California

Songfacts®:

  • In this song, Mitchell sings of going home to her beloved California. She sings as though she's been on a long journey - and indeed, she has. After a tough breakup with her longtime boyfriend Graham Nash, Mitchell hoofed her way across Europe. It was during that journey when Mitchell penned many of the songs on her Blue album.
  • This song, and many of the songs on this album, were inspired by the jazz style of the great Miles Davis.
  • Canadian-born Mitchell is a longtime resident of Southern California, inhabiting digs in Laurel Canyon, among other locations in and around Los Angeles, for most of her professional life.
  • Blue is admittedly Mitchell's most searingly personal album, considering her situation and lifestyle choices at the time. She's always been an artist who allows her audience to live her life vicariously through her music, and in no case is that more evident than on this album.
  • Winning Mitchell the highest placement ever for a female artist on its list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, Rolling Stone ranked this album #30.
  • The album itself has won many distinctions, as has Ms. Mitchell. This song, however, was not singled out for any special award.
  • Robert Plant and Jimmy Page are huge Joni Mitchell fans. The Led Zeppelin song "Going To California" is influenced by this track.

Comments: 2

  • Willie from ScottsdaleIt's a close call. Zep was already recording at Headley Grange in 1970, and both Blue and Zoso came out the same year. But both Jimmy and Robert were unabashed fans of Joni. Later in the 1970s (apocryphally) Jimmy was offered the chance to meet Joni, and was too shy to go through. :-)
  • Tanya from La Verne, CaI have a sneaky suspicion that this was THE Joni song that inspired Led Zeppelin's "Going to California". It just makes perfect sense.
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