Oh, it’s cryin’ time again

Joni Mitchell once said, in her song “People’s Parties”: “Laughing and crying, you know it’s the same release.”

And yet, although everyone loves to laugh, crying gets a bad rap. Men in particular have been taught to believe that showing tears, let alone actual weeping, is a sign of weakness. Even women, who studies have shown are far more apt to cry than men, often stifle their emotions in public and save their crying for more private moments.

Psychologists and others who examine the human condition recommend crying whenever the mood strikes. That mood may be sadness, or betrayal, or fright, or heartbreak, or grief, or physical pain — or overwhelming joy. Whatever the cause, crying is a healthy emotion that shouldn’t be suppressed, despite what some songwriters might suggest.

Cry, don’t cry, cry like a baby, cry up a storm, cry me a river — tunesmiths through the years have found crying to be a compelling, lucrative topic. In the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, songs about crying were everywhere on the charts, country, R&B, pop, rock, you name it. I’ve found it challenging this week to select a dozen diverse, memorable songs from a whole slew of possibilities. If your favorite didn’t make my list, have no fear, it’s probably included in my “honorable mentions” section. All of them can be found on my Spotify playlist at the end of this post.


“Crying,” Roy Orbison, 1961

Orbison ended up a legendary singer in the annals of rock, but at first, he was an introvert with stage fright, and his first taste of fame came when he began composing material with songwriter Joe Melson. They came up with some true classics, recorded by Orbison and/or others: “Only the Lonely,” “Running Scared,” “Blue Bayou” and, perhaps most notably, “Crying,” a heartbreaking ballad that reached #2 on the charts for Orbison in 1961. He had an uncanny talent for capturing the pain of romantic loss, both in his songwriting and the way he recorded them: “I thought that I was over you, but it’s true, so true, /I love you even more than I did before, but darling, what can I do? /For you don’t love me, and I’ll always be crying, crying, crying over you…” Don McLean resurrected “Crying” in 1981 and had a #5 hit with his rendition.

“Cry Baby Cry,” The Beatles, 1968

John Lennon was an impatient songwriter, expecting it to burst forth fully formed, and if not, he would give up quickly. So he had many song fragments sitting around, waiting for him to return to them if the mood struck. One such tune ended up as “Cry Baby Cry” from The Beatles White Album. He had seen a TV ad that used the line, “Cry baby cry, make your mother buy,” but months later, he changed “buy” to “sigh,” adding, “She’s old enough to know better” and various altered bits from children’s nursery rhymes. By contrast, the minor-chord melody and arrangement were somewhat dark, yet oddly riveting. Lennon later dismissed the song as “rubbish,” but I respectfully disagree. I love the images of “the king of Marigold” and “the duchess of Kircaldy” playing with the children as the baby continues to cry, as babies do.

“No Woman, No Cry,” Bob Marley and The Wailers, 1974

Marley had been performing with Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer as a member of The Wailers since 1969. Following the success of “Burnin’,” their 1973 LP with future classics “Get Up Stand Up” and “I Shot the Sheriff,” Tosh and Wailer left to pursue solo careers, and Marley assumed the mantle of frontman. “Natty Dread,” the first album by Bob Marley and The Wailers, included “No Woman, No Cry,” which became a huge favorite in concert. Although some misinterpreted the title to mean “If there’s no woman, there’s no reason to cry,” Marley said he meant it in Jamaican lingo as, “No, woman, nuh cry (don’t cry).” He was offering comfort in times of sadness: “Good friends we have, oh, good friends we have lost along the way, yeah, /In this great future, you can’t forget your past, so dry your tears, I say, /No, woman, no cry…”

“Cry Me a River,” Joe Cocker, 1970

Songwriter Arthur Hamilton wrote this torch song in 1955 for Ella Fitzgerald to sing in the 1955 film “Pete Kelly’s Blues,” but the director chose not to use it. When singer Julie London sang it in the musical comedy “The Girl Can’t Help It” the following year, it became a Top Ten hit and was subsequently covered by a wide range of artists including Fitzgerald, Sam Cooke, Barbra Streisand and, more recently, Diana Krall, Rita Coolidge and Michael Bublé. In 1970, Joe Cocker performed a rollicking version with Leon Russell that ended up reaching #11 in the US as a single from their “Mad Dogs and Englishmen” LP. Hamilton said he thought the phrase “cry me a river” was an excellent retort when someone claims to now be sad after having broken your heart: “Remember all that you said, you told me you were through with me, /And now you say you love me, well, just to prove you do, /Come on and cry, cry, cry me a river, ’cause I cried a river over you…”

