On Dec. 13, 1977, Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell released her ninth album, Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter. It was a double album of songs that continued Mitchell’s journey into jazz improvisations and world music, something she had begun on her seventh album, 1975’s The Hissing of Summer Lawns.
The LP was widely criticized in reviews and continued to alienate fans who wanted more of her personal folk songs. Still, Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter managed to reach #25 on the Billboard Top LP’s & Tape chart.
Side 1 opened with “Overture – Cotton Avenue.” It clocked in at 6:41, featured overdub mixings of Mitchell’s harmonies and six guitars, and was a clue to the experimental and jazz-tinged listening that lie ahead on both discs.
I’ve always liked the opening track. It has the beauty of Mitchell’s folk-rock sensibilities with an instrumental arrangement that was years ahead of what would become the popular “world sound” of the ’80s and ’90s.