Beloved singer-songwriter-painter-poet Joni Mitchell will turn 75 this year on November 7 - keep your eyes peeled for a deeper dive into her career in the coming weeks.
To start the birthday celebration a few days early, Mitchell’s critically-acclaimed 2014 box set Love Has Many Faces will be pressed on vinyl for the first time as a limited-edition, eight-LP boxed set, available to pre-order here.
Love Has Many Faces: A Quartet, A Ballet, Waiting To Be Danced was first conceived as the music to a ballet about love. But after spending 18 months trying to distill everything she’d written about love…and the lack of it…down to a single disc, Mitchell abandoned the ballet. “I wanted the music to feel like a total work…a new work. No matter what I did, though, at that length, it remained merely a collection of songs,” she wrote in the liner notes to the set.
Undaunted, Mitchell did not give up. Instead, she continued to sequence her songs, determined to prove to herself that what she was after was possible. After two years, she had created a four-act ballet based on the 53 songs that make up this inspiring collection. “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,” she explains.
It truly is an artist-curated collection. Mitchell selected the material from 40 years of recording. She designed the package, which includes a book containing 53 lyrical poems, six paintings, and an autobiographical text illuminating her recording process. It is funny, mystical, and informative.
Mitchell organized the music into different thematic acts, which allowed her songs to interact with one another in a whole new way. The process, she says, was a lot like making a film. “I had forty years of footage to review. Then, suddenly, scenes began to hook up. Then the 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.”
Longtime listeners should find the music familiar but fresh. Newcomers have an adventure before them…a journey into highly-original, harmonically innovative, unusually rhythmic music. Some of the greatest musicians in the world are gathered here…supporting this emotionally charged exploration of love’s many faces.