On June 22, 1971, Joni Mitchell released Blue, concluding her prolific four album run for Reprise Records with an album considered by many to be one of the greatest of all time. Its stirring, confessional songs have been celebrated by music lovers and critics alike for decades while inspiring a wide variety of artists as diverse as Prince and Taylor Swift. Even today, its stature as a masterpiece continues to grow. Just last year, the album was named #3 on Rolling Stone’s list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time.”
To celebrate the album’s 50th anniversary, Rhino is releasing THE REPRISE ALBUMS (1968-1971), the next installment of the Joni Mitchell Archives series, featuring newly remastered versions of Blue (1971) and the three albums that came before it: Song To A Seagull (1968), Clouds (1969), and Ladies Of The Canyon (1970). In the case of Song To A Seagull, the original mix has been recently updated by Mitchell and mixer Matt Lee. “The original mix was atrocious,” says Mitchell. “It sounded like it was recorded under a jello bowl, so I fixed it!”
THE REPRISE ALBUMS (1968-1971) will be available on June 25 in a 4-LP 180-gram vinyl (Limited Edition Of 10,000) Boxset.
The cover art for THE REPRISE ALBUMS (1968-1971) features a previously unseen self-portrait Mitchell sketched during the time period. The collection also includes an essay by Grammy winning singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile, another artist who’s been influenced greatly by Mitchell. She writes: “In my opinion Blue is the greatest album ever made. Blue didn’t make me a better songwriter. Blue made me a better woman… No matter what we are dealing with in these times we can rejoice and know that of all the ages we could have lived through, we lived in the time of Joni Mitchell.”
THE REPRISE ALBUMS (1968-1971) brings together the albums that helped establish Mitchell as one of the most-talented songwriters of her generation. It includes essential tracks like “River,” “Chelsea Morning,” “Both Sides, Now,” “Big Yellow Taxi,” “Woodstock,” and “The Circle Game.” Clouds, her second album, was certified gold and won the 1969 Grammy (her first of nine) for Best Folk Performance. Ladies Of The Canyon and Blue were both certified platinum, while the latter was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.