Joni Mitchell

Germany 1969

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Despite a record company address (actually the address of CBS in New York) and a bar code, it's pretty obvious this is a bootleg. And though it's titled Germany 1969, the brief blurb on the back sleeve seems determined to not only cast doubt as to whether this live set could have been recorded in Germany in 1969, but even disprove that such a show could have taken place. Wherever it was done, it's certainly a good live performance, with good though not perfect sound, and certainly from sometime in the late '60s. Two of the songs, "Go Tell the Drummer Man" and "Dr. Junk," would never find a place on her official releases, and while the second of this pair is something of a throwaway in the context of her early work, "Go Tell the Drummer Man" would not have disgraced one of her early LPs. Otherwise the set contains highlights of her early albums like "Marcie," "Michael from Mountains," "Nathan La Freneer," "Circle Game," and "I Don't Know Where I Stand." The singing, guitar playing, and songs are consistently beautiful, adding up to one of several unreleased Mitchell tapes from the period that are fine and moving listening, though this isn't the very best of these. Also included on this disc is a 15-minute interview, source unidentified, though it seems to have been done in conjunction with her 2004 compilation Dreamland.