The renowned songwriter, singer, guitarist, and painter Joni Mitchell will turn 75 this November. The milestone is being marked by a recently announced pair of tribute concerts in L.A., a new photo book, and now, a limited-edition, 8-disc,180-gram vinyl box set of some of Joni’s finest work–53 ruminations on love and all its complexities from across her storied career, including many tracks that are brand-new to vinyl.
Yesterday, Rhino officially announced the November 2 release of an 8-LP box set version of Love Has Many Faces: A Quartet, A Ballet, Waiting to Be Danced. Sequenced by Joni herself, it’s a 53-song thematic collection that was originally released as a 4-CD collection in 2014. (Read Joe’s review of the CD set here!)
The project, says Joni, “rose from the ashes” of two proposed but abandoned projects: a different career-spanning box set and a dance collaboration with Jean-Grande Maitre and The Alberta Ballet. Joni had worked with the Alberta Ballet before, for her 2008 rumination of war and corruption, The Fiddle and The Drum. For her next dance project, Joni wanted to focus on the many definitions and aspects of love and relationships.
But, as she culled through her celebrated forty-year discography and attempted to whittle all she had to say about love down to an hour, Mitchell was met with some difficulty. “I wanted the music to feel like a total work,” she wrote. “A new work. No matter what I did, though, at that length, it remained merely a collection of songs.” Undaunted, Mitchell–who always thought of herself as a visual artist derailed by circumstance–continued to edit. “I had forty years of footage to review,” she wrote. “Then, suddenly, scenes began to hook up. Then series began to form. Instead of it being an emotional roller coaster ride as it was before–crammed into one disc–themes began to develop. Moods sustained. I was getting there… When this long editorial process (two years) finally came to rest, I had four ballets or a four-act ballet–a quartet. I also had a box set.” A box set that sees classics and deep cuts, songs old and new, interacting with each other in a brand-new, illuminating way.
Now, the nearly four-hour collection comes to vinyl. The set is strictly limited to 5,000 units and will be presented in a hardbound, deluxe folio package. The 53 songs will be pressed onto eight discs. To retain Joni’s original four-act concept, though, etchings of her artwork appear on four individual sides of vinyl. In addition, the packaging will include a book with lyrics, six paintings, and illuminating, Grammy-winning liner notes written by Joni herself that detail the trajectory of the project and provide background on the tracks and the collaborations that created some of the most compelling, complex, and innovative music of our time.
Notably, Rhino’s LP issue of Love Has Many Faces will mark the vinyl debut of nineteen Joni Mitchell recordings, as her post 1991 albums have yet to receive any standalone vinyl treatment. The collection will also feature a 2014 Joni Mitchell-sanctioned remix of 1994’s “Borderline,” featuring new trumpet accompaniment from Ambrose Akinmusire. All 53 tracks were remastered in 2014 under Joni’s supervision.
All told, Joni Mitchell fans are in for a treat with this new vinyl release, which arrives from Rhino on November 2. You can find the full track list below with all the “side breaks,” along with pre-order links as they become available.
Act 1: Birth of Rock ‘n Roll Days
Act 2: The Light Is Hard To Find
Act 3: Love Has Many Faces
Act 4: If You Want Me I’ll Be In The Bar
Act 1-B2, Act 2-B3, Act 3-B3, Act 3-C3, and Act 4-A5 from Blue, Reprise LP 2038, 1971
Act 1-A3 from For the Roses, Asylum LP SD 5057, 1972
Act 1-A5, Act 2-A1, Act 2-A5, Act 3-C–2, Act 4-A4, and Act 4-B2 from Court and Spark, Asylum LP 7E-1001, 1974
Act 1-A1, Act 1-B4, and Act 1-C1 from The Hissing of Summer Lawns, Asylum LP 7E-1051, 1975
Act 3-A5 from Hejira, Asylum LP 7E-1087, 1976
Act 4-A1 from Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter, Asylum LP BB-701, 1977
Act 2-B5 and Act 4-B3 from Mingus, Asylum LP 5E-505, 1979
Act 1-B3 and Act 2-B2 from Wild Things Run Fast, Geffen LP M5-2019, 1982
Act 2-B4 from Dog Eat Dog, Geffen LP GHS-24074, 1985
Act 1-B1, Act 1-C2, Act 4-B4, and Act 4-C1 from Chalk Mark in a Rain Storm, Geffen LP GHS-24172, 1988
Act 1-A2, Act 1-C3, Act 2-A3, Act 2-C4, Act 3-C4, and Act 4-A2 from Night Ride Home, Geffen LP GEF-24302, 1991
Act 1-C4 is a single edit of the song from Night Ride Home, Geffen single , 1991.
Act 2-A2 and Act 3-C1 from Turbulent Indigo, Reprise CD 9-45786-2, 1994
Act 1-A4; Act 2-B1; Act 2-C3; Act 3-A2; Act 3-A3; and Act 4-C4 from Taming the Tiger, Reprise CD 9-46451-2, 1998
Act 2-A4, Act 3-A1, and Act 4-C3 from Both Sides Now, Reprise CD 9-47620-2, 2000
Act 2-C2, Act 3-B1, Act 3-B2, Act 3-B4, Act 4-A3, Act 4-B1, and Act 4-C2 from Travelogue, Nonesuch 79817-2, 2002
Act 2-C1 from Shine, Hear Music HMCD-30457, 2007
Act 3-A4 is a special 2014 edit of the song originally from Turbulent Indigo, previously released on Love Has Many Faces, Rhino CD R2 544846, 2014
Songs marked (*) make their vinyl debut on this set.
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