Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page Really Related to This Joni Mitchell Song

Led Zeppelin and Joni Mitchell made very different music, however, one of Mitchell’s songs still moved Jimmy Page. Plant explained why this particular song spoke to his life experience. Here’s a look at how the public reacted to this classic Mitchell track. 

Led Zeppelin near a fireplace
Led Zeppelin | Chris Walter / Contributor

The strong effect Joni Mitchell’s music had on Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page

Firstly, a little background. Plant gave an interview to famous Rolling Stone journalist Cameron Crowe in 1975. In it, Crowe asked Page about his feelings about “Stairway to Heaven.” Plant said “Stairway to Heaven” crystallized the band’s essence and that he achieved a certain level of brilliance with the song. 

“I don’t think there are too many people who are capable of it,” Page said. “Maybe one. Joni Mitchell. That’s the music that I play at home all the time, Joni Mitchell. Court and Spark I love because I’d always hoped that she’d work with a band. But the main thing with Joni is that she’s able to look at something that’s happened to her, drawback and crystallize the whole situation, then write about it. She brings tears to my eyes, what more can I say? It’s bloody eerie.”

The Joni Mitchell song Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page related to his own life

One of Mitchell’s songs, in particular, mattered to Page. “I can relate so much to what she says,” he revealed. “‘Now old friends are acting strange/They shake their heads/They say I’ve changed,’” Plant said. He was referencing Mitchell’s’ song ”Both Sides Now.” “I’d like to know how many of her original friends she’s got. I’d like to know how many of the original friends any well-known musician has got. You’d be surprised. They think—particularly that thing of change—they all assume that you’ve changed. For the worse.”

“Both Sides Now” by Joni Mitchell

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Page said he had few close friends, however, he treasured all of them. Mitchell was a singer working in a completely different genre from Page. Despite this, her lyrics still moved him.

How the world reacted to ‘Both Sides Now’

So “Both Sides Now” clearly mattered to Page. This raises an interesting question: How did the public react to it? Mitchell’s version of “Both Sides Now” did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100 at all. This was fairly predictable, as Mitchell was never a major presence on the charts a la Elvis Presley or The Beatles. She only ever had one top 10 hit: “Help Me.” However, “Both Sides Now” would have its day in the sun.

“Both Sides Now” by Judy Collins

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Judy Collins later released her cover of “Both Sides Now.” This version of the track reached No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100. Collins’ cover had some resonance in pop culture, appearing over a teaser for Toy Story 4, the opening of the 2014 film And So It Goes, and the closing credits of the 2018 horror film Hereditary. Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now” spoke to Page — but Collin’s “Both Sides Now” spoke to the world.