“Who’s Crying Now,” Journey, 1981

Not long after vocalist Steve Perry joined Journey’s lineup in 1978, the band became one of the biggest rock bands in the country, with seven hugely successful albums and a slew of hit singles over the next eight years. “Who’s Crying Now,” from their multi-platinum 1981 LP “Escape,” showcased Perry and keyboardist Jonathan Cain, who co-wrote the track. Perry said he wanted to write about a couple he knew who loved each other deeply but constantly fought and emotionally hurt each other. “Their mutual passion drove them to ecstatic highs and hellish lows,” he recalled. The track reached #4 in the US, their second highest charting of their career: “One love feeds the fire, one heart burns desire, wonder who’s cryin’ now? /Two hearts born to run, who’ll be the lonely one, wonder who’s cryin’ now?…”

“Laughing On the Outside (Crying On the Inside),” Aretha Franklin, 1962

Lyricist Ben Raleigh did a nice job capturing the difficulty we feel whenever we try to put on a strong front when we’re heartbroken on the inside. Teaming with Bernie Wayne (best known for writing “Blue Velvet”), the song was an instant hit not once but three times in 1946. As far as I know, it’s the only instance in Top 40 history that three versions of the same song were in the Top Ten at the same time, in the summer of 1946: Dinah Shore (#3), Andy Russell (#4) and Sammy Kaye Orchestra (#7). In 1962, Aretha Franklin recorded an album of jazz and pop standards that included “Laughing On the Outside (Crying on the Inside),” and she nailed it: “So darling, can’t we make up? Ever since our breakup, make-believe is all I do, /I’m laughing on the outside, crying on the inside, ‘Cause I’m still in love with you…”

“Cry Like a Rainstorm,” Bonnie Raitt, 1973

From her debut LP in 1971 onward, Raitt has enjoyed widespread critical praise for her skills as a slide guitarist as well as a fine interpreter of songs written by others. She has recorded definitive versions of songs by John Prine (“Angel From Montgomery”), James Taylor (“Rainy Day Man”), Karla Bonoff (“Home”) and especially Eric Kaz, a highly successful songwriter who wrote “Love Has No Pride” and this poignant song from Raitt’s third LP, “Takin’ My Time.” It was later recorded by Linda Ronstadt on her 1989 collaborative LP with Aaron Neville: “Sometimes I’m up, most times I’m down, /Where can I run to? Tell me how have I sinned, /When you cry like a rainstorm and you howl like the wind… So who shall I start with? Tell me how to begin /When you cry like a rainstorm and you howl like the wind…”

“You Don’t Have to Cry,” Crosby, Stills and Nash, 1969

When Graham Nash first met David Crosby and Stephen Stills in 1968, they were putting finishing touches on this song, the first they would ever sing together. “When I went for the high harmony and we heard the three voices for the first time, this is the song we were singing,” said Nash. “That’s why it’s so special to me.” Stills said he wrote it as a love letter to Judy Collins, with whom he’d recently broken up. She was struggling with alcoholism and other family issues, and Stills tried to ease her burden with songs like “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” and “You Don’t Have to Cry.” It’s one of CSN’s prettiest tracks, from their magnificent “Crosby, Stills and Nash” debut album: “And the difference between me and you, I won’t argue right or wrong but I have time to cry, my baby, /You don’t have to cry, I said cry, my baby, you don’t have to cry…”

“Judy’s Turn to Cry,” Lesley Gore, 1963

Lesley Gore was only 16 when her recording of the Wally Gold/Seymour Gottlieb teenage classic “It’s My Party” rocketed to #1 in June 1963. Gore and her producer Quincy Jones commissioned a sequel by Beverly Ross and Edna Lewis, “Judy’s Turn to Cry,” in which the tables were turned on boyfriend stealer Judy. Only weeks later, it reached #5 on the pop charts, and many radio stations played the two songs back to back as a sort of teenage opera. The way I see it, the two girls fought over a fickle boy who played fast and loose with their emotions and wasn’t worth their time, but the listening audience of 1963 certainly ate it up: “Well, it hurt me so to see them dance together, I felt like making a scene, /Then my tears just felt like rain drops, ’cause Judy’s smile was so mean, /But now it’s Judy’s turn to cry, Judy’s turn to cry, Judy’s turn to cry, ’cause Johnny’s come back to me…”

