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Complete Geffen Recordings

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal Music Distribution
  • ASIN: 5550220121
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Hello, Already had all the albums but when I saw the box set for sale used at £11.75 decided to buy it for the two unreleased tracks Bob Dylan's It's All Over Now Baby Blue and the demo of Two Grey Rooms. Only need original version of Man From Mars to complete my collection. Shame Joni has put her retrospective box set on hold as its long over due
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
We used to have these 4 Geffens on vinyl/never really liked them compared with all Joni's earlier albums.

We now like them via this special Geffen package with fine Joni notes/lovely bonus IAONBB.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x964a9174) out of 5 stars 18 reviews
38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x96742534) out of 5 stars TREASURES RESTORED AND PRESERVED. 8 Dec. 2003
By RALPH PETERS - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Enough with the eternal effort of trying to categorize her music; anyone even remotely familiar with Joni Mitchell knows she is not a category. She is an artist on a journey, as these albums certainly indicate.
On the indispensable DVD, "Joni Mitchell: Woman of Heart and Mind", it is explained that "Wild Things Run Fast" was somewhat of a return to pop form after the negative reaction to the pure jazz of "Mingus". But even on "Wild Things", Joni's stamp is purely her own; in this case its a CD of mostly love songs. A Joni love song, however, is not a silly expression of teenage fantasies, but a thoughtful (an often humourous) rumination on the idea of love, the pain and the sacrifices, the question of love at its nature.
"Dog Eat Dog" is one of the most challenging of her albums, even for hardcore fans, but it is definitely worth the effort, while the ethereal "Chalk Mark.." and the gorgeous "Night Ride Home" deal with sobering issues like child abuse, runaways, and (of course) true love.
If you are hesitating about buying the set because you may already have one or more of the CDs, don't. Joni's new liner notes are alone worth the price of the set, as is the introductory essay about the history of these great recordings and how, without the great lady's efforts, we may have lost them altogether. The packaging is lovely and the remastering is superb.
In an interview for the "Heart and Mind" DVD, Joni states that in order to reach people in music, you need to plumb the depths of yourself, turn yourself inside out. These four discs are certainly testimony to that. They also prove that, for all the emptiness of 1980s culture, Joni's voice still soared and captured a vacuous decade with her straight-on optimisim and dedication to her craft. She respects her music and her audience; this set is a great testimony to that respect.
38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c31d174) out of 5 stars Mitchell's most adventurous and overlooked period 24 Sept. 2003
By Michael Logan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Joni Mitchell is, in my opinion, the finest songwriter of the last 40 years. No one except Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and perhaps, occasionally. Kurt Cobain, can touch her as a poet--and no one at all has left a richer legacy of gorgeous melodies and totally original instrumental settings. Unfortunately, most of her best work has been done since her early commercial (and critical) peak in the first half of the 1970s, and hasn't reached the audience it deserves.

The Complete Geffen Recordings collects four records dating from 1982 to 1991 which, between them, contain at least 8 or 9 of the best songs you'll ever hear in your life. I was never crazy about the first of these records, "Wild Things Run Fast"--the playing is a bit too slick, and the songwriting standard is low for a Mitchell record--but "Chinese Cafe" and "Moon at the Window" are absolute classics. "Dog Eat Dog" has a very 80s synths & drum machines vibe, but Mitchell twists the New Wave tendencies into a unique sonic landscape that suits her brittle songs bemoaning a decade of greed & intolerance (a decade which, from the perspective of 2003, seems positively benign). "Chalk Mark in a Rain Storm" is almost as sonically adventurous, and contains the brilliant songs "My Secret Place" and "The Beat of Black Wings." Finally, "Night Ride Home" was billed as a return to form--by people who never bothered listening to her 80s records. It does return to a more acoustic vibe, showcasing Mitchell's unique guitar style. The title song and "Come in From the Cold," among others, are thrilling.

