Saturday, July 10, 2010

Joni Covers: A Case of You

A Case of Joni:

Diana Krall [purchase] (although this version of the song is from the All-Star Tribute mentioned in my Carey post)

Sloan [I can't find this compilation CD, Back to the Garden: A Tribute to Joni Mitchell, for purchase anymore, but here's the tracklist...]

Karen Mal & Laurie McClain [purchase] - then click on the Music link

Prince [purchase]

It is a week of harmonic convergence... as a Joni song was my first post (and a guest one, at that!) to Star Maker Machine a year and a half ago... and Darius commented then that we should one day present a theme of Joni covers - I even reference this song there: "the Christmas I gave my daughter the soundtrack to Practical Magic and later heard the strains of A Case of You (on repeat play) coming through the door of her bedroom was when I finally realized they had not switched babies on me in the hospital 16 years before"...

From Wikipedia:

"Mitchell wrote and recorded A Case of You in 1971, during her early folk period. The song was first released on the 1971 album Blue. Mitchell later re-recorded it on her live album Miles of Aisles (1974). The song is found on Mitchell's Misses (1996), and Both Sides Now (2000) in an orchestral version featuring a new vocal by Mitchell. The recent release of the live album Amchitka - the 1970 concert that launched Greenpeace shows that the song was written earlier than 1971 as Mitchell performs a live version of "A Case of You" at the concert. The song is found on many bootleg recordings from her 1983 tour... The song appears in the films Truly, Madly, Deeply, Practical Magic, and Waking the Dead."

In doing some research to find proof that A Case of You is about Leonard Cohen (speculation runs rampant), I found a wonderful article about the relationship between Joni and Leonard - I will allow it to speak for itself...

These four versions provide a wide spectrum of interpretations:

~ Diana Krall's stunning rendition is a jazzy, piano-driven showcase...

~ Sloan's is straight up rock and roll...

~ Karen and Laurie's is "so bitter and so sweet", just as in the song... and yes, I am the Susan in Karen's dedication - they were on a tour of Florida and I presented them in a house concert in my living room. Karen and Laurie were using my house as home base and, during one free night, we decided to watch the PBS biography DVD, Woman of Heart and Mind (highly recommended!) - we drank wine (how fitting), wept through almost the entire film and they surprised me with this cover at their next gig (which ended up being recorded) a few days later at the Main Street Cafe...

~ Prince nails a bass-laden R&B gospel take, although I remain annoyed that he left out verses 1 and 2... the first of which is, in my opinion, one of the best beginnings *ever* in song:

Just before our love got lost you said
"I am as constant as a northern star"

And I said "Constantly in the darkness

Where's that at?

If you want me I'll be in the bar"

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