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Geffen Preps New Joni Mitchell Collection
Geffen has rounded up 16 of Joni Mitchell’s more issue-minded tracks for the compilation “The Beginning of Survival,” due July 27. The songs are drawn from the Mitchell album “Dog Eat Dog,” “Chalk Mark in a Rainstorm,” “Night Ride Home,” Turbulent Indigo” and “Taming the Tiger.” Among the guests sprinkled throughout are Don Henley, James Taylor, Willie Nelson and Michael McDonald.
The album’s self-described “commentaries on the world in which we live” find Mitchell addressing such as topics as greed and corruption (“No Apologies,” “Dog Eat Dog” and “Passion Play (The Story of Jesus and Zachius … The Little Tax Collector),” featuring actor Rod Steiger), Western culture (“The Three Great Stimulants”) and environmental responsibility (“Cool Water,” “Lakota”).
Also featured are “Slouching Toward Bethlehem” (adapted from a poem by W.B. Yeats), “The Beat of Black Wings,” “The Reoccuring Dream,” “Impossible Dreamer” and “The Windfall (Everything for Nothing).”
Mitchell co-produced the album and contributes an essay plus original artwork. The liner notes include a reproduction of an environmentally themed letter to the President of the United States, thought to have been penned by Susquamish Indian Chief Seattle in 1852.
“The Beginning of Survival” is Geffen’s second recent archival Mitchell release, following last September’s four-disc boxed set “The Complete Geffen Recordings.” The artist has not issued a new studio album since 2002’s Nonesuch set “Travelogue,” which she has said will be her last.