Joni Mitchell is delving deep into her archives to share some never-before-heard music with fans.
The 76-year-old Canadian music icon has maintained a low profile since suffering a brain aneurysm in 2015, but will be re-entering the music scene thanks to a new five-disc box set featuring rare unreleased tracks recorded prior to her 1968 debut album, the David Crosby-produced Songs to a Seagull.
On Oct. 30, Mitchell will release Archives Vol. 1: The Early Years (1963-1967), which will include six hours of unreleased demos, live performances and radio broadcasts recorded during the intensely creative period leading up to her first album.
According to the release from Rhino Records, this will be the first of several sets chronicling different periods of her career, while Mitchell herself is said to be “intimately involved in producing the archive series, lending her vision and personal touch to every element of the project.”
Among the material are 29 never-before-released songs, with the set to be available digitally and as a deluxe five-CD set.
In a statement accompanying the announcement, Mitchell admitted that she’s had to come to terms with material she recorded while still learning her craft.
“The early stuff, I shouldn’t be such a snob against it,” she said. “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 folk singer.’ 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 folk singer!”
In addition to these never-heard tracks, fans will also get to enjoy demo versions of songs that showed up on Mitchell’s first four studio albums, including “Chelsea Mornings”, “Michael From Mountains”, “Both Sides Now”, “I Had A King”, “The Circle Game” and “Little Green”, along with a cover of Neil Young’s “Sugar Mountain”.
In conjunction with the album’s release, Mitchell is also entering the world of social media; in addition to launching an official website (www.jonimitchell.com), Mitchell will also debut official Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts, along with a YouTube channel.