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13 Best Joni Mitchell Songs of All Time (Greatest Hits)

January 11, 2024
joni mitchell songs

Immerse yourself in the best Joni Mitchell songs of all time, a collection I’ve lovingly assembled to highlight the timeless magic of her music.

This compilation is your gateway to experiencing the profound lyrical and melodic genius that has made Joni Mitchell an enduring icon in the music world.

Top Joni Mitchell songs of all time

  • “Both Sides Now”
  • “A Case Of You”
  • “River”
  • “Big Yellow Taxi”
  • “Cactus Tree”
  • “Coyote”
  • “Free Man In Paris”
  • “The Circle Game”
  • “All I Want”
  • “Help Me”

1. “Both Sides Now”

Both Sides Now” is undeniably one of Joni Mitchell’s greatest hits.

It is a folk-pop classic that has been covered by many great artists over the years, but none can come close to Mitchell’s unique rendition.

With its iconic lyrics about life and love, and its captivating melody, it instantly became an anthem for generations past and present.

The song perfectly captures the feelings of hope and despair that we all experience in life, showing us that there are many sides to any story.

From its chorus to its bridge, this timeless track has stood the test of time as a timeless classic that will continue to inspire generations to come.

2. “A Case Of You”

Next up in our journey through the greatest Joni Mitchell songs of all time is “A Case Of You”, a sublimely romantic track that showcases the singer-songwriter’s ability to capture both the beauty and pain of love.

Her voice is beautifully emotive as she sings about her lover, and the lyrics are filled with vivid imagery that perfectly encapsulates her feelings.

The guitar work is gentle yet powerful, and it creates an atmosphere of longing and heartache.

It’s a timeless classic that has been covered by many artists since its original release in 1971.

Overall, “A Case Of You” is a stunningly beautiful song that displays Mitchell’s immense talent for conveying emotion through music.

3. “River”

One of Joni Mitchell’s best and most recognizable songs is her 1971 classic, “River”.

It’s a melancholic folk tune that paints a vivid picture of holiday blues, longing for warm summer nights, and the hope of new beginnings.

From its opening verses to its heartbreaking chorus, “River” is an emotional journey that captures the fragility of life and the beauty of love.

The song’s simple yet poignant lyrics are accompanied by a stunning guitar arrangement, which adds further beauty to the piece.

In the end, it’s easy to feel why “River” has become one of Mitchell’s most beloved songs; it speaks volumes with minimal instrumentation and just enough nostalgia to make you feel like you’re right there with her.

4. “Big Yellow Taxi”

Following the soulful melancholy of “River”, Joni Mitchell’s classic “Big Yellow Taxi” is a jaunty, upbeat tune that continues to captivate listeners today.

This 1970 track offers an ode to environmentalism with its infectious chorus and memorable imagery.

The upbeat melody is backed by Mitchell’s lighthearted lyrics and guitar playing, providing a perfect contrast to the song’s powerful message.

As one of her most well-known songs, “Big Yellow Taxi” has been covered by numerous artists in the decades since its release, ensuring that this environmental anthem will remain a timeless favorite for years to come.

With its captivating melody and relatable message, it is no wonder that this track has become one of Joni Mitchell’s most beloved hits.

5. “Cactus Tree”

Joni Mitchell’s 1968 song “Cactus Tree” is a lyrical masterpiece, blending a sense of longing with a profound understanding of mortality.

It’s an exquisite exploration of the fragility of life and the impossibility of holding on to anything — including love — for too long.

The song begins with an almost ethereal quality, as Mitchell’s voice glides over a simple guitar line.

But as the track builds, her vocals become more intense as she reflects on fleeting moments and the inevitability of death.

The imagery in this song is powerful and heartbreaking, painting an unforgettable portrait of love and loss that will stay with you long after its final notes have faded away.

6. “Coyote”

Joni Mitchell’s “Coyote” is an iconic work of art, showcasing her lyrical prowess and unique style of folk-rock music.

It paints a vivid picture of a wild love affair between two misfits, the coyote, and the singer.

The song is full of clever turns of phrases and meaningful metaphors that show how love can be both beautiful and chaotic at the same time.

The instrumentation perfectly captures the roughness and passion of this unlikely romance, and Mitchell’s voice is so strong it could make any listener feel like they’re right there in the room with her.

A true classic, “Coyote” will undoubtedly endure as one of Mitchell’s greatest songs for many years to come.

