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Travelogue Enhanced

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Image of album by Joni Mitchell


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When the dust settles, Joni Mitchell may stand as the most important and influential female recording artist of the late 20th century. Uncompromising and iconoclastic, Mitchell confounded expectations at every turn; restlessly innovative, her music evolved from deeply personal folk stylings into pop, jazz, avant-garde, and even world music, presaging the multicultural experimentation of the ... Read more in Amazon's Joni Mitchell Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Travelogue + Both Sides Now + Turbulent Indigo
Price For All Three: £38.13

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Product details

  • Audio CD (25 Nov 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Enhanced
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B00006X06U
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 43,050 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Otis and Marlena
2. Amelia
3. You Dream Flat Tires
4. Love
5. Woodstock
6. Slouching Towards Bethlehem
7. Judgement of the Moon and Stars
8. The Sire of Sorrow
9. For the Roses
10. Trouble Child
See all 11 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Be Cool
2. Just Like This Train
3. Sex Kills
4. Refuge of the Roads
5. Hejira
6. Chinese Cafe / Unchained Melody
7. Cherokee Louise
8. The Dawntreader
9. The Last Time I Saw Richard
10. Borderline
See all 11 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Product Description



Travelogue finds the incomparable Joni Mitchell sticking to a format that worked so well on her previous album. However, where Both Sides Now took a series of American standards, hitched them up to a 70-piece orchestra and gave them her own quirky twist, with Travelogue she has applied the same technique to her own back catalogue. Recorded in London's Air Studios with an orchestra, 20-voice choir and key players such as Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter, this double CD is a moving reinterpretation of her most significant songs. There is "Woodstock", for instance, now sounding filmic and expansive; and "Hejira", softened by strings. Mitchell avoids schmaltz, however, with a rigorous, jazz-inspired approach. "God Must Be a Boogie Man", for instance, has a sense of Miles Davis's languid cool, while "For the Roses" sounds vibrant and edgy. On this record Mitchell explores memory and nostalgia, but without a hint of regret. --Lucy O'Brien