“When Doves Cry,” Prince, 1984

The soundtrack for “Purple Rain,” the rock musical drama based loosely on Prince’s life, was nearly complete when director Albert Magnoli asked him to write a song that would work well as an aural backdrop for a scene that depicted parental difficulties intermingled with a complicated romantic love affair. He came up with “When Doves Cry,” which featured a melody and arrangement dominated by drum machine and a sort of baroque synthesizer sound, and lyrics that provided just what the director requested. It reached #1 in 1984 as the leadoff single from Prince’s multi-platinum album. How interesting to equate the sound of a couple screaming at each other with doves crying: “Maybe I’m just like my father, too bold, /Maybe you’re just like my mother, she’s never satisfied, /Why do we scream at each other? /This is what it sounds like when doves cry…”

To Cry You a Song,” Jethro Tull, 1970

Ian Anderson, Tull’s prolific composer, has penned numerous tracks through the years that examine romantic love from various viewpoints (“Wondering Aloud,” “Fire at Midnight,” “A Gift of Roses”). One of his best lyrics was paired with a hard rock arrangement on Tull’s third LP, “Benefit,” in 1970. When you’ve been traveling and are missing your lover, there’s a strong longing for the time when you will be back in her arms. Anderson describes the moments in the airport, on the plane, and in a cab leading up to that reunion when he will be crying tears of joy about it: “Searching my case, can’t find what they’re looking for, /Waving me through to cry you a song… I’ll jump in a taxi cab, driving through London town to cry you a song… The smile in your eyes was never so sweet before, /Came down from the skies to cry you a song…”

“Don’t Cry Baby,” Etta James, 1961

This classic blues tune dates back to 1929, when James Johnson and Saul Bernie co-wrote it for blues legend Bessie Smith, one of nearly 200 blues tracks she recorded during The Jazz Age. In the ’40s, bandleader Erskine Hawkins simplified the arrangement by removing an introductory verse and the second section of the chorus, which became the version most artists used from then on, most notably Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, James Brown and the great Etta James, who broke into the Top 40 (#6 on the R&B chart) with her rendition in 1961. The lyrics tell the time-honored tale of a woman hoping her man will forgive her unkindness and resume their relationship: “You know I didn’t mean to ever treat you so mean, /C’mon, c’mon sweetheart, and let’s try it over again, /And oh, don’t cry, don’t cry baby, don’t cry, don’t cry, /Dry your eyes, and let’s be sweethearts again…”


There are numerous honorable mentions in the “crying” category, including songs with “tears” in the title. Any of these songs are worthy of inclusion on a “Songs about crying” playlist, and consequently, they’ve been included in my Spotify playlist below.

Cryin’ Time,” Ray Charles, 1961; “The Sky is Crying,” Stevie Ray Vaughan, 1991; “Tears of a Clown,” Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, 1970; “Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying,” Gerry and The Pacemakers, 1964; “Cry Baby,” Janis Joplin, 1970; “Tears in Heaven,” Eric Clapton, 1991; “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” The Four Seasons, 1962; “Cry If You Want,” The Who, 1982; “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” Hank Williams, 1949; “Here Come Those Tears Again,” Jackson Browne, 1976; “Crying, Waiting, Hoping,” Buddy Holly, 1959; “Tears,” Pure Prairie League, 1972; “Don’t Cry Out Loud,” Melissa Manchester, 1978; “Crying in the Night,” Stevie Nicks, 1973/1983; “Cry Tough,” Nils Lofgren, 1976; “Don’t Cry Blue,” Jonathan Edwards, 1971; “96 Tears,” ? and The Mysterians, 1966; “Fool to Cry,” The Rolling Stones, 1976; “Don’t Cry,” Asia, 1983; “Crying in the Rain,” The Everly Brothers, 1962; “Run From Tears,” Crosby, Stills and Nash, 1977; “Crying Through the Night,” Stevie Wonder, 1987; “It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry,” Bob Dylan, 1965; “Crying in the Chapel,” Elvis Presley, 1965: “I’ll Cry Instead,” The Beatles, 1964; “Crying to the Sky,” Be Bop Deluxe, 1976; “The Tracks of My Tears,” Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, 1966; “Cry Like a Baby,” The Box Tops, 1967.


