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Joni Mitchell: Reading Rudyard Kipling, Working On New Material

October 23, 2006 1:23 PM ET

It's been eight years since Joni Mitchell released a new record composed of original material. In 1998 she put out Taming the Tiger, then quit releasing new music, citing crippling frustrations with the music industry as one of many reasons for her retirement. (Her only output the last several years has been covers records.) But in an interview with the Ottawa Citizen, Mitchell apparently announced that she's currently working on songs for a completely new record.

She's not changed her mind about the leech-like nature of the recording industry ("the record labels are criminally insane . . . ugly, screwed up, crooked, uncreative, selfish" she reportedly reiterated,) but Mitchell apparently feels compelled by current political and social issues to make a statement with her music once more. "When the world becomes a massive mess with nobody at the helm, it's time for artists to make their mark," she said.

According to Uncut, the new record will be released online but does not yet have a set date, and will likely feature Mitchell's core group of fellow-musicians, including drummer Brian Blade, saxophonist Wayne Shorter and pianist Herbie Hancock. Mitchell will reportedly take care of piano, guitar and synthesizers herself. Some inclusions are apparently confirmed, including a song inspired by Rudyard Kipling's poem "If" and another titled "Holy War," which attacks wars fought in the name of religion.

We think this record falls under the category of Albums We Though We'd Never See, a topic many of you pondered, then posted about over the weekend on our Rock List. Do you agree?

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Song Stories

“Money For Nothing”

Dire Straits | 1984

Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

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