Monday, August 31, 2009

FSOTD #10/Big Yellow Taxi (2003)

Big Yellow Taxi...2003?? Dude...what are you smoking? That's a Joni Mitchell song from 1970. Well, yes it is. But the song I had running through my head this morning was the Counting Crows version. Not the first version they released on "Hard Candy"in 2002, but the re-release in 2003 with Vanessa Carlton's backing vocals added. Who is she? From Wiki, I learned she is an American piano/vocalist of modest note. She did, however, add a nice touch to the tune.

"They paved paradise to put up a parking lot"

This classic has been covered by many artists big and small. I also have a tasty cover by Keb' Mo' in my collection, and I learned that Amy Grant, Melanie and Bob Dylan also recorded the song. From the slightly lesser names (but certainly no less worthy): Kaya, Sandi Thom, Pinhead Gunpowder and Toxic Audio.

Back to the Mitchell original. In 1970, it reached a top position of #6 in Australia, #14 in Canada (from whence Joni hails), #11 in the UK, and - surprisingly - just #67 in the U.S. However, Americans had a second stab at good taste, with the release of a live Joni version from 1974's Miles of Aisles topping out at #24 on Billboard's Hot 100 in 1975.

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