Buy Joni Mitchell Archives, Vol. 2: The Reprise Years 1968-1971 [Box Set] from Amazon
Album Review: Joni Mitchell Archives, Vol. 2: The Reprise Years 1968-1971 [Box Set] by Joni Mitchell
Exceptionally Good, Based on 2 Critics
Under The Radar - 85 Based on rating 8.5/10
With the first volume of Joni Mitchell's Archives series offering material that leads up to her 1968 debut album, Archives Vol. 2 picks up the torch from there and runs up to some late '70/early '71 sessions for her classic album Blue. Aside from the rewards to be found in hearing her albums released during these years, the five CDs (also in a 10-LP limited edition) in this set offer a unique embarrassment of riches, with nearly six hours of unreleased home, studio, and live recordings.
Covering a period associated with Joni Mitchell's earliest successes - Both Sides, Now, Big Yellow Taxi, the Blue album - Joni Mitchell Archives Vol 2 opens with a failure: a home demo of Midnight Cowboy, a song she'd written for the 1969 Dustin Hoffman/Jon Voight film of the same name but which was rejected in favour of Nilsson's take on Everybody's Talkin'. It's not hard to see why - not over questions of quality, rather of compatibility. As Mitchell proves time and again across the live recordings and unreleased studio sessions that here surround her first four albums, Song To A Seagull (1968), Clouds (1969), Ladies Of The Canyon (1970) and Blue (1971), she's already working beyond simple plotlines that would make it on the big screen.