The things that pass for knowledge I can’t understand

I get a lot of positive feedback here at Hack’s Back Pages when I publish a Rock Lyrics Quiz or a Rock Trivia Quiz. Let’s face it, most of us love to test our knowledge when magazines and websites publish quizzes on various topics. So here I go again, gauging my readers’ abilities at recalling and/or guessing the answers to 15 quiz questions about rock artists and music from the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s and ’80s!

Hand completing a multiple choice exam.

You needn’t feel bad if some of this stuff is too obscure. I’m a self-professed classic rock nerd, and I go deeper than your average music fan in ferreting out what I consider interesting factoids about the albums and the songs, and the people who made them.

If you scroll down a bit below the questions, you’ll find the answers and some back-story information that might shed some light on the subject matter.



1. Which mid-’70s classic rock album did Todd Rundgren produce?

“Toys in the Attic,” Aerosmith

“Welcome to My Nightmare,” Alice Cooper

“Bat Out of Hell,” Meat Loaf

“Run With the Pack,” Bad Company

2. What job did Art Garfunkel hold before joining Paul Simon to become pop stars?

Newspaper reporter

Algebra teacher

Park ranger

Advertising copywriter

3. Stevie Wonder won the Album of the Year Grammy three times in the 1970s. Which album was NOT a Grammy winner for him?

“Talking Book” (1972)

“Innervisions” (1973)

“Fulfillingness’ First Finale” (1974)

“Songs in the Key of Life” (1976)

4. What is the meaning behind the band name Lynyrd Skynyrd?

It’s a fictitious name

It was the name of a high school gym teacher

It was the name of a popular local head shop proprietor

It was the name of a modestly successful welterweight boxer

5. What was the original title of The Beatles second film, “Help!”?

“Ticket to Ride”

“Eight Arms to Hold You”

“Save Ringo!”

“The Night Before”

6. Which group’s debut was a double album?

The Doors


Emerson, Lake and Palmer


7. When Brian Wilson quit touring with The Beach Boys in 1964, who briefly took his place?

David Crosby

Glen Campbell

Neil Diamond

John Denver

8. When The Rolling Stones’ Brian Jones died in 1969, where was his body found?

in the band’s tour bus

in his swimming pool

in the VIP Room of a London club

in his girlfriend’s bed

9. Which legendary blues artist successfully sued Led Zeppelin for partial credit and royalties related to their unauthorized use of his songs on two tracks from the “Led Zeppelin II” album?

Muddy Waters

Willie Dixon

John Lee Hooker

B.B. King

10. Which city is NOT mentioned in the lyrics of the Huey Lewis & The News hit “The Heart of Rock and Roll”?



San Francisco


11. In 1985, which rock musician performed at Live Aid in London, then flew across the pond on the Concorde in time to perform on Live Aid’s Philadelphia stage later the same day?


Freddie Mercury

Phil Collins

Eric Clapton

12. Which of these four James Taylor hit singles is the only one he composed?

“You’ve Got a Friend”

“Handy Man”

“Your Smiling Face”

“How Sweet It Is to Be Loved By You”

13. Four members of The Band are Canadian. Who is the only American?

Robbie Robertson

Garth Hudson

Levon Helm

Rick Danko

Richard Manuel

14. Which of these musicians did NOT participate in the recording sessions for George Harrison’s 1970 solo debut LP “All Things Must Pass”?

Billy Preston

Steve Winwood

Gary Wright

Dave Mason

15. What is the only Joni Mitchell album to win a Grammy?

“Court and Spark” (1974)

“Blue” (1971)

“Turbulent Indigo” (1994)

“The Hissing of Summer Lawns” (1975)

















1. “Bat Out of Hell,” Meat Loaf

Rundgren, a formidable recording artist and songwriter, was also highly sought after as a producer during his long career. Although he never worked with Aerosmith, Alice Cooper nor Bad Company, he manned the boards for albums by many other bands, including Grand Funk, Badfinger, Hall and Oates, The Tubes and, most notably, Meat Loaf’s mega-platinum 1977 LP “Bat Out of Hell.” Once he heard songwriter Jim Steinman’s operatic songs and the way Meat Loaf sang them, he thought it could be recorded as a spoof on Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run” LP. The result was one of the biggest selling albums of the 1970s.

