Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Joni Mitchell’s Catalog Back on Spotify After Neil Young’s Return

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A week after her old friend Neil Young‘s return to Spotify, Joni Mitchell‘s catalog has been restored to the streaming service. Mitchell pulled her music from Spotify in early 2022 in solidarity with Young over their concerns about the vaccine and COVID-19 misinformation being spread on the platform’s popular Joe Rogan Experience podcast.



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Though Mitchell, 80, had not commented on her music’s return to Spotify at press time, in a note on her official website posted at the time of the boycott she explained, “I’ve decided to remove all my music from Spotify. Irresponsible people are spreading lies that are costing people their lives. I stand in solidarity with Neil Young and the global scientific and medical communities on this issue.”

Last week, Young said in a post on his Archives site that the end of Spotify’s exclusive deal with Rