Vol III, Issue 12 – Help me (15 Jun 2018)

For the love of rock

Vol III, Issue 12 – Help me (15 June 2018)


Name of song– Help me

Singer- Joni Mitchell

Album- Court and Spark

Writers– Joni Mitchell

Release year– 1974

Similar Artists- Laura Nyro, Carole King, James Taylor, Joan Baez, Carly Simon

Peak chart positions

# 7 – Billboard Hot 100

#1 – Easy Listening Chart

#1 – Billboard Adult Contemporary Charts

Special mention

#288 – Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time

Help me

Reviewers- Bikash Shrestha/Nirab Kayastha

Joni Mitchell is known as one of the greatest songwriters ever. Born Roberta Joan “Joni” Mitchell in 1943 in Canada, she is a songwriter, composer, performer as well as a painter. Her songs are rooted in folk, rock, pop and jazz and convey feelings of joy, disillusionment, and romance as well as social and environmental issues. She typified the singer/songwriter movement of the 70’s and is perhaps one of the finest and most adventurous artists of her generation. Her songs of intense emotion, soft melody, with unique open tuned guitar, lovely piano and charismatic voice are just incredible. Her songs have been covered by numerous artists numerous times. “Woodstock”, “Big yellow taxi,” “Both sides now”, “Help me”, “Chinese café”, “River” are few of her songs which are history in themselves. She has been an inspiration for all the female artists. Many extraordinarily talented artists like Bob Dylan, Graham Nash, James Taylor, David Crosby etc quote her as inspiration. Many songs have been created around her and it is rumored that Led Zeppelin’s acoustic ballad “Going to California” is devoted to her as a result of Robert Plant and Jimmy Page’s infatuation with her. In Richard Cole’s book “Stairway to heaven”, it is mentioned that Jimmy Page’s one of the fantasies had been to listen to Joni Mitchell lying on his bed and strumming her guitar and singing to him! It is no wonder that many awards were bestowed upon her in Canada and she had received Grammy Awards nine times! She was nominated 72nd Rolling Stone’s “Greatest guitarists of all time”, 42nd on Rolling Stone’s “100 greatest singers” list and ninth on their list of “100 greatest songwriters of all time”.

She debuted in 1968 with her album “Song to a seagull” which started to gather her cult following. Her earlier albums were more rooted in folk and with her subsequent albums, she incorporated pop, rock as well as jazz into her genre. “Court and Spark” is her sixth album and is considered as one of her most successful albums. It was certified double platinum and reached No. 2 in USA and No. 1 in Canada. It was listed #111 in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

“Help me” is Joni Mitchell’s most successful and biggest hit single from the album “Court and Spark.” This song is a romantic ballad which describes the many episodes of falling in love. The price of freedom is perhaps more expensive than our love affairs and hence, we move ahead to the next one; or maybe, personal freedom gets more priority even after falling in love, and hence the heartbreaks! The romantic hearts perhaps have difficulty getting along well with thinking heads and hence, it keeps repeating– the incidents of falling in love again and again. The song starts with Joni’s acoustic guitar and John Guerin’s soft drums followed immediately by Max Bennett’s bass and Joni’s mesmerizing vocals. The song moves slowly and smoothly with amazing poetry and melody going side by side. The repeat chorus is followed by slightly faster paced stanza. Larry Carlton’s electric guitar and Tom Scott’s woodwinds together make a lovely piece in-between. After the similar chorus at the end, the song slowly fades along with fine guitar and woodwind. A truly romantic and lovely song – a poetry at its best!

Yes, Joni Mitchell is undoubtedly one of the finest female musicians of all times. Her songs speak our hearts and minds. “Help me” is the prototype Joni Mitchell song where we just can’t help ourselves but adore this lovely masterpiece!!!

Happy listening!!

Resources– Wikipedia.org, Allmusic.com

Help me

Help me, I think I’m falling
In love again
When I get that crazy feeling, I know
I’m in trouble again
I’m in trouble
‘Cause you’re a rambler and a gambler
And a sweet-talking-ladies’ man
And you love your lovin’, lovin’
But not like you love your freedom

Help me, I think I’m falling
In love too fast
It’s got me hoping for the future
And worrying about the past
‘Cause I’ve seen some hot hot blazes
Come down to smoke and ash
We love our lovin’, lovin’
But not like we love our freedom

Oh, didn’t it feel good
We were sitting there talking
Or lying there not talking
Didn’t it feel good
You dance with the lady
With the hole in her stocking
Didn’t it feel good, didn’t it feel good….hooohooo

Didn’t it feel good, didn’t it feel good

Didn’t it feel good, didn’t it feel good
Help me, I think I’m falling
In love with you
Are you going to let me go there by myself
That’s such a lonely thing to do
Both of us flirting around
Flirting and flirting
Hurting too
We love our lovin’, lovin’
But not like we love our freedom

Lyrics link – http://www.lyricsfreak.com/j/joni+mitchell/help+me_20075303.html

Video link- https://youtu.be/6jHdAzHBczc

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