The Long Play with Al Neff" is a continuing Sunday evening Feature on The
GOAT. This year, Every Sunday Evening, Album Rock WXYG, The GOAT will
feature a full album at 8:00 PM from the halcyon musical days of 1972.
1972 was another amazing year in Album Rock history. Another year of tough
choices every week. So many great ones to choose from.
We hope you’ll tune in next Sunday evening, December 4th for “For the
Roses”, the fifth studio album by Joni Mitchell. It was released in
November 1972, between her two biggest commercial and critical
successes—“Blue” and “Court and Spark”. In 2007 it was one of 25
recordings chosen that year by the Library of Congress to be added to the
National Recording Registry.
the Roses is perhaps best known for the hit single "You Turn Me On, I'm a
Radio", which Mitchell wrote sarcastically out of a record company request
for a radio-friendly song. The single was a success, peaking at number 25
on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, becoming Mitchell's first top 40 hit
released under her own name (as a songwriter, several other performers had
had hits with songs that she had written). "Cold Blue Steel and Sweet
Fire", a menacing and jazzy portrait of her then lover James Taylor's
heroin addiction, which was also released as a single, backed with "Blonde
in the Bleachers" and the Beethoven-inspired "Judgment of the Moon and
Stars" were also popular.
Some of the songs were inspired by Mitchell's 1970–1971 relationship with
James Taylor. By March 1971, his fame exploded, causing friction. She was
reportedly devastated when he broke off the relationship. By November
1971, he had taken up with Carly Simon, whom he married a year later.
• "Banquet" describes a metaphorical table from which "some get the gravy
/ Some get the gristle... and some get nothing / Though there's plenty to
• "Cold Blue Steel and Sweet Fire" is a menacing and jazzy portrait of a
lover's heroin addiction – and his need to find the sweet release of the
drug through the cold blue steel of the needle.
• In "Barangrill", Mitchell uses the hunt for an elusive roadside eatery
as a metaphor for the quest to "find herself", enjoying the journey, but
with increasing impatience about reaching her destination.
• "Lesson in Survival" is about the longing for greater privacy, a sense
of isolation, the frustration of incompatibility, and a love for nature.
• "Let the Wind Carry Me" contrasts thoughts of a more stable,
conventional life, based partly on Mitchell's own adolescence, with the
need to live with minimal constraints upon one's freedom.
• The title song is both a self-portrait and a cool assessment of the
frustration and sadness of a lover being a celebrity, dealing with the
challenges of fame and fortune.
• The second side opens with "See You Sometime", which deals with fleeting
feelings, including jealousy and romantic competition.
• "Electricity" extols the simplicity and serenity of the quiet country
life against the way in which people in modern society think of themselves
unconsciously as machines, and is thought to be motivated by a particular
relationship triangle she was experiencing at the time.
• "Woman of Heart and Mind" is a portrait of a flawed lover and the
complexities of being emotionally involved.
• The album closes with the Beethoven-inspired "Judgment of the Moon and
Stars", subtitled Ludwig's Tune.
While the final cover depicts Mitchell in a forest setting, she originally
intended for the cover to be a drawing entitled For the Roses, the imagery
in which relating to her feelings on the music industry. However, Asylum
Records decided against that as they wanted her face on the cover.
• Joni Mitchell – vocals, guitar, piano
• Tom Scott – woodwinds, reeds
• Wilton Felder – bass
• Russ Kunkel – drums
• Bobbye Hall – percussion
• Bobby Notkoff – strings
• James Burton – electric guitar on "Cold Blue Steel and Sweet Fire"
• Graham Nash – harmonica on "You Turn Me On I'm a Radio"
• Stephen Stills – rock and roll band on "Blonde in the Bleachers"
Tune In and Turn On Next Sunday Evening, December 4th and every Sunday
evening at 8:00 PM for The GOAT'S "The Long Play with Al Neff.”
Don’t forget, right after the “Long Play”, we do a “Replay” of this week’s
GOAT GUEST DJ SHOW.