Joni Mitchell: Some Rare Gems

Unlike many of her peers, Joni Mitchell seems firmly opposed to raiding her own vaults. As folks like Bob Dylan and Neil Young allow more and more demos, live performances, and other rarities to be released formally, Mitchell’s unreleased material remains mostly out of reach. In a 2015 New York Magazine interview, Mitchell referred to a hopeful archivist from her record company as “a burglar,” and quashed plans for a box set that would include a wealth of unheard music from over the decades. One can’t help but

respect her stubbornness in keeping those rough drafts and concert tapes to herself. But the unreleased Joni Mitchell material that has slipped into the hands of collectors (and subsequently onto the ‘net) is illuminating—especially recordings from 1965 to 1975, which trace the songwriter’s path from folk club obscurity in Winnipeg to superstardom. Joni might not like it, but a peek behind the curtain is nearly irresistible for fans.

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