Essential Listening: Joni Mitchell – Love Has Many Faces: A Quartet, A Ballet, Waiting To Be Danced (4CD)

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Love Has Many Faces: A Quartet, A Ballet, Waiting To Be Danced (4CD)

In 2007, Joni Mitchell released her last studio album to date,Shine.  That release was her first recording since 2002’sTravelogue and first collection of new songs since 1998’sTaming the Tiger.  Over the past seven years, the influential singer-songwriter has mainly made headlines for her candid and revealing interviews, on which she’s held forth about such topics as Bob Dylan’s alleged plagiarism and her own struggles with Morgellons disease.  So it’s refreshing that Mitchell is back in the spotlight for her music, thanks to a new box set to arrive just in time for the holiday gift-giving season.  On November 17, Rhino will release a new four-disc collection entitled Love Has Many Faces: A Quartet, A Ballet, Waiting to Be Danced.

In the tradition of past compilations curated by Mitchell including The Beginning of SurvivalDreamland and Songs of a Prairie GirlLove Has Many Faces promises to be a thematic exploration of the artist’s poetic, soulful and jazz-inflected music created over the decades.  The set includes 53 newly-remastered songs selected from her catalogue which began with 1968’s David Crosby-produced album Song to a Seagull and has encompassed such acknowledged classics as Ladies of the Canyon (1970), Blue (1971), Court and Spark(1974) and Both Sides Now (2000).  It’s promised that the remastered songs on Love will be “familiar but fresh,” with “a lot of sonic adjustment.” In a press release, Mitchell elaborated, “I am a painter who writes songs. My songs are very visual. The words create scenes …What I have done here is to gather some of these scenes (like a documentary filmmaker) and by juxtaposition, edit them into a whole new work.”

As the title indicates, the box set was initially conceived for the ballet stage.  “I wanted the music to feel like a total work – a new work,” Mitchell writes in the liner notes. “No matter what I did, though, at that [ballet performance] length, it remained merely a collection of songs.”  So the artist rearranged 53 songs into “thematic acts” like that of a ballet. Comparing her to that of a film editor, she offers, “I had 40 years of footage to review. Then, suddenly, scenes began to hook up. Then series began to form.” She elucidates, “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 finally came to rest, I had four ballets or a four-act ballet — a quartet. I also had a box set.”

Hit the jump for more details including the complete track listing and pre-order links!

Among the diverse songs chosen by Mitchell are classics including “River,” “A Case of You,” “In France They Kiss on Main Street,” “All I Want,” “Carey,” and “Raised on Robbery” as well as the title songs of BlueCourt and SparkHejiraDon Juan’s Reckless Daughter and The Night Ride Home.  Numerous favorites, of course, aren’t here, such as “Help Me” or “Free Man in Paris.”  The discs are housed within a deluxe, hardcover book including 53 “lyrical poems” to coincide with the songs, six brand new Mitchell paintings, and the artist’s liner notes.

Joni Mitchell’s Love Has Many Faces: A Quartet, A Ballet, Waiting to Be Danced arrives from Rhino on November 17 and can be pre-ordered at the links below!

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