Last month she made a surprise return to the stage, playing at the Newport Folk Festival with assistance from other musicians. It was later revealed that no one was certain if Mitchell would take part until the moments leading up to the performance.
In a new interview with Uncut, Rhino Records A&R director Patrick Milligan said the show followed the happy experience of remixing four albums Mitchell had released in the ‘70s. “Joni has been going through therapy to get beyond her aneurysm, and in the three years I’ve known her, the improvement has been incredible,” he said. “She told me, ‘Working on these projects has helped me.’ I think we’re going to be hearing more from her all the time. She is really getting back into the swing of things.”
Engineer Ken Caillat, who worked with Mitchell on the old recordings, recalled that she told him, “I love the sound of my voice. … I can’t believe how good my voice sounds!” She was so happy, she danced for joy in the studio. “She was thrilled,” Caillat noted. “And we were thrilled that she was thrilled.”
The upcoming reissues – For the Roses, Court and Spark, The Hissing of Summer Lawns and the live LP Miles of Aisles – build on the more complex, textured approach Mitchell had taken toward production. Guitarist Larry Carlton, who worked with her during that era, hailed her work by saying that “she valued spontaneity, until she got her hands on the music after the fact.
“With her great musicality, she got to shape the final product off of our spontaneity. That’s where her brilliance shines through. I always like to make sure that she gets all the credit! She was such a great musical editor, and if you gave her gems and pearls, she could put them together and make something wonderful out of what she received.”
Joni Mitchell Albums Ranked
Individuality set her apart from other singer-songwriters in the ’70s.