I never knew the song was called "Big Yellow Taxi" though-- I always thought of it as "Paved Paradise, Put up a Parking Lot" because that phrase in the song was so memorable. So I was delighted to find this video with Joni Mitchell's original version of the song (which she wrote while living in Southern California and performing and interacting with other Southern Cali folk singers such as Crosby, Stills, Nash, The Mamas and Papas, and Jackson Browne). "Retro Top 10" has put together a nice collection of photos in the video.
One song of hers that I was very familiar with when growing up, though I'd never heard her sing it, was "Both Sides Now." We learned that song in music class in school; I remember enjoying its sweet lyrics and mellow sound. It had been made a hit by Judy Collins, another folk singer of the '60's. So even though I'd heard the Judy Collins version many times, I didn't know Joni Mitchell wrote it until just recently, when learning more about Joni. The song itself is excellent-- no wonder Judy Collins wanted to sing it. Judy's version was released in 1967 (Wildflowers album) and reached #8 on U.S. pop singles charts in 1968. The next year this song won Judy a grammy for "best folk performance."
Joni Mitchell's own recording of the song was published in 1969, as part of her Clouds album. Here she is, singing it in 1970:
Do you have a favorite Joni Mitchell album or song?