to Joni Mitchell was first announced in 1999 and slated for release
sometime in 2000. The original tracks included the following:
Janet Jackson: "The Beat Of Black Wings."
k.d. lang: "Help Me."
Sarah McLachlan: "Blue."
Elvis Costello: "Edith And The Kingpin."
Etta James: "Amelia."
Chaka Kahn: "Hejira."
Bjork: "Jericho" or "The Boho Dance."
and Madonna were also approached to be involved in the project.
the excitement, why was the project abandoned and now, after all this
time, finally released? There seems to be no media attention to this
glaring detail but I have my guess: In 2002 Joni released her last album
and said she was going to retire from music business. She was tired of
record company politics and would never work again. Perhaps the
uncompleted tribute album was aborted because of Joni's quitting cold
turkey. Recently however, Executive producer and Nonesuch Records President Bob Hurwitz, a longtime admirer of Joni Mitchell, came across the project upon Nonesuch’s move to Warner Brothers in 2004. It was started in the late ‘90s, but never completed. He says:
“I loved much of what I heard from the first group of recordings; the best of the tracks, at least to me, sounded like these artists were singing for an audience of one: Joni Mitchell. They knew she would hear their recording of her song, which has to be one of the most daunting tasks any musician can face."
(quoted from atributetojonimitchell.com)