Thursday, July 26, 2018

Joni Mitchell & James Taylor - In Concert - Paris Theatre, London, Britain, 10-29-1970

For much of 1970, and into early 1971, Joni Mitchell and James Taylor were romantically involved. I mention this because it resulted in some good music, including both of them writing songs about each other. (Much of Mitchell's "Blue" album is about Taylor, including "All I Want" and "Blue," as well as other songs like "See You Sometime" and "Just like This Train." Taylor's songs about Mitchell include "You Can Close Your Eyes," "Love Has Brought Me Around," and "New Tune.")

However, perhaps the highlight of their musical connection was a concert they did for the BBC in October 1970. It was an hour long radio show called "In Concert" that was hosted by the famous British DJ John Peel. This is that concert.

What exactly happened, and where, with this concert is confusing. The John Peel Wiki website lists two BBC concerts Mitchell and Taylor did together, and suggests one might have taken place at the Royal Albert Hall. But Mitchell's official website only has one they did together, and an official version of all of it was released on "Archives, Volume 2" in 2021. So I've posted that exact version elsewhere on this blog. You can find that here:

That one is basically a Joni Mitchell concert, with Taylor only assisting on five songs, only one of which was written by him. Consider this instead a kind of fantasy version of a more ideal Mitchell and Taylor concert, with both of them sharing the stage more equally.

Some of the songs come from a popular bootleg that is said to be this BBC one, yet has songs not on the officially released version. Perhaps there was a second concert with Taylor, or maybe more songs were played and some were cut for the final broadcast? In any case, these songs exist somehow, from somewhere, and many of them definitely feature Mitchell and Taylor together.

But also, when I first put this concert together in 2018, I felt there was an imbalance of too many Mitchell songs compared to Taylor's. To make up for this, I included some extra songs of Taylor's from another show done only two weeks earlier, the Amchikta benefit that helped fund the start of Greenpeace. Both Mitchell and Taylor played at that concert, and Taylor joined Mitchell through the middle of a cover of Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man" when Mitchell couldn't remember all the words.

Naturally, I included that duet. I also included three Taylor songs to make up for the imbalance. I put all the extra mystery Mitchell songs and the Amchitka songs at the start of the concert. I mixed these extra songs together in a way that duplicates them taking turns like the rest of the "In Concert" performance. Luckily, the Amchikta songs were recorded in fantastic sound quality and were done in the same solo acoustic format, so it's very hard to tell they weren't part of the same show.

The end result is an hour and a half of Mitchell and Taylor taking turns playing some of their best songs instead of just the hour of the actual "In Concert" broadcast. The "extra" tracks at the beginning conclude with the "Mr. Tambourine Man" duet.`

This album is an hour and 28 minutes long.

01 Hunter [The Good Samaritan] (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)
02 talk (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)
03 River (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)
04 talk (James Taylor)
05 Fire and Rain (James Taylor)
06 Carolina in My Mind (James Taylor)
07 My Old Man (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)
08 talk (James Taylor)
09 Sweet Baby James (James Taylor)
10 A Case of You (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)
11 Mr. Tambourine Man (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)
12 That Song about the Midway (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)
13 talk (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)
14 The Gallery (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)
15 Rainy Day Man (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)
16 talk (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)
17 Steamroller (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)
18 The Priest (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)
19 talk (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)
20 Carey (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)
21 Carolina in My Mind (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)
22 talk (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)
23 California (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)
24 talk (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)
25 [He Played Real Good] For Free (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)
26 talk (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)
27 The Circle Game (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)
28 talk (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)
29 You Can Close Your Eyes (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)

I wanted to use a color photo of Mitchell and Taylor playing music together for the cover. Unfortunately I couldn't find one, but I found a black and white one that's the cover of a bootleg for this show. I kept most of the design and just changed some of the text. Then, months later, I figured out how to colorize it. The photo was taken at a concert in Queens College in New York in December 1970.


  1. Do you have another link? really interested in this!

  2. 2024.03.22 - "Oops! Page not found...

    Die gew├╝nschte Seite konnte leider nicht gefunden werden.
    404 not found" can i get a re-up?