Bob Dylan ‘Planet Waves’ and Joni Mitchell ‘Court and Spark’ Were Both Released 50 Years Ago Today -

Bob Dylan ‘Planet Waves’ and Joni Mitchell ‘Court and Spark’ Were Both Released 50 Years Ago Today

by Paul Cashmere on January 17, 2024

in News

Two iconic albums by two contemporaries were both released on exactly the same day, January 17, 1974, exactly 50 years ago today. Bob Dylan ‘Planet Waves’ and Joni Mitchell ‘Court and Spark’ are exactly the same age.

‘Planet Waves’ was the 14th Bob Dylan studio album. It came before the (disappointing) ‘Dylan’ in 1973 and then (arguably) Dylan’s finest moment ‘Blood On the Tracks’ (1975). (There was also the live album ‘Before The Flood’ after ‘Planet Waves’ and before ‘Blood On the Tracks’).

Dylan was backed by The Band, Rick Danko, Levon Helm, Garth Hudson, Richard Manuel and Robbie Robertson, for this record.

The album reached number 1 in the USA and no 7 in the UK but in Australia it failed to make the Top 20 peaking at no 21.

The best-known song from the album was ‘Forever Young’.

‘Court and Spark’ is the sixth album for Joni Mitchell. The album marked a musical change for Joni with the former Folk sound beginning to evolve to Jazz, something she pursued for the next decade.

Joni was a major star by the time ‘Court and Spark’ was released and that is reflected in the personnel. Guests include David Crosby, Graham Nash, Robbie Robertson, José Feliciano and even comedians Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong on the song ‘Twisted’.

The two best known songs on ‘Court and Spark’ are ‘Help Me’ and ‘Free Man In Paris’.

‘Court and Spark’ reached no 2 in the USA, no 14 in the UK and no 34 in Australia.

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