The box set includes 3 unreleased tracks. Joni's glorious cover of Dylan's "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" is worth the $50 all by itself. The wordless demo version of "Two Grey Rooms" is beautiful, but interesting primarily as a window into Mitchell's writing process, and a voice-&-piano demo of "Good Friends" from "Dog Eat Dog"--one of the most elaborately-produced tracks on an elaborately-produced record--is a refreshing alternative version.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9669d798) out of 5 stars Intriguing, challenging, beautiful - the Geffen years 26 Mar. 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The 4-cd Geffen set presents, repackaged and remastered, Joni Mitchell's post-jazz, return-to-pop period, from 1982 to 1991. True, Mitchell's 80s period is jazzier and more daring than conventional pop music, but these CDs nonetheless mark a major shift from the wordy and impressionistic jazz-rock fusion of her late 70s work to a simpler and perhaps more accessible pop-rock. By nearly anyone's measure these albums do not stand up to her finest work, the masterpieces Blue, Court and Spark, and Hejira. But their extraordinary production value (very appreciated by this fan if not by all), accompanied by some remarkable songs (Moon at the Window, Impossible Dreamer, My Secret Place and Cherokee Louise are the respective highlights, among others) make for intriguing, challenging and beautiful listening. Another highlight: the bonus demo of Two Grey Rooms, a track demonstrating better than any other found here (or perhaps before or since) what for me is the essence of Joni Mitchell's work: sensuality, desire, sophistication, love. I can't respond to another reviewer's claim that this set isn't adequately remastered. I detect a richer, fuller sound than the original CDs, and I'll have to leave it at that. The booklet contains extensive comments by the artist, some insightful, some spiteful, some amusing, all Joni.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x965bfb94) out of 5 stars Yes - Remastered 3 Feb. 2008
By Remaster Bob - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Hoping to clear up any confusion (I certainly was), this box set has certainly been remastered, and pretty well too. Even the most recent of the four albums, Night Ride Home, sounds significantly better than it's 1991 release. Our reviewer from Finland needs to spend more money on his hi-fi. Sadly we all do, thanks to the arrival of the digital age. The production credits for the box set are there in the liner notes, for the reading. Nothing here is "remixed" however.

Altogether this is a tidy and expensive package of the wonderful Joni MItchell's releases for Geffen, however I have to admit that I still don't hear much that I enjoy on Dog Eat Dog or Chalk Mark In A Rainstorm. The first and last albums make it up for me, packed with a fair selection of memorable tracks, along with a fabulous cover of "It's All Over Now Baby Blue". On that evidence, I would love to hear Joni doing a covers album with the same level of effort. The other two "demos" are intriguing enough but ultimately did not make it onto my home mix. What did blend well was three tracks from her new album "Shine".

I would suggest this box set is for those who know what they're buying, and if it's a better reproduction then buy with confidence. Those exploring Joni Mitchell would hit the motherlode quicker if (imho) they invest in Hejira or Court And Spark, among others. For dipping your toe in the water, I suggest "Hits" from 1996 - a good overview of her more accessible and timeless material.
40 of 51 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x964060f0) out of 5 stars NOT REMASTERED !!! 17 Mar. 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The Geffen era is the least liked period of Joni's music. Her early 70s folk fans and late 70s jazz fans (to put it bluntly) found these albums too commercial and overproduced. I'm not one of them! Being a teenager in the 80s, I totally soaked up this kind of sound. Conversely, I struggle with some of her early albums...
"Wild Things" and "Dog Eat Dog" are two of my favourite (Joni) albums. "Chalk Mark" has a few great gems but it is a bit uneven. "Night Ride Home" has more spacious, organic sound and it won back most of the fans. Overall, this is a batch of four very good albums. Still, I only give it three stars out of five.
Here is why. Most of Joni's albums have been re-released recently in glorious remastered HDCD sound and with fully restored artwork. Unfortunately, that proven recipe has not been used when reissuing these four albums. Instead, we get the Geffen box set.
The other re-releases didn't have bonus tracks, these have (except "Chalk Mark"). But that is hardly worth the hefty price of the box though, not even for a Joni fan. Where is the "Shiny Toys" remix, for example? The CD's come in very basic card wallets, neat but a bit cheap. There is a thick 86-page book(let), but is also a bit of a let-down. There is a spread of the unused art for "Dog Eat Dog", very nice. Joni has provided quaint comments for most of the tracks, but it almost seems she had better things to do, the further she got in the process. Only half of "Night Ride Home" apparently is worthy of commentary. Nothing to say about "Slouching Towards Bethlehem"? Astonishing.
My biggest complaint is sound quality. These CD's are NOT remastered (like it says on the top of this page). Nowhere on the box it actually claims this. 'Mastered from the original master tapes' simply means re-using the LP masters. Actual remastering would involve going back to the original multi-tracks and making a brand new mix, with digital playback in mind. That might sound like nitpicking, but the fact is that apart from raised sound level, there is practically no difference in sound - compared to the original CD's. They sound a bit tinny and thin and so do these. There is possibly a bit more bass on the first albums but no difference at all on the last two. I actually fooled myself a couple of times, thinking I was hearing an improvement in sound, when I was actually listening to the original 80s CD...
The Geffen box is one way to get these four albums - in case you're in the market to get them all on CD. But if you already have one of them, I would recommend getting the rest as the original CD's. You won't lose in sound quality and will get the albums the way they were meant to be released in, probably cheaper. If you own the original LP's: hold on to them! With no remastered CD's around - this box probably kills any chance of that happening - the best sound is still in the vinyls.
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