2. Algebra teacher

Garfunkel and Simon met in their Queens middle school, formed a duo named Tom and Jerry, and had one modest hit in 1957 with “Hey Schoolgirl.” They went their separate ways but reunited as Simon and Garfunkel in 1964 to record their first full LP, “Wednesday Morning 3 AM,” which included an acoustic version of “The Sound of Silence.” The album stiffed, so again they parted, and while Simon headed to England to write songs and play small clubs, Garfunkel earned a degree in math education and then taught high school algebra…until “The Sound of Silence” became a #1 hit in early 1966.

3. “Talking Book”

In 1971, Wonder turned 21 and won his freedom to cut a new contract with Motown Records that gave him total control over his records. After a couple of false starts, he hit pay dirt in 1972 with the critically acclaimed “Talking Book,” which yielded two #1 hit singles, “Superstition” and “You Are the Sunshine of My Life.” It won him his first Grammys in minor categories but wasn’t nominated in the Best Album category. His next three LPs, “Innervisions,” “Fulfillingness’ First Finale” and “Songs in the Key of Life” all won Album of the Year in a four-year span, an unsurpassed Grammy achievement.

Leonard Skinner

4. a high school gym teacher

Singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Gary Rossington and drummer Bob Burns all attended the same Jacksonville high school in the late ’60s where a strict gym teacher named Leonard Skinner rigidly enforced the school’s policy regarding long hair on boys. When the guys decided their fledgling band, The One Percent, needed a new name, they decided to name themselves Lynyrd Skynyrd in mocking tribute to their rigid P.E. teacher. Skinner was none too pleased about it, but as the band became national rock stars, he grew to appreciate the attention. They even invited him on stage once to introduce them at a concert.

Mock-up of original film soundtrack

5. “Eight Arms to Hold You”

(Note the fine print)

When the movie eventually titled “Help!” was first being discussed, director Richard Lester, who had also directed “A Hard Day’s Night,” wasn’t sure what the film’s title ought to be. “Beatles Phase II” was suggested. Producer Walter Shenson proposed “The Day the Clowns Collapsed.” George Harrison offered “Who’s Been Sleeping in My Porridge?” Lester instead chose “Eight Arms to Hold You,” which alluded to the eight-armed bronze idol used as a backdrop in several scenes. Pressings of the 45 single “Ticket to Ride,” released a month earlier, said “from the UA film “Eight Arms to Hold You” on the label. At the last minute, Lester decided “Help!” was more marketable. John Lennon then wrote the song the same night.

6. Chicago

It was incredibly bold for a recently discovered band to insist that Columbia Records let them release a double album right out of the gate, but “Chicago Transit Authority” became Chicago’s stunning debut in 1969. Even more daring was that their compelling second LP, “Chicago,” was also a double album…and so was “Chicago III,” although their luck ran out with that one. The Doors , Santana, and Emerson, Lake & Palmer all eventually released double albums in their careers, but their debut LPs (all superb, by the way) were the more traditional single albums.

Campbell on tour as one of The Beach Boys

7. Glen Campbell

Wilson always preferring writing and recording songs, not performing them. Once the band started touring internationally in 1964, he had a breakdown and declared he would no longer go on the road, remaining in the studio. With tour dates already scheduled, the group had to act fast to fill the void on stage, and were lucky to have Campbell at the ready, who had been playing guitar and singing on several Beach Boys recordings. At that time, Crosby was in The Byrds, still waiting for their big break; Diamond was a Brill Building songwriter, hoping for his first single; and Denver had just joined The Mitchell Trio.

8. in his swimming pool

Frankly, any of the four choices listed would be a plausible answer. We’ve all read about rock stars and the excesses that might occur in luxury coach buses, backstage parlors, ladies’ bedrooms and the like. But Jones was, at the end, more reclusive, depressed about his diminishing influence in The Stones’ juggernaut. He preferred staying home at his estate with just a friend or two, partying to his heart’s content. He ended up in the pool on July 2, 1969, where the coroner said Jones drowned, labeling the cause as “death by misadventure,” a phrase British authorities employed to describe fatally risky behavior involving drugs.

