Off Night Backstreet

Album: Don Juan's Reckless Daughter (1977)

Songfacts®:

  • Looking for a good Joni Mitchell deep cut? You can do worse than "Off Night Backstreet," a song that depicts a disastrous love affair. It seems her man is cheating, and has left a clue behind: "Who left her long black hair in our bathtub drain?," Mitchell asks.
  • Glenn Frey and J.D. Souther supplied backing vocals on this song. They were all part of the Laurel Canyon music scene in California, which included Frey's bandmates in the Eagles. Jaco Pastorius played bass on the track and John Guerin was the drummer.
  • Don Juan's Reckless Daughter is a double album with jazz influences and less commercial appeal than Mitchell's earlier work. One track, "Paprika Plains," takes up an entire side. It didn't have any hits, but some consider it Mitchell's best work. Bjork told Mojo magazine (May 2008) that it was her all-time favorite album. The Icelandic singer explained: "It has probably had the biggest influence on me. It has the stark, Northern thing where you look out your window and there are no trees. This album is really under-appreciated. I don't like her hippy folk stuff so much."

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