Joni Mitchell Songs Ranked

Roberta Joan “Joni” Mitchell CC (née Anderson; born November 7, 1943) is a Canadian singer-songwriter. Drawing from folk, pop, rock, and jazz, Mitchell’s songs often reflect social and environmental ideals as well as her feelings about romance, confusion, disillusionment, and joy. She has received many accolades, including nine Grammy Awards and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997. Rolling Stone called her “one of the greatest songwriters ever”, and AllMusic has stated, “When the dust settles, Joni Mitchell may stand as the most important and influential female recording artist of the late 20th century”.Mitchell began singing in small nightclubs in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and throughout western Canada, before busking in the streets and nightclubs of Toronto, Ontario. In 1965, she moved to the United States and began touring. Some of her original songs (“Urge for Going”, “Chelsea Morning”, “Both Sides, Now”, “The Circle Game”) were covered by other folk singers, allowing her to sign with Reprise Records and record her debut album, Song to a Seagull, in 1968.[Settling in Southern California, Mitchell, with popular songs like “Big Yellow Taxi” and “Woodstock”, helped define an era and a generation. Her 1971 album Blue is often cited as one of the best albums of all time; it was rated the 30th best album ever made in Rolling Stone‘s list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”. In 2000, The New York Times chose Blue as one of the 25 albums that represented “turning points and pinnacles in 20th-century popular music”. In 2017, NPR ranked Blue number 1 on a list of Greatest Albums Made By Women. Mitchell’s fifth album, For the Roses, was released in 1972. She then switched labels and began exploring more jazz-influenced melodic ideas, by way of lush pop textures, on 1974’s Court and Spark, which featured the radio hits “Help Me” and “Free Man in Paris” and became her best-selling album. Here are all Joni Mitchell songs ranked.

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20. Cool Water (Chalk Mark in a Rain Storm, 1988)

“Joni Mitchell sings everything and makes it wonderful. No other version of this song by any other artist compares with this version. Wow!”

19. River (Blue, 1971)

“River predates George Winston by about fifteen years. Sorry George. A Case of You has some of the octave rich guitar elements as does the Beatles Blackbird. I put her right up there with them. It’s a hymn or anthem really with a nod to her Canada.”

18. My Secret Place (Chalk Mark in a Rain Storm, 1988)

“One of my favorite artists is Peter Gabriel and I’m quickly becoming a fan of Joni Mitchell. Their voices blend together perfectly in this quiet and powerful song. I play it back to back.”


“Wonderful song. Amazing voice, joy, intonation… this is among the best albums ever heard… Years and years its been, but the quality of this music stands the test of time.. What a gift”

See more: Joni Mitchell Albums Ranked

16. Refuge of the Roads (Hejira, 1976)

“The music is, naturally, upper echelon material and the musicians at the same level; but for Joni Mitchell to have created such a brilliant atmosphere – via home movie snippets and found footage – is truly impressive.”

15. The Last Time I Saw Richard (Blue, 1971)

“This song reminds me of someone from my past, and yes we all have that person that we somehow missed or moved on from, you know who you are.”

14. This Flight Tonight (Blue, 1971)

“This Flight Tonight” was for me the stand-out track from “Blue”, a strikingly different melody and arrangement and a lyric that will connect with anyone who doesn’t travel well.”

13. In France They Kiss on Main Street (The Hissing of Summer Lawns, 1975)

“Even many of her fans from the ‘folky’ period got impatient with her. But if you persist, this is very smart and complex pop music, which reveals its nuances after repeated listenings.”


“This album is absolutely enchanting! It takes me back to a simpler time. It’s the perfect antidote to modern stress. The voices, harmonies, and melodies feel like riding on the wind. Title song “Circle Game” is my favorite.”

11. Woodstock (Ladies of the Canyon, 1970)

“Her strange guitar tunings were a direct, if far from obvious, influence on their open-tuned guitar rock. The soprano vocal stylings of “Woodstock” do not appeal to me in all moods, but technically it is quite a performance.”


Carey is one of the more upbeat songs on the album but even here you get the idea that Mitchell knows this relationship isn’t going to last forever. This song is about enjoying the moment before it passes.”


“Joni Mitchell is just a great artist all around and she brings a level of depth to her work that is rarely seen. Unfortunately, being a profound musical artist is generally something that is not valued or appreciated by most, so many just won’t take to Joni Mitchell.”

8. A Case of You (Blue, 1971)

“Mitchell serenades her adoptive home with the same mix of wit and heartfelt emotion that distinguished “A Case of You”. Interesting, typically meandering Mitchell melody.”

7. Coyote (Hejira, 1976)

“Coyote” is quite possibly the finest example of Mitchell’s artistic transformation. In reality, “Coyote” is far better than most of the songs rated above it. It is a fine performance lyrically, offering a free-spirited take on life and romance.”

See more: Sarah McLachlan Albums Ranked

6. Raised On Robbery (Court and Spark, 1974)

“Fun, nostalgic rocker from Joni, featuring some hot fuzz-guitar licks from guest fellow-Canuck Robbie Robertson. There’s a fun, freewheeling lyric with a man-eating female in the thick of it. Although not a big hit, it actually works better as a single divorced from the main body of the more laid back “Court And Spark” set.”


“The poetry in Chelsea Morning is so gloriously beautiful that the poor, sad, ignorant bastards who lack the ability to understand it actually want to retch. That’s something I’d really like to see!”

4. Free Man In Paris (Court and Spark, 1974)

“Free Man in Paris” discusses the benefits and pitfalls of her rock star status. Her skills as a lyricist were at a peak around this time. “Stoking the star-maker machinery behind the popular song” is how she memorably describes her role as self-promoter for her own music ‘product’.”

3. Help Me (Court and Spark, 1974)

“She may have the sounds of an Adult Contemporary performer but it was for a higher purpose as she was really a poet and a folk singer at heart. She had a pretty good voice, and the music here is smooth and rich. A very nice song”


“Voice aged by cigarettes sounds so world weary and perfectly suited to the darkly lit soundscapes of this collection, a compilation of orchestral versions of a couple of songs from her own catalog and various pop standards made slower and jazzier, just to her liking.”

1. Big Yellow Taxi (Ladies of the Canyon, 1970)

“Excellent message, singable, widely accessible, and really fun! Not only my favorite Joni Mitchell song, but easily one of the best songs of 1970.”