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08 October 2020

Joni Mitchell Announces Extensive Archive Series Release

joni mitchell september 1968 uk
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The legendary Canadian singer-songwriter, Joni Mitchell, has announced the release of Joni Mitchell Archives Vol. 1: The Early Years (1963-1967), a 5CD and digital collection of unreleased material, including live performances, home demos, and her first known recordings.

As the title suggests, this set marks the beginning of a new series of releases that will span the next several years, diving into the archives of previously unheard material across the whole of Mitchell’s illustrious career.

Joni Mitchell Archives Volume. 1: The Early Years (1963-1967), which is released by Warners on 30 October, begins in 1963 and charts Mitchell’s development as a writer and performer, including 29 original compositions, and her earliest-known recording: performing a version of House Of The Rising Sun, aged 19, on CFQC AM, the radio station of her hometown of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Also on the Joni Mitchell Archives Volume. 1: The Early Years (1963-1967) set is Day After Day, which Joni Mitchell discusses further: “I wrote it on the train, between Regina and Mariposa, Ontario. Orillia, Ontario, really, the setting at the time of the Mariposa Folk Festival. I was on my way to see Buffy Sainte-Marie. I was pregnant, and I was traveling with my daughter’s father, and we were making a ruse. I had told my parents—they thought I was a quitter anyway—“I’m going east to the Mariposa Folk Festival. I’m going to become a musician.” But I had no desire to do it. It was just a way of protecting, parent protecting, really. You know, a lie for their dignity.”

You can listen to Day After Day here.

Unsurprisingly, the collection showcases how prolific a songwriter Mitchell was. Across the 5CD set, fans can hear early versions of songs that appeared on her debut album, 1968’s Song To A Seagull, such as Michael From The Mountains and I Had A King but also songs that would appear on later records, including Chelsea Morning and Both Sides Now (from 1969’s Clouds); The Circle Game (from 1970’s Lady Of The Canyon) and Little Green, from Mitchell’s most successful record, Blue, from 1971.

The 5CD set includes a 40-page booklet, featuring unseen photos from Mitchell’s personal collection, as well as new sleevenotes that feature conversations between Mitchell and the writer and filmmaker, Cameron Crowe, discussing her archives. Cameron Crowe will also write the sleevenotes for all the upcoming releases in the series.

Joni Mitchell Archives Vol. 1: The Early Years (1963-1967) can be pre-ordered here

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