Both Sides, Now

22 Feb

I bring you now this reflective dose of music history, thanks to the wonderful classic that welcomely entered and remained in my head yesterday:

 “Both Sides, Now” is a single by Joni Mitchell. Her recording first appeared on the album Clouds, released in 1969. She re-recorded the song in a Jazz style for the album of the same name, released in 2000. It is one of Joni Mitchell’s best-known songs (with “Big Yellow Taxi,” “Woodstock,” and “A Case of You”). It was written in March 1967, inspired by a passage in Henderson the Rain King by Saul Bellow.  Judy Collins made the first commercially released recording of the song in 1968, shortly after Mitchell wrote it, which reached #8 on the U.S. pop singles charts and won a 1968 Grammy Award for Best Folk Performance. The record peaked at #3 on Billboard’s Easy Listening survey, and has become one of Collins’ signature songs.  (

As impressive as the song itself, is the significant number of star performers who’ve recorded it in their own respective styles.  Such distinctive voices as Frank Sinatra, Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton have taken their turns at these lyrics, each rendition unique from the next.  If you know and appreciate “Both Sides, Now,” then you certainly have numerous listening options, as well as something satisfying to hum today!

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Posted by on February 22, 2011 in History, Music


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