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Travelogue: Deluxe Edition - Joni Mitchell
Author Name: severus_snape
Travelogue: Deluxe Edition - Joni Mitchell
Advantages: Wonderful orchestral arrangements and rich music throughout
It's only in the last year that I've really become a Joni Mitchell lover, and that was mainly sparked after hearing the rerecording of 'Both Sides Now' (which featured on Love Actually in 2001). I enjoyed the songs on that album, and felt particularly warmed to Mitchell's deepened, rather husky, voice. I then came across this album, recorded in 2002, and decided to get a copy.
It was the single greatest CD I think I own (and I have about 150). The CD is actually a deluxe 2-CD box set, which features orchestral re-recordings spanning her entire career - 22 songs in total. There are some of Joni's more popular pieces - "Woodstock" and "Sex Kills", but a great many that I'd never come across before - "God Must Be a Boogie Man" and "The Dawntreader", for example. Produced with Larry Klein, the album, for me, captures the real essence of Joni Mitchell, which sung in such a deeply resonant tone gives the pieces a maturity they didn't have the first time around. The track listing is as follows:
1. "Otis and Marlena" - 3:54
2. "Amelia" - 6:48
3. "You Dream Flat Tires" - 3:48
4. "Love" - 5:40
5. "Woodstock" - 5:56
6. "Slouching Toward Bethlehem" - 7:11
7. "Judgement of the Moon and Stars (Ludwig's Tune)" - 5:22
8. "The Sire of Sorrow (Job's Sad Song)" - 7:09
9. "For the Roses" - 7:28
10. "Trouble Child" - 5:02
11. "God Must Be a Boogie Man" - 3:56
1. "Be Cool" - 5:09
2. "Just Like This Train" - 5:04
3. "Sex Kills" - 3:57
4. "Refuge of the Roads" - 7:56
5. "Hejira" - 6:47
6. "Chinese Café / Unchained Melody" - 5:41
7. "Cherokee Louise" - 6:00
8. "The Dawntreader" - 5:38
9. "The Last Time I Saw Richard" - 4:58
10. "Borderline" - 6:23
11. "The Circle Game" - 6:50
Some of the highlights from the album:
The original Woodstock featured on Joni's third album "Ladies of the Canyon", and was quite minimalistic in terms of accompaniment. This version is richer, with deep brass and an airy, mysterious, introduction. This piece won a Grammy in 2004 for Orchestral Arrangement, and is a stunning transformation from the original piece.
"God Must Be a Boogie Man"
This track comes from the album "Mingus", which was the final music project that Charles Mingus worked on before his death. This song comes from the following dialogue in Mingus' autobiography:
"Why don't you ever let me lie on the couch, doctor?"
"You always choose the chair."
"I feel you don't want me on the couch 'cause I'm colored and your white patients might be bugged."
"Oh, Charles Mingus! You can lie on it, kick it, jump on it, get on it, get under it, turn it over, break it - and pay for it."'
"Man, you're crazy! I'm gonna save you."
"You're not trained to save. I am."
"I can save you. Do you believe in God?"
"As a boogie man?"
This song is the jazziest of all the songs on Travelogue, with elaborate sax parts and syncopated rhythm, and is particularly suited to Mitchell's deeper and huskier voice, with quite a few low notes. It's a really fun song, and a great end to the first disc.
This is a rework of the 1976 track, from the album of the same name. In the original, the only instruments were Joni's guitar and Jaco Pastorius's fretless bass; but the rerecording is richly orchestral and has become my favourite Joni song of all time. It's as if Joni is travelling the same journey she travelled in the 70s, but somehow the journey is coming full circle. The song is enchanting, but powerful too.
"The Last Time I Saw Richard"
Anyone who owns "Blue" will know this song, and remember it to be quite a melancholy song, almost desparing. The Travelogue version is much more positive, and is one of the songs that really hits you at how deep Joni's voice has become, when she sings the opening line. She is finally putting Richard to rest.
All of the tracks on the album are superb, and to top it all, the disc comes with a beautiful colour booklet in the case with prints of Joni's artwork from the years, which are truly stunning. This is well worth buying, and is a package I will treasure for years to come.
Summary: A masterpiece