Mitchell's cover has the added bonus of being a self-portrait - Revolver was drawn by the Beatles' old German buddy Klaus Voorman.
And with all that white space, and open lines a harbinger of the Apple corporate style. Compare the Ladies cover to this early Macintosh logo art.
Morning Morgantown kicks off the album and is another song about morning, a companion to Clouds' Chelsea Morning, except that while Chelsea was about staying in with your lover, Morgantown is about going out adventuring with your lover. This song also features a prominent piano in the refrain and as a big fan of piano music, I find it a welcome addition to this song and the rest of most of the album. However, for all its pianistic charm I do prefer Chelsea Morning.
For Free - Mitchell's rumination on art vs. commerce and the fickleness of public acclaim. A clarinetist on a city street prompts her observations and anybody who rides the NYC subway system or walks in Manhattan is confronted by this scene every day - street musicians who may be playing as well as any concert musicians but are unrecognized because they aren't showcased in an important venue. Mitchell would revisit this theme again.
Conversation - quite possibly my favorite Joni Mitchell song - I wrote a post about it a few of months ago.
Ladies of the Canyon - is there anything like this song in any genre ever? A proto-feminist song presenting thumbnail portraits of artsy/earthmother/hippie chicks, but without the usual mockery - just straight up appreciation and affection. Maybe Dar William's My Friends comes close to the feel of this song but I can't think of anything else. And certainly Dar's song doesn't have the intense time and place feel that this one has of Laurel Canyon on the late 1960s.
Willy - reportedly about Mitchell's relationship with Graham Nash. Nash wrote his take on their relationship Our House. Mitchell's song is much less sunny.
The Arrangement is very much an anti-establishment song, all about how credit cards and corporate jobs are stifling. It's strange hearing it from the perspective of a time when so many people no longer have the option of a good-paying corporate job and unlike the 1960s the middle-class is losing ground and social mobility is less mobile than ever.
Rainy Night House/The Priest/Blue Boy all three songs appear to be intensely auto-biographical reminiscences of eccentric former lovers. Rainy Night House has a beautiful piano and Blue Boy has some great vocals, not to mention the blatantly erotic lyric: Sometimes in the evening he would read to her. Roll her in his arm and give his seed to her.
Big Yellow Taxi - Mitchell's all-time monster pop hit, covered by many, animated for the Sonny and Cher show (scroll down to watch), and a perfect encapsulation of the hippie view of car culture and industrialization in general. One of the signature songs of the environmental movement. And it must be noted, just an all-around excellent pop song made utterly perfect when Mitchell does a funny voice for the ending "put up a parking lot" and then she cracks herself up.
Woodstock - Mitchell herself failed to show up for Woodstock, preferring to make an appearance on the Dick Cavett Show. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, who did show up at Woodstock, recorded a version that is much more famous. Mitchell's version is more intense.
The Circle Game - Mitchell's career was inextricably bound up with CSN&Y, and this is one more example. Mitchell wrote this song for fellow Canadian Neil Young in response to his Sugar Mountain. One of her two classic straight-up folk songs along with Clouds. Other people had hits with both those songs before Mitchell recorded them herself. And here's Chuck Mitchell, her ex-husband, doing a version, posted himself to his own Youtube channel.