7. “Free Man In Paris”

“Coyote” was a vivid portrait of life on the road, and Joni Mitchell’s follow-up single “Free Man in Paris” was a reflection on her own experiences as an artist.

The song captures Mitchell’s feelings of isolation in the limelight, and its bouncy melody serves to accentuate her longing for freedom from public scrutiny.

The track is an emotive journey of discovery that captures Joni Mitchell’s strength and vulnerability at once.

8. “The Circle Game”

“The Circle Game” is an iconic Joni Mitchell song, which has stood the test of time and continues to resonate with modern audiences.

Written in 1966, the song captures a universal feeling of yearning, as it reflects on the fleeting nature of youth and the struggle to find one’s place in the world.

Mitchell’s melancholic lyrics are complemented by her signature folk-rock sound, making for a powerful listening experience that will stay with listeners long after its conclusion.

It is no wonder this timeless classic continues to be remembered as one of Mitchell’s greatest hits.

9. “All I Want”

Moving on from Joni Mitchell’s iconic song, “The Circle Game”, her next hit was the solemn and delicate ballad “All I Want”.

In this song, Mitchell captures the essence of aching desire to its fullest extent.

Her stunningly beautiful voice carries each line with both poignancy and longing as if each word is a tender wish for something just out of reach.

It’s a classic example of Mitchell’s poetic genius that resonates with listeners on an emotional level.

While often overlooked due to its placement between more famous tracks, “All I Want” is an undeniable staple in Mitchell’s discography – an ode to hope and belonging that has been sung by many over the years.

10. “Help Me”

Continuing to explore Joni Mitchell’s impressive repertoire, “Help Me” is an absolute standout.

This song oozes emotion and passion as Mitchell conveys the story of a broken heart in need of help.

Her voice is plaintive yet strong, really capturing the essence of the track, and her guitar playing is simply stunning.

The lyrics are clever and thought-provoking—Mitchell manages to make us feel her pain while simultaneously offering wisdom about the nature of love and loss.

It’s no wonder that “Help Me” continues to remain a fan favorite all these years later—it’s an undeniable classic that will stand the test of time.

11. “Amelia”

“Amelia” is a song that surely stands out from the rest of Joni Mitchell’s hits.

The delicate and beautiful melody captures the soul of the listener, while the lyrics tell a story of longing for freedom and liberation.

It is an ode to female independence, with its ethereal chorus highlighting Mitchell’s talent for creating captivating music.

While it may not be as popular as some of her other songs, “Amelia” remains an essential part of Mitchell’s discography and is one of her greatest achievements in songwriting.

12. “Trouble Child”

“Trouble Child” is an iconic song from Joni Mitchell’s catalog, a classic that has been covered by countless artists and remains relevant to this day.

Its melancholic yet hopeful melody, combined with Mitchell’s signature lyrics of longing and loss, make it a timeless piece of art.

The track was released on her 1974 album Court and Spark and captures the feeling of being lost in the world – something many people can relate to.

With its complex chords and poetic verses, “Trouble Child” is a beautiful reminder of why Joni Mitchell is one of the greatest songwriters of all time.

A true masterpiece.

13. “Car On A Hill”

“Car on a Hill” is a classic Joni Mitchell song that stands the test of time.

With an expertly crafted guitar riff and her emotive vocal delivery, it’s easy to understand why this track has become one of her most beloved songs.

Mitchell juxtaposes the dreamy musings of the lyrics with a gentle lilt in her voice, creating an atmosphere both melancholic and hopeful.

The song speaks to the longing for escape, but also accepting that some things can never be fully realized.

It’s a timeless anthem for anyone who has ever felt like they don’t quite fit in and longed for something more from life.

“Car on a Hill” is an essential piece of Joni Mitchell’s discography and undoubtedly deserves its place among her greatest hits.

Best Joni Mitchell Songs – Final Thoughts

I’ve been a fan of Joni Mitchell for years and I’m sure many of you feel the same way.

Her music has inspired millions throughout the decades, so it was hard to narrow down these 13 songs to just the best of the best.

But I think this list captures some of her most beloved works that have stood the test of time.

Listening to these classic tracks really takes me back and reminds me why I fell in love with her music in the first place.

Whether you’re a long-time fan or just discovering Joni’s work, these 13 songs are essential listening for any lover of folk music.

You may also like: Best Jazz Songs of All Time

Will Fenton

Will, the founder of MIDDER, is a multifaceted individual with a deep passion for music and personal finance. As a self-proclaimed music and personal finance geek, he has a keen eye for futuristic technologies, especially those that empower creators and the public.

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