Joni Mitchell’s singing voice has changed quite a bit over the year. I assume some of that is due to age, and a lot more of it is due to smoking cigarettes. I’m quite fond of her latter day voice (although I don’t recommend smoking cigarettes as a general rule). It’s interesting to compare her recording from 1967 to this version, which was recorded in 2000. What’s most striking to me isn’t that the older version is a simple folky ballad while the newer version is lush and orchestral, it’s that Joni is clearly singing from the perspective of someone who has seen love from both sides now. The lyrics are great on paper, but the interpretation of them is superb.
And, for the record, I didn’t discover this particular rendition of “Both Sides Now” via Love Actually. Well, I did…sort of. I think. I can’t remember. I didn’t discover it through the movie, I know that for a fact. I initially heard it either via Joni’s Dreamland compilation or the Love Actually soundtrack, both of which I received promo copies of through work in the early 20o0s. I didn’t see the actual movie Love Actually until 3 or 4 years later. For what it’s worth, I enjoyed it. And I may have cried a little. No shame.