Joni Mitchell – The Reprise Albums (1968-1971) (2021 Remaster) (2021) [FLAC 24bit/192kHz]

Joni Mitchell – The Reprise Albums (1968-1971) (2021 Remaster) (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24bit/192kHz | Time – 02:36:40 minutes | 5,38 GB | Genre: Folk
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Rhino – Warner Records

THE REPRISE YEARS (1968-1971) features newly remastered versions of Joni Mitchell’s first four studio albums – Song To A Seagull (1968), Clouds (1969), Ladies Of The Canyon (1970), and Blue (1971). In the case of Song To A Seagull, the original mix has been recently updated by Mitchell and mixer Matt Lee. The cover art for THE REPRISE YEARS (1968-1971) features a previously unseen self-portrait Mitchell drew during the time period and includes an essay by Grammy winning singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile.

After publishing Archives-Vol. 1: The Early Years (1963-1967), an imposing box set of Joni Mitchell’s recordings, running to 119 mostly unreleased tracks that date from before her first official record, there now comes a collection of well-made, overdue remasterings of her studio albums. As its title suggests, The Reprise Albums (1968-1971) brings together the first four of these: Song to a Seagull (March 1968), Clouds (May 1969), Ladies of the Canyon (April 1970) and Blue (June 1971). The first four and nothing else! That means that we dispense with the usual alternative takes and other unreleased demos that we would usually find on this kind of reissue: the focus here is on the essentials. And what is essential here is a young woman gradually extracting herself from a folk idiom (the Canadian always hated being labelled a folk-singer) and creating her own language. This is an identity that takes shape from Songs to a Seagull onwards. The young Mitchell even entrusted the former Byrd, David Crosby, with the production of this first effort, which she divided into two sides: I Came to the City which looks towards the city, and Out of the City and Down by the Seaside, which turns towards nature. Joni Mitchell develops these themes with her open tuning, her high, clear, mesmerising voice, and a certain melodic richness. A big drawback to Songs to a Seagull is its original mix, which sounds almost shameful. This error was rectified for the 2021 re-release by sound engineer Matt Lee. “The original mix was atrocious. It sounded like it was recorded under a jello bowl, so I fixed it!”

With Clouds, Joni Mitchell ploughs a similar furrow, but with greater harmonic and instrumental richness. The themes she addresses on this second album remain transparent enough, from the personal and introspective (I Don’t Know Where I Stand) to the tormented and fearful (The Fiddle and the Drum), but the music has become denser.

This feeling will intensify with Ladies of the Canyon, a hit which boosted her reputation. This third album saw the singer transform her folk sound with richer lyrics and increasingly subtle arrangements. Joni Mitchell was achieving unprecedented sophistication and becoming a unique star in the orbit of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, to whom she was still very much attached. Critics and audiences quickly fell in love with all of these quirks. But in spite of her fame she still yearned for freedom, and to get away from the limelight. So after Ladies of the Canyon was recorded, naturally Joni Mitchell wanted to set out travelling.

One year later, Blue came out. Her fourth album on Reprise, it proved a cornerstone of her introspective, stripped-down folk sound. For all its lack of artifice and repetitive ingredients, this was a work of peerless grace and depth. A masterpiece conceived as a private journal set to music, it marked a real turning point in the career of the 28-year-old musician. This remaster offers up a definitive version. And that is just one more reason why The Reprise Albums (1968-1971) are totally in-dis-pen-sa-ble! – Marc Zisman

1. Joni Mitchell – I Had A King (2021 Remaster)
2. Joni Mitchell – Michael From Mountains (2021 Remaster)
3. Joni Mitchell – Night In The City (2021 Remaster)
4. Joni Mitchell – Marcie (2021 Remaster)
5. Joni Mitchell – Nathan La Franeer (2021 Remaster)
6. Joni Mitchell – Sisotowbell Lane (2021 Remaster)
7. Joni Mitchell – The Dawntreader (2021 Remaster)
8. Joni Mitchell – The Pirate Of Penance (2021 Remaster)
9. Joni Mitchell – Song To A Seagull (2021 Remaster)
10. Joni Mitchell – Cactus Tree (2021 Remaster)
11. Joni Mitchell – Tin Angel (2021 Remaster)
12. Joni Mitchell – Chelsea Morning (2021 Remaster)
13. Joni Mitchell – I Don’t Know Where I Stand (2021 Remaster)
14. Joni Mitchell – That Song About The Midway (2021 Remaster)
15. Joni Mitchell – Roses Blue (2021 Remaster)
16. Joni Mitchell – The Gallery (2021 Remaster)
17. Joni Mitchell – I Think I Understand (2021 Remaster)
18. Joni Mitchell – Songs To Aging Children Come (2021 Remaster)
19. Joni Mitchell – The Fiddle And The Drum (2021 Remaster)
20. Joni Mitchell – Both Sides, Now (2021 Remaster)
21. Joni Mitchell – Morning Morgantown (2021 Remaster)
22. Joni Mitchell – For Free (2021 Remaster)
23. Joni Mitchell – Conversation (2021 Remaster)
24. Joni Mitchell – Ladies Of The Canyon (2021 Remaster)
25. Joni Mitchell – Willy (2021 Remaster)
26. Joni Mitchell – The Arrangement (2021 Remaster)
27. Joni Mitchell – Rainy Night House (2021 Remaster)
28. Joni Mitchell – The Priest (2021 Remaster)
29. Joni Mitchell – Blue Boy (2021 Remaster)
30. Joni Mitchell – Big Yellow Taxi (2021 Remaster)
31. Joni Mitchell – Woodstock (2021 Remaster)
32. Joni Mitchell – The Circle Game (2021 Remaster)
33. Joni Mitchell – All I Want (2021 Remaster)
34. Joni Mitchell – My Old Man (2021 Remaster)
35. Joni Mitchell – Little Green (2021 Remaster)
36. Joni Mitchell – Carey (2021 Remaster)
37. Joni Mitchell – Blue (2021 Remaster)
38. Joni Mitchell – California (2021 Remaster)
39. Joni Mitchell – This Flight Tonight (2021 Remaster)
40. Joni Mitchell – River (2021 Remaster)
41. Joni Mitchell – A Case Of You (2021 Remaster)
42. Joni Mitchell – The Last Time I Saw Richard (2021 Remaster)