There are about a million reasons to love Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell. Her voice is completely unique and she truly has a presence like no other artist, cultured with every vocal turn or lilting lead line. Whether she’s singing something upbeat and energised or she’s sweeping through a chilling ballad, there’s something so captivating about watching any performance from her.
Ever since the sixties and her career beginnings, Mitchell has embodied a rare talent and beauty in her performances that feel authentic and deep. And one performance of hers that captures just how talented and raw she is as a performer is her rendition of ‘A Case of You’ from 1974. Not only does this performance offer a sense of soulfulness and sweetness throughout, but it also reads as technically flawless.
There’s something effortless in her skill, but it also doesn’t come across as flippant or detached. She’s about as tuned in as it gets. And this song is the perfect choice out of her discography to show off her voice’s silky, beautiful quality while allowing the emotion of the song to shine through.
Joni Mitchell is an artist whose career lasts through the ages, without a doubt. “Not unlike people who lived in the time of Shakespeare, and of Beethoven, we are living in the time of Joni Mitchell, and it shows,” Brandi Carlile said of the singer-songwriter.
Carlile isn’t the only one to show a public appreciation for the artist. In fact, Cyndi Lauper said, “When I first heard Joni Mitchell it was 1968 and I was 15 years old. I had never heard anyone sing so intimately about what it was like to be a young woman navigating this world.”
And that’s exactly the energy that this song choice offers. Her voice offers that intimate experience about being a young woman, and about experiencing a number of other things tied to the human experience. This footage, like so many other recordings of her, shows off that unique and special quality that makes her exactly who she is.
In fact, plenty of artists came together recently to celebrate Joni Mitchell‘s legacy and talent recently enough, at a tribute concert for her in Las Vegas, NV. Included were the above-mentioned individuals, as well as a variety of other performers and personalities that made their way over to appreciate the legend. Even across mediums, there’s so much universal love and support for her talents. Meryl Streep puts it right when she says, “I don’t know how you do what you do, I just know I need it like food. Ever since we were both young girls. We didn’t know each other, but you sang me into being. You sang my life.”
One such song that has seemingly soundtracked the lives of many artists and audiences is ‘A Case of You‘. One of Mitchell’s most prescient ballads, the song has been said to have been written about many of Mitchell’s romantic partners. While the award seemingly goes to James Taylor, the track is wonderfully universal, she told Robert Hilburn of Mojo about the track in 1994: “I think men write very dishonestly about breakups. I wanted to be capable of being responsible for my own errors. If there was friction between me and another person, I wanted to be able to see my participation in it so I could see what could be changed and what could not. That is part of the pursuit of happiness. You have to pull the weeds in your soul when you are young, when they are sprouting, otherwise, they will choke you.”
If you, too, need Joni Mitchell’s voice like you need food, you can take a listen to her 1974 performance down below.