”
  • Milt Holland – Chimes on “Court and Spark”
  • Tom Scott – Woodwinds and reeds
  • Chuck Findley – Trumpet on “Twisted” and “Trouble Child”
  • Joe Sample – Electric piano, clavinet on “Raised on Robbery”.
  • David Crosby – Background vocals on “Free Man in Paris” and “Down to You”
  • Graham Nash – Background vocals on “Free Man in Paris”
  • Susan Webb – Background vocals on “Down to You”
  • Larry Carlton – Electric guitar
  • Wayne Perkins – Electric guitar on “Car on a Hill”
  • Dennis Budimir – Electric guitar on “Trouble Child”
  • Robbie Robertson – Electric guitar on “Raised on Robbery”
  • José Feliciano – Electric guitar on “Free Man in Paris”
  • Cheech Marin – Background voice on “Twisted”
  • Tommy Chong – Background voice on “Twisted”

Track listing

All tracks composed and arranged by Joni Mitchell; except where indicated.

Side One

  1. “Court and Spark” – 2:46
  2. “Help Me” – 3:22
  3. “Free Man in Paris” – 3:02
  4. “People’s Parties” – 2:15
  5. “Same Situation” – 2:57

Side Two

  1. “Car on a Hill” – 3:02
  2. “Down to You” – 5:38
  3. “Just Like this Train” – 4:24
  4. “Raised on Robbery” – 3:06
  5. “Trouble Child” – 4:00
  6. “Twisted” – 2:21 (Originally performed by Lambert, Hendricks & Ross)

Here’s the entire album, below that are a couple of cool live videos from that live album. Check out Pat giving us a little of his hit ‘Phase Dance’ at about the 4:57 mark.

Posted by Larry Carta

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