Joni Mitchell – Joni’s Personal A&M-Pressed “Ladies of the Canyon” Test Pressing LP (Made before master tapes turned in to Reprise)
An extraordinary and previously unknown Joni Mitchell collectible—Joni Mitchell’s personal 1970 test pressing of her album Ladies of the Canyon, pressed by A&M Records prior to her turning in the album to her label Reprise Records. This is best explained by the accompanying letter of authenticity from Joni’s longtime friend and associate, Joel Bernstein:
“This letter is to authenticate a very rare Joni Mitchell’s test pressing of her 1970 album Ladies of the Canyon. Joni and Henry Lewy recorded this album at A&M Studios in Hollywood, and before turning the master tape in, they had A&M order a test pressing from Monarch Record manufacturing so they could hear it on vinyl. This extremely rare test pressing has “A&M Special” etched into the runoff grooves and predates any Reprise test pressing.
I first photographed Joni Mitchell at a 1966 Philadelphia club show; by 1968 we had become friends and I began touring with her as her photographer. For the next 15 years, I toured with Joni, shooting live shows and photographing her for the covers of her albums For The Roses, Hejira, Shadows and Light and Songs of a Prarie Girl. At her request, I also transcribed the tunings to all of her songs so that she could have a permanent record of them; and during her 1979 tour and her 1994-1995 touring to support Turbulent Indigo, I worked as both her guitar technician and production manager. Over the years I became well-versed in the many aspects of her writing, recording, and performing, and in 2003 I was co-producer of the Emmy Award-winning PBS documentary Joni Mitchell: Woman of Heart and Mind. This test pressing was given to me by Joni, and is from my personal collection. Sincerely, Joel Bernstein”
Once again, this test pressing was made from the original master tapes for Joni Mitchell and her producer and engineer, prior to the album being turned into Reprise Records. The matrix reads “A&M SPECIAL Side 1 (MR) (delta sign) 11456 /A&M SPECIAL Side 2 (MR) (delta sign) 11456.” Joni’s personal copy, and probably one of three or four pressed in 1970. In NM– condition. With Joel Bernstein’s signed letter of authenticity and Recordmecca’s lifetime guarantee of authenticity.
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