Court and Spark

Release date
25 Oct 1990
Running length
11 tracks
Running time


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    Track     Duration Listeners
1 Court And Spark (LP Version) 2:45 968
2 Help Me 3:22 87,341
3 Free Man In Paris 3:02 82,730
4 People's Parties (LP Version) 2:14 832
5 The Same Situation (LP Version) 2:56 1,047
6 Car On A Hill (LP Version) 3:01 929
7 Down To You (LP Version) 5:37 751
8 Just Like This Train (LP Version) 4:23 744
9 Raised on Robbery 3:06 40,113
10 Trouble Child (LP Version) 3:59 860
11 Twisted (LP Version) 2:20 783

About this album

Joni Mitchell reached her commercial high point with Court and Spark, a remarkably deft fusion of folk, pop, and jazz which stands as her best-selling work to date. While as unified and insightful as Blue, the album — a concept record exploring the roles of honesty and trust in relationships, romantic and otherwise — moves away from confessional songwriting into evocative character studies: the hit “Free Man in Paris,” written about David Geffen, is a not-so-subtle dig at the machinations of the music industry, while “Raised on Robbery” offers an acutely funny look at the predatory environment of the singles bar scene. Much of Court and Spark is devoted to wary love songs: both the title cut and “Help Me,” the record’s most successful single, carefully measure the risks of romance, while “People’s Parties” and “The Same Situation” are fraught with worry and self-doubt (standing in direct opposition to the music, which is smart, smooth, and assured from the first note to the last).

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  • tomeksj1

    There's no such thing as a weak JM album but this one's not my favourite by a long shot. Somehow it seems a bit forced to me. "I'm going to make a lot of money. Then I'm going to quit this crazy scene".

    21 Apr 4:04pm Reply
  • Frazerman

    Such a wonderful Album.

    19 Feb 3:46pm Reply
  • quietrockboy

    Best album of all time. Criminally underrated.

    2 Nov 2013 Reply
  • luen05

    Such complex, smart and beautifully written album, the whole thing is like a rollercoaster, i don't know if it's her best, but it's my favorite.

    25 Jul 2013 Reply
  • Tron1276

    Such PURE and incredible music- Joni is a goddess! ...Easily one of my all-time favorites and a total classic.

    20 Dec 2012 Reply
  • citron016

    Court and Spark is sonically more sublime than Blue.

    13 Dec 2012 Reply
  • TheFatChocobo

    I'm addicted to this record. People's Parties flowing into Same Situation is pure perfection!

    20 Nov 2012 Reply
  • Echos_Myron

    This might be my favorite album of all time.

    1 Oct 2012 Reply
  • Whip-Smart

    God I am in love with this album. It's starting to overtake Blue as my favorite Joni album.

    27 Jul 2012 Reply
  • luizotaviorg

    My favorite!

    15 May 2012 Reply
  • lesliedahlink

    One of my favorite albums ever.

    9 Mar 2011 Reply
  • tomvecc

    This is Joni's best, no doubt about it! Perfect from end to end. This was one of my very first cd and I just can't lose interest in it.

    10 Feb 2011 Reply
  • Maybaby59

    This is the very first record album I ever bought by myself. 1972, from a local variety store! I played it almost non stop for close to 4 years and anyone that wanted to be my friend also had to love it. 38 years later it remains my late night listen. It changed they way I listen to music forever.

    9 Oct 2010 Reply
  • _KevMusic_

    And this album is hitting me so hard right now. The essence of uncertain love, the yearning and the slight madness that comes along with it.

    11 Jun 2010 Reply
  • tastykake1

    I pretty much wore this album out in college in the 70s, and I still never tire of listening to it now. "Help Me." Classic.

    30 Dec 2009 Reply
  • Confessions87

    Is it her best album? Most people say Blue or Hejira, but I dunno...something came together so perfectly on Court & Spark that she never really emulated prior or after.

    28 Jul 2009 Reply
  • _KevMusic_

    Perfection. The melodies are just immaculate. The sound is just perfect - the production is absolutely astounding and Joni is on high.

    18 Jun 2009 Reply
  • hawk1984-3

    get it streamable!!

    23 Feb 2009 Reply
  • godwand

    one of the greatest albums ever made, and while it receives plenty of praise, it still doesn't receive enough.

    7 Feb 2009 Reply
  • CU2005

    Fantastic Album!!!!

    31 Jan 2009 Reply
  • All 33 shouts