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Joni Mitchell Announces Archive Series, Shares Earliest-Known Recording

Liner notes of first release feature a conversation with Cameron Crowe

Joni Mitchell has dug deep into the vaults for a massive archive series. She’ll kick it off with Joni Mitchell Archives Vol. 1: The Early Years (1963-1967), out October 30th.

The five-disc Early Years box set contains six hours of unreleased home, live and radio recordings and features 29 unreleased songs. They span from 1963-1967, just before the singer-songwriter released her 1968 debut Song to a Seagull produced by David Crosby.

To accompany the announcement, Mitchell released a 1963 performance of “House of the Rising Sun,” her earliest-known recording as a 19-year-old at the CFQC AM radio station in her hometown of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

In addition to a 40-page booklet, the liner notes feature Mitchell in conversation with Cameron Crowe, who wrote the Rolling Stone 1979 cover story on the singer. They recently spent Sunday afternoons together discussing the archives.

The two performances included in the box set — live at CFQX AM radio station in 1963 and at Canterbury House in 1967 — will also be released separately. All forms are available for preorder on Mitchell’s website. 

“The early stuff, I shouldn’t be such a snob against it,” she said in a statement. “A lot of these songs, I just lost them. They fell away. They only exist in these recordings. For so long I rebelled against the term, ‘I was never a folksinger.’ I would get pissed off if they put that label on me. I didn’t think it was a good description of what I was. And then I listened and…it was beautiful. It made me forgive my beginnings. And I had this realization…I was a folksinger!”

Joni Mitchell Archives Vol. 1: The Early Years (1963-1967) Tracklist

Disc One
Radio Station CFQC AM, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada (ca. 1963)
1. “House Of The Rising Sun”
2. “John Hardy”
3. “Dark as a Dungeon”
4. “Tell Old Bill”
5. “Nancy Whiskey”
6. “Anathea”
7. “Copper Kettle”
8. “Fare Thee Well (Dink’s Song)”
9. “Molly Malone”
Live at the Half Beat: Yorkville, Toronto, Canada (October 21, 1964)
First Set
10. Introduction
11. “Nancy Whiskey”
12. Intro to “The Crow on the Cradle”
13. “The Crow on the Cradle”
14. “Pastures of Plenty”
15. “Every Night When the Sun Goes I
16. Intro to “Sail Away
17. “Sail Away”
Second Set
18. “John Hardy”
19. “Dark as a Dungeon”
20. Intro to “Maids When You’re Young Never Wed an Old Man”
21. “Maids When You’re Young Never Wed an Old Man”
22. “The Dowie Dens of Yarrow”
23. “Deportee (Plane Crash At Los Gatos)”
24. Joni’s Parents’ House: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada (February 196
25. “The Long Black Rifle”
26. “Ten Thousand Miles”
27. “Seven Daffodils”

Disc Two
Myrtle Anderson Birthday Tape: Detroit, MI (1965)
1. “Urge for Going”
2. “Born to Take the Highway”
3. “Here Today and Gone Tomorrow”
Jac Holzman Demo: Detroit, MI (August 24, 1965)
4. “What Will You Give Me”
5. “Let It Be Me”
6. “The Student Song”
7. “Day After Day”
8. “Like the Lonely Swallow”
Let’s Sing Out, CBC TV: University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada (October 4, 1965)
9. “Favorite Colour”
10. “Me And My Uncle”
Home Demo: Detroit, MI (ca. 1966)
11. “Sad Winds Blowin’”
Let’s Sing Out, CBC TV: Laurentian University, London, ON, Canada (October 24, 1966)
12. “Just Like Me”
13. “Night in the City”
Live at the 2nd Fret: Philadelphia, PA (November 1966)
14. “Brandy Eyes”
15. Intro to “Urge For Going”
16. “Urge for Going”
17. Intro to “What’s the Story Mr. Blue”
18. “What’s the Story Mr. Blue”
19. “Eastern Rain”
20. Intro to “The Circle Game”
21. “The Circle Game”
22. Intro to “Night in the City”
23. “Night In The City”

Disc Three
Folklore, WHAT FM: Philadelphia, PA, (March 12, 1967)
1. Intro to “Both Sides Now”
2. “Both Sides Now”
3. Intro to “The Circle Game”
4. “The Circle Game”
Live at the 2nd Fret: Philadelphia, PA (March 17, 1967)
Second Set
5. “Morning Morgantown”
6. “Born to Take the Highway”
7. Intro to “Song to a Seagull”
8. “Song to a Seagull”
Third Set
9. “Winter Lady”
10. Intro to “Both Sides Now”
11. “Both Sides Now”
Folklore, WHAT FM: Philadelphia, PA (March 19, 1967)
12. Intro to “Eastern Rain”
13. “Eastern Rain”
14. Intro to “Blue On Blue”
15. “Blue On Blue”
“A Record of My Changes” – Michael’s Birthday Tape: North Carolina (May 1967)
16. “Gemini Twin”
17. “Strawflower Me”
18. “A Melody in Your Name”
19. “Tin Angel”
20. “I Don’t Know Where I Stand”
21. Joni improvising
Folklore, WHAT FM: Philadelphia, PA (May 28, 1967)
22. Intro to “Sugar Mountain”
23. “Sugar Mountain”

Disc Four
Home Demo: New York City, NY (ca. June 1967)
1. “I Had a King”
2. “Free Darling”
3. “Conversation”
4. “Morning Morgantown”
5. “Dr. Junk”
6. “Gift of the Magi”
7. “Chelsea Morning”
8. “Michael From Mountains”
9. “Cara’s Castle”
10. “Jeremy” (Incomplete)
Live at Canterbury House: Ann Arbor, MI (October 27, 1967)
First Set
11. “Conversation”
12. Intro to “Come to the Sunshine”
13. “Come to the Sunshine”
14. Intro to “Chelsea Morning”
15. “Chelsea Morning”
16. Intro to “Gift of the Magi”
17. “Gift of the Magi”
18. “Play Little David”
19. Intro to “The Dowie Dens of Yarrow”
20. “The Dowie Dens of Yarrow”
21. “I Had a King”
22. Intro to “Free Darling”
23. “Free Darling”
24. Intro to “Cactus Tree”
25. “Cactus Tree”

Disc Five
Live at Canterbury House: Ann Arbor, MI (October 27, 1967)
Second Set
1. “Little Green”
2. Intro to “Marcie”
3. “Marcie”
4. Intro to “Ballerina Valerie”
5. “Ballerina Valerie”
6. “The Circle Game”
7. Intro to “Michael From Mountains”
8. “Michael From Mountains”
9. “Go Tell the Drummer Man”
10. Intro to “I Don’t Know Where I Stand”
11. “I Don’t Know Where I Stand”
Third Set
12. “A Melody in Your Name”
13. Intro to “Carnival in Kenora”
14. “Carnival In Kenora”
15. “Songs to Aging Children Come”
16. Intro to “Dr. Junk”
17. “Dr. Junk”
18. “Morning Morgantown”
19. Intro to “Night in the City”
20. “Night in the City”
21. “Both Sides Now”
22. “Urge for Going”

From Rolling Stone US