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on 14 December 2014
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on 13 February 2015
Fantastic album
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on 17 August 2015
Can't live without it!
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on 17 July 2015
Joni Enchanting as ever.
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on 23 December 2008
I know this is a HUGE thing to say, and totally understand all those of you who'll label me a delusional old hippy for even saying there CAN be such a thing, but yeah, I gotta say it; all things considered, this is THE BEST ALBUM [of literally 1000's] I've everv heard. Nuff said.
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Moving away from the pure Folk Rock simplicity of LPs like "Clouds", "Ladies Of The Canyon" and "Blue" – Joni began a run of sophisticated albums between 1974 and 1977 that featured full bands and a level of player excellence that bordered on studio perfection. LPs like "Court And Spark" from 1974 and "The Hissing Of Summer Lawns" from 1975 also saw her expand her musical horizons and lyric content like an eagle finding its wingspan and going for it. "...Hissing..." even pulled 'Album Of The Year' tags from several musical newspapers for 1975 - and rightly so.

And yet somehow the magnificent and accomplished "Hejira" from the winter of 1976 (her 8th studio album) seemed to not pick up as much traction. It's always felt to me like the overlooked runt in her extraordinary catalogue of music. Which brings me to the reason fro a 2016 review. You can now pick it up in gorgeous CD Audio quality for a few quid inside a WEA motherlode from 2012. Here are the boxing clever details...

Released October 2012 in the UK (November 2012 in the USA) – "The Studio Albums 1968-1979" by JONI MITCHELL is a 10CD Mini Box Set on Warners/Reprise/Asylum/Rhino 8122797178 (Barcode 081227971786) and Disc 8 that contains "Hejira" in Remastered form breaks down as follows:

Disc 8 (51:55 minutes):
1. Coyote
2. Amelia
3. Furry Sings The Blues
4. A Strange Boy
5. Hejira
6. Song For Sharon
7. Black Crow
8. Blue Motel Room
9. Refuge Of The Roads
Tracks 1 to 9 are the LP "Hejira" – released November 1976 in the USA on Asylum 7E-1087 and Asylum K 53053 in the UK. Produced by JONI MITCHELL – it peaked at No. 13 in the USA and No. 11 in the UK LP charts.

Even as of 2016 with subsequent releases - Joni Mitchell's "The Studio Albums 1968-1979" is probably the prettiest WEA Mini Box Set released to date. Each of the 5” card repro sleeves inside reflects the original AMERICAN artwork and so "Hejira" comes (along with all the other albums) with its gatefold sleeve and that means you can (just about) read the stunning lyrics on the inside. OK the original album 'inner sleeve’ is not here – but it has to be said that the uber clean 5” gatefold repros are beautifully done and for an old album’s nut like me – aesthetically pleasing – even if you will need a microscope to actually read any of the lyrics or recording info. There's no booklet to the Box Set which is a damn shame given this woman’s musical stature. But these are mere niggles to the main event – the wonderful AUDIO…

The best bit for many will be the GORGEOUS QUALITY SOUND. From what I can hear almost every one of these has used the upgraded HDCD remasters and the audio warmth and presence is often mind-blowingly good. Which brings us to the music itself…

"Hejira" is dominated by three things that all gelled into one beautiful whole. First up are the nine songs – none are short or pithy but long lyrical exercises (five or six minutes) hung on floating Jazz rhythms that remind immediately of 1977’s “Aja” by Steely Dan (for many the high water mark of their sophistication). The amazing “Song For Sharon” stretches out to almost nine minutes yet doesn’t really feel like it’s overstaying its welcome. Then there’s the Production Values where on album number Joni brings an almost Audiophile sweetness to each track. You can hear Neil Young’s slightly echoed Harmonica on “Furry Sings The Blues” – the complimentary horns of Chuck Findley and Tom Scott on “Refuge Of The Road” and Abe Most’s Clarinet on the title cut “Hejira”.

But these are nothing to the duo of Joni’s hugely accomplished Acoustic Guitar playing and the Fretless Bass pings and pongs of Jaco Pastorious – both of which add a sweet soundscape to every painting. Then there’s the torrent of words - track after track simply flooring you. Melodious, witty, heartfelt and articulate - Joni Mitchell has a way with melodies and words that oozes a rare intelligence. Take “...I’m porous with travel fever...but you know I’m so glad to be on my own...still sometimes the slightest touch of a stranger...can set up trembling in my bones...” in “Hejira” or “...your life becomes a travelogue of picture postcard charms...” in the rootless and restless “Amelia”. I can remember seeing her do “Coyote” at The Band’s “Last Waltz” in the cinema in 1979 and the sheer class of the song and her words winning whoops and hollers from the crowd (“...too busy watching the waitresses’ legs...I tried to run away and wrestle with my ego...”).

"Hejira" is masterful stuff and an album that grows in stature as the years pass. Prince adored her and her music – and on the evidence of the class on offer here – it's easy to understand why. As a prolific writer himself – I'm sure the sadly passed Prince longed to pen stuff as beautiful and sophisticated as this. And given his genius isn't that the greatest compliment to pay this artist and this great album...
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on 30 July 2013
I ordered three of these Joni HDCDs (this, along with For the Roses and Hissing of Summer Lawns), and they are amazing (within reason). One can hear subtle nuances of parts in the mix that are unnoticeable in the standard CD format. The expanded soundscape is fascinating, and--in certain ways--how you always dreamed these albums should and could sound. Listening to it on a blaster or standard car stereo is, at times, disconcerting--most of these types of players don't have enough equalization or clean power to accommodate the new, sheer presence of some parts (Joni's lead vocal, for instance--especially when she pushes it hard, and moves from mid-range to high). These moments happen from time to time, and although they are not pleasant, they do not render the listening experience intolerable. However, with audiophile or studio quality eq and warm amplification, you're in for a listening experience of a lifetime.
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on 29 August 2014
AMELIA & COYOTE just 2 of the fab songs on this brilliant album !JONI
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on 1 December 2014
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on 2 July 2014
Prima LP, alles conform omschrijving.
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