Just days after returning to the stage for the first time in nearly 20 years for a rousing, unforgettable performance at Newport Folk Festival, Joni Mitchell has announced a new box set of her work, The Asylum Albums (1972-1975). The cover art for the album is one of Mitchell’s own, never-before-seen paintings, a transportive impressionistic work depicting a cluster of mossy rocks and bushes overlooking a rippling river.
The four-disc set will chronicle the period of her career post-Blue, when she left Reprise Records for Asylum Records and began to lean towards more jazz-influenced melodies, culminating with a 1979 collaboration with jazz legend Charles Mingus that marked her last studio album with Asylum. The collection includes remastered versions of 1972's For The Roses, 1974's Court And Spark, 1974's double live album Miles Of Aisles, and 1975's The Hissing Of Summer Lawns.
Similarly to how Joni Mitchell Archives Vol. 2: The Reprise Years (1968 To 1971) was accompanied by the release of The Reprise Albums (1968-1971) box set, The Asylum Albums (1972-1975) is expected to accompany the yet-to-be announced third volume of Mitchell’s archival series. The album will released in a variety of different formats, including as a 5-LP vinyl set with only 20,000 copies available for purchase.
The Asylum Albums also comes complete with an essay by Mitchell’s close friend and colleague (and fellow Canadian) Neil Young. “Joni’s music is so deep and transporting. She comes right from the source,” Young writes. “There is no mistaking it…For The Roses, Court And Spark, Miles Of Aisles, and The Hissing Of Summer Lawns…are all classics in my book. I listened to every album as it came out. The musicians she played with were always above my abilities. She had grown from folk to jazz and in between, creating a unique kind of sound that I loved to listen to over and over.”
Like Young, Mitchell removed her music from Spotify in January to express her distaste for the continued airing of The Joe Rogan Experience— despite this, The Asylum Albums will reportedly be made available for digital listening. A remastered version of one of the tracks from the set, Mitchell’s first No. 1 hit “You Turn Me On, I’m A Radio,” is currently available to stream on Spotify.
The Asylum Albums box-set will be released on September 23, and is available for pre-order now.