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Joni Mitchell — Big Yellow Taxi (live)
Album: Miles of Aisles
Avg rating:
6.2

Your rating:
Total ratings: 363









Released: 1974
Length: 3:03
Plays (last 30 days): 1
They paved paradise, put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique, and a swingin' hotspot
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got till it's gone?
They paved paradise, put up a parking lot
(Shoo-bop-bop-bop-bop, shoo-bop-bop-bop-bop)

They took all the trees, put them in a tree museum
And they charged the people
A dollar and a half just to see 'em
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got till it's gone?
They paved paradise, put up a parking lot
(Shoo-bop-bop-bop-bop, shoo-bop-bop-bop-bop)

Hey farmer, farmer, put away the DDT now
Give me spots on my apples
But leave me the birds and the bees, please
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got till its gone?
They paved paradise, put up a parking lot
(Shoo-bop-bop-bop-bop, shoo-bop-bop-bop-bop)

Late last night, I heard the screen door slam
And a big yellow taxi took away my old man
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got till it's gone?
They paved paradise, put up a parking lot
(Shoo-bop-bop-bop-bop)

I said, don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got till it's gone?
They paved paradise, put up a parking lot
(Shoo-bop-bop-bop-bop)

They paved paradise, put up a parking lot
(Shoo-bop-bop-bop-bop)

They paved paradise, put up a parking lot
Ah ha ha ha
Comments (35)add comment
This is another great Joni Mitchell song.  On one level the lyrics resonate with our current environmental, climate change, pollution, over-development problems, perhaps even more than when the song came out.  The guitar tuning is classic Joni.  Tune to open D, DADF#AD and put a capo on the second fret to play along.  I especially love the beautiful sound of the four chord voicings she used under the first line of the chorus.  The bluesy or maybe boogie woogie style of the intro and verses is also pretty cool.  If it is true that she showed Dylan the open D tuning he used on the early version of Blood on the Tracks, then that is just icing on the cake.
 black321 wrote:


I love Joni, but agree this is a cringeworthy version.  
 

Agreed.  Grim.
 ziggytrix wrote:
Yikes, is G. E. Smith and the Saturday Night Live Band backing her here? This sounds like it should be a sitcom theme.
 

I love Joni, but agree this is a cringeworthy version.  
 ziggytrix wrote:
Yikes, is G. E. Smith and the Saturday Night Live Band backing her here? This sounds like it should be a sitcom theme.
 
Haaa! Good one!
 Spalted wrote:
Originally Posted by newwavegurly: She is one of the godmother's of today's singer-songwriters... we owe a lot to her, as Sarah McLachlan and other wonderful female musicians around today can attest to!
It's hard to comprhend that people who, evidently, like RP could be so incredibly negative over Joni MItchel. :??:
 
What does liking Radio Paradise have to do with disliking an overrated artist whos songs I find annoying? Shes revered by many and thats why she gets played... but I would be fine never hearing anything by her again....
Not a great song to begin with and Joni makes it even worse.... 
Yikes, is G. E. Smith and the Saturday Night Live Band backing her here? This sounds like it should be a sitcom theme.
Love this version. 
 KevinM wrote:
Another Joni song, another Sucko-Barfo.
 
That's also my way of dealing with JM....
Yuk, don't like this version
I was very fortunate to see Joni & Tom Scott do their thing on this tour at The Santa Barbara County Bowl a couple days either before or after they recorded this at Universal Amphitheater.  It was a beautiful afternoon and we could watch the sail boats in the bay, see down the coast and listen to the band play their hearts out. One of my most memorable concerts.  Thanks RP for bringing the memory back some 43 years later. 
-John
over produced mess of too much
terrible version
This entire album is fantastic.
 mrselfdestruct wrote:
With the lyrics change, shouldn't this version be called "Big Yellow Tractor"?

 
{#Cheesygrin} {#Cheesygrin} {#Cheesygrin}
As far as I'm concerned, the goddess known as Joni Mitchell can perform her own songs any way she damn well pleases! Regardless of the subject matter, new arrangement not "matching" the subject matter according to naysayers, etc. She's a living legend in my book... gorgeous voice, terrific writer. This live version swings, and I like it! {#Music}
Variety, this great station offers Variety, this version still consists of her great voice and awesome musicians
Why play this horrible version of a horrible song when she has a vast catalog of great songs?
With the lyrics change, shouldn't this version be called "Big Yellow Tractor"?
One of my favourite albums from back in the day. Tom Scott and the LA Express at a wonderfully tight and jazzy feel to the Joni Mitchell repertoire. 
No where near as good as her studio version.  The electric piano is such a terrible thing ...
IMHO the original is much better.
I wore this record out.

8.
 Johray63 wrote:
What negative comments! Over here in Europe she's, from what I read and heared, very much respected and seen as the godmother of todays (female) singer-songwriters.
 

Many of us still consider her a talented and thoughtful artist. That said, she wouldn't be the only North American artist to find a warmer welcome farther east. (I keep wondering when Dayna Kurtz will be "discovered" here in the states, after years of sold-out shows in Europe.)
Mussolini{#Lol}  However this song is pretty good, squirrels finding occasional nuts and what not. 7
 markmreadr wrote:
Elsewhere on this same album she talks about the difficulty of being a performing artist vs. being a visual artist - or, as she puts it, "Nobody ever said to Van Gogh, 'Paint us Starry Night again man!' He painted it and that was it."

This song is about loss, other than that there is no single point. This is just a different version, the original is still there for anyone who wants to hear it. And the band cooks!


 
This is a cool version - very nice groove, but I like the simplicity and directness of the original.
Yeah yeah yeah whatever.... great groove!
Elsewhere on this same album she talks about the difficulty of being a performing artist vs. being a visual artist - or, as she puts it, "Nobody ever said to Van Gogh, 'Paint us Starry Night again man!' He painted it and that was it." This song is about loss, other than that there is no single point. This is just a different version, the original is still there for anyone who wants to hear it. And the band cooks!
Originally Posted by dmax: Jeez. Isn't the point of this the last verse, where she finally gets to the story of how her lover left her? "You don't know what you've got till it's gone." This version misses that almost completely, in favor of the really catchy chorus and the jazz arrangement. I'm surprised that the author of the tune would let that happen... :??:
Originally Posted by newwavegurly: She is one of the godmother's of today's singer-songwriters... we owe a lot to her, as Sarah McLachlan and other wonderful female musicians around today can attest to!
It's hard to comprhend that people who, evidently, like RP could be so incredibly negative over Joni MItchel. :??:
She is one of the godmother's of today's singer-songwriters... we owe a lot to her, as Sarah McLachlan and other wonderful female musicians around today can attest to!
Originally Posted by Johray63: What negative comments! Over here in Europe she's, from what I read and heared, very much respected and seen as the godmother of todays (female) singer-songwriters.
What negative comments! Over here in Europe she\'s, from what I read and heared, very much respected and seen as the godmother of todays (female) singer-songwriters.
Sucko-Barfo Roberta Joan Anderson (her real name) is 58 years old and has been described by David Crosby as being about as humble as Mussolini.
I think I know why her man left her.
Originally Posted by KevinM: Another Joni song, another Sucko-Barfo.
Yup...
Another Joni song, another Sucko-Barfo.
Jeez. Isn\'t the point of this the last verse, where she finally gets to the story of how her lover left her? \"You don\'t know what you\'ve got till it\'s gone.\" This version misses that almost completely, in favor of the really catchy chorus and the jazz arrangement. I\'m surprised that the author of the tune would let that happen... :??: