Monday, May 11, 2015

"(You're So Square) Baby I Don't Care" by Joni Mitchell

Song#:  1254
Date:  11/20/1982
Debut:  78
Peak:  47
Weeks:  9
Genre:  Pop

Pop Bits:  After her commercial peak in 1974 with the album "Court and Spark," Mitchell's albums contained less and less pop-oriented material so that by the time 1979's "Mingus" came out, she was flirting with some full-on jazz. Never known as a singles artist, Mitchell grabbed a few chart appearances over the years with her best being the #7 "Help Me" in 1974. As the 80s started, Mitchell began work on a new album whose songs were inspired by the rhythms of current popular artists like The Police and the Talking Heads. The return to a more pop-influenced sound combined with a changeover to the Geffen label resulted in "Wild Things Run Fast." The album was well-received and it got Mitchell a rare pop chart entry with this single. Although it couldn't get into the Top 40, it was her best charting single since 1974.

ReduxReview:  This rock chestnut certainly gets a Joni makeover (just check out the opening) and it works quite well. When it comes down to it, Joni is not known for "fun" songs so this one is a nice change of pace. She puts a nice, new wave-influenced turn on the tune that brings the song into the future. I could almost hear Linda Ronstadt on this as well. I wouldn't say that this single should have done any better than it did, but it did show that Joni had a fun side and possessed the ability to do something in a more commercial vein - if she wanted to. (P.S.: Joni is one of my absolute favorite artists. Her 1971 classic album "Blue" is currently my favorite album of all-time. It is required listening in my book.)

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  This was Mitchell's first and only song to reach the chart that she did not compose. Written in 1957 by the famous team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, it was first recorded by Elvis Presley and released on his "Jailhouse Rock" EP in 1957. Although it did not reach the pop chart, the song did hit #14 on the R&B chart. Buddy Holly also released a version that found its way on to the UK pop chart in 1958.


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