Weekend listening: notes on trying to cover Joni Mitchell’s “Last Chance Lost”

November 2, 2019

I was surprised at how easy it was to pick up the tune ( to be fair I did practice a lot). A lovely tune with a lot of complex musical machinery whirring away underneath.

Simon tuned his guitar (here’s the tuning). As soon as he started playing I said “Oh my god! It’s Joni Mitchell!”. For a musician to be able to own a set of notes that instantly tell you who it is, shows character and musicality of a very high order. It’s a sonic landscape that can be the work of one person only.

I thought “we’ll do some Joni Mitchell” and then we’ll do something tougher“. How naive could I be? Joni Mitchell’s music (and this track is just one example) is already tough enough. Even when she’s in love, there’s never a trace of sentimentality. Both these versions bring out the toughness (DJ Southwold’s version sounds like Massive Attack) even if they’re not that close to the chords.

Joni tunings forever!


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