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Paul Kelly on 17 Dec 2002
Format: Audio CD
What it is to grow old with grace. Joni Mitchell, who has always managed to marry emotional resonance with a puckish, mercurial quality, is not quite in the twilight of her years. Yet one senses that she knows that as a beacon for an intelligent, counter-culture, her days are done. And so to an affectionate and at times wistful look back to a career that has always seemed, both innovative and, as they say, 'fashionably late'. But having made classics, how can you possibly better them?
The rich orchestral tones of her last album, "Both Sides Now" caught many unawares. Here she follows the same formula, but applies it solely to her own back catalogue. Vince Mendoza's arrangements are a touch lighter and subtler than on "Both Sides..." and bring new depth to what was already a rich canon of songs.
I am not a die-hard Mitchellite, I slipped in for "Hissing..." and out after "Hejira", so I am coming fresh to songs that for many are, in their original versions, treasured classics. But the re-workings on the material I do know, are breathtaking. Strings and French horns turn "Woodstock" into a rich, graceful and epic lament. "God Must Be A Boogie Man" accompanied by a clarinet ensemble, strings and Wayne Shorter's soprano sax, dances in a darkly knowing way. A male voice choir unexpectedly pops up on "The Sire Of Sorrow" to add an edge of drama like the chorus in a Bach Mass. "Refuge of The Roads" opens with heavenly harp while "The Last Time I Saw Richard" features stunningly beautiful writing for a wind and strings ensemble. These versions may not better, but they are almost certainly deeper
Some may not take kindly to the slightly gruffer Mitchell voice, mellowed out and lacking an upper edge.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey M. Black on 6 Aug 2005
Format: Audio CD
I came to Joni late, being of the punk generation who were supposed to sneer at old hippies. 'The Hissing of Summer Lawns' turned me around and this album sealed my love for her. It's just pure class from beginning to end - as simple as that. Lyrics that blindside you with their insight at 4am, married to music that makes you want to hug strangers.
Joni may not have the octave-spanning soprano of old anymore, but the older, wiser voice is just as seductive. You feel you can learn something from this person.
Highlights include the double emotional punch of 'Refuge of The Roads' closely followed by 'Hejira'; the heart-tugging child abuse drama of 'Cherokee Louise': the weary reflections on growing old that is 'Chinese Cafe' (which includes a seamless segue into 'Unchained Melody') and the lyrical masterclass of 'Amelia'.
To listen to this album is to remind yourself of the possibilities of popular music; to not accept the lazy and formulaic, but instead to embrace the visionary and poetic. Take the time to listen and absorb and it will stay with you.
If this is to be Joni's swansong, then there is no better way to go out. If only I was older.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 Jan 2003
Format: Audio CD
Joni Mitchell is a legend in the history of popular music. She is one of the most consistent performers of all time, and 'Travelogue', her 22nd release, is another classic.
Mitchell has been known recently to appear as a cranky old lady, with no positive comments for anything at all. But she is right about the state of modern music with all the bubblegum pop. 'Travelogue', a bulky set that reworks 22 of her compositions from 1968 to 1994, is not only a brilliant musical treat - the artwork is among Joni's best. The music is classy, stylish and elegant and much more focused than 2000's 'Both Sides Now' standards album. Maybe it is just that I prefer Joni Mitchell originals to classic jazz standards. But nevertheless, 'Travelogue' is one of 2002's underrated gems.
The critics have been eager to slaughter the album, which is very unfair. Most critics have been disappointed with Mitchell's deep, husky voice and the way that the songs have apparently "been reduced to dirges". The orchestra (and swinging band, as some people forget) bring out hidden layers in Joni's songs and they are revamped - so it is not as if you are spending your money on something you already own. Joni's paintings here have to be the best we've seen - her last few albums have concentrated equally on music and art, with 'Taming The Tiger' (1998), 'Turbulent Indigo' (1994) and 'Both Sides Now' (2000) all featuring pages of her paintings. CD One of 'Travelogue' takes you to an art gallery of Joni's paintings, and also features full lyrics, credits and audio clips.
'Travelogue' is a magical journey to take - don't take note of the critics (although some have championed the record). Now nearing her sixties, 'Travelogue' would be a perfect way to end her music career. It is stylish, sophisticated music and you should really investigate.
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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 26 Nov 2002
Format: Audio CD
"No one said to Van Gogh, 'hey, paint 'A Starry Night' again, man...'" was Joni Mitchell's recorded response to audience requests on her 1974 live album Miles of Aisles. The intended comparison between the roles of the musical and visual artists came out as slightly pompous and patronising, but Mitchell's latest release validates her earlier opinion of the sort of company she should be keeping; with Travelogue she has in some senses painted her 'Starry Night' again.
Over two hours long, the double CD comprises reworkings of songs from Mitchell's catalogue, all the way from her first album in 1968 up to 1992's Turbulent Indigo, which apart from 1998's Taming The Tiger seems to have been the end of her interest in composing albums of new songs. There is adequate representation of all the periods of her work and I'm particularly delighted with three songs from the great Hejira and four from the underrated and subsequently ignored Wild Things Run Fast. It's unusual in this context of inclusiveness that there's nothing from The Hissing Of Summer Lawns, which many consider a career best and I can imagine would be well-served by the Travelogue approach.
The temptation when approaching a project like this is simply to compare the new versions with the older ones; it's harmless sport and will happen anyway, as the audience for this will mostly be existing and knowledgeable fans. But that would ignore the fact that Travelogue is an engaging and enjoyable album on its own terms - it's not, as may be feared, a "Joni'n'strings" softening of her greatest hits (so to speak.) We are presented with the full dynamic and tonal range of a symphony orchestra, usually deployed in a classical rather than big band style, with tone-poem arrangements by Vince Mendoza.
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