Sheet music giving partial credit to Willie Dixon

9. Willie Dixon

One of the architects of the Chicago Blues sound, Dixon was a bassist, songwriter and producer, working with virtually every major blues artist in the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s. He wrote “Hoochie Coochie Man,” “Spoonful,” “Little Red Rooster” and many others. Lyrics and musical passages from Dixon’s “You Need Love” were prominent in Led Zep’s #4 hit “Whole Lotta Love,” and the band recorded an altered version of Dixon’s song “Bring It On Home” without giving even partial credit. Dixon won a 1987 judgment. Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker and B.B. King had a few unsuccessful plagiarism suits of their own.

10. Atlanta

Lewis and his band had just played a high-energy show for an enthusiastic Cleveland audience and were headed out of town when the lead singer, still buzzed from the vibe, told the band and crew, “You know what? The heart of rock and roll is in Cleveland!” He wrote a song about it, but he was persuaded to broaden its appeal by including other cities in the verses, ultimately focusing on New York and L.A., as usual. In addition to Cleveland, you can hear references to Austin, San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, Oklahoma City, Detroit, Philly, D.C., San Antonio, Tulsa, Baton Rouge…but not Atlanta.

11. Phil Collins

In 1985, Collins was so omnipresent, you could barely swing a cat around by its tail without hitting him in the head. His solo material was in heavy rotation, duets with Marilyn Martin and Philip Bailey went to #1, and songs he sang with Genesis were always cropping up as well. So it’s not at all surprising that this triple threat overachiever would attempt this crazy feat: For the historic Live Aid concert in August, he performed four songs alone and/or with Sting at Wembley Stadium, then whisked off on the Concorde to Philadelphia, U.S.A., to perform two solo songs, and also play drums for Clapton’s and Led Zeppelin’s sets.

12. “Your Smiling Face”

Throughout his career, Taylor has made a habit of recording stirring, convincing covers of other people’s songs: Carole King’s “You’ve Got a Friend,” his only #1 hit; “Handy Man,” the 1959 Jimmy Jones tune that went to #4 for Taylor in 1977; “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You),” the Holland-Dozier-Holland classic popularized by Marvin Gaye. But Taylor is, of course, a mighty fine songwriter himself, composing great stuff like “Carolina In My Mind,” “Fire and Rain,” “You Can Close Your Eyes,” “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight” and his Top Twenty hit “Your Smiling Face,” from his wonderful “JT” album in 1977.

13. Levon Helm

The Band were originally The Hawks, a backup group for Toronto-based rockabilly singer Ronnie Hawkins, who had handpicked the best musicians from other Canadian bands to join him. That’s how guitarist/songwriter Robbie Robertson, bassist Rick Danko, and keyboard players Richard Manuel and Garth Hudson first came together. Drummer/singer Levon Helm, on the other hand, was Arkansas-born, like Hawkins himself, and had migrated to Ontario with him in 1957. Ten years later, The Band went out on their own, recorded “Music From Big Pink” and “The Band,” and became a major musical influence.

Musician credits for the “All Things Must Pass” LP

14. Steve Winwood

When George Harrison was at last free to record his own songs without John Lennon and Paul McCartney around, he reached out to a broad spectrum of mostly British musicians to add their chops to various tracks on his sprawling “All Things Must Pass” triple album. Billy Preston provided piano parts on many songs; Gary Wright was invited to play organ on several sessions; and Dave Mason pitched in on acoustic guitar on a couple of tunes. Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Gary Brooker and others were there, too…but not Steve Winwood, who was busy recording the next Traffic LP at the time.

Joni Mitchell, 1994

15. “Turbulent Indigo”

How extraordinarily screwed up it is that a one-of-a-kind talent like Joni Mitchell had to wait until her 15th album, 25 years after her debut, before voters at The Grammys figured out she was worthy of a major award. Her magnificent confessional LPs like “Blue,” “For the Roses” and “Court and Spark” and bolder jazz excursions like “The Hissing of Summer Lawns” and “Hejira” were all more than worthy of such accolades, but in fact, it wasn’t until her return to introspection in 1994 with the subtle “Turbulent Indigo” LP that she won the “Pop Album of the Year” Grammy.