If there is anyone who personifies the Female Artist in the rock/pop era, it's Joni Mitchell. She is a true icon and the standard by which any female singer/songwriter is measured. There is no one of commercial viability who has so consistently pushed herself and her audience into increasingly sophisticated musical realms (the only one in her league is Kate Bush, though her renown in the US is criminally below what it deserves to be). In any event, it's her birthday today. So, in honor of her, here is a playlist I put together a little while ago, featuring my favorite tracks from each of Joni's albums, up to 1982, and tracks by a handful of the best artists who clearly and profoundly have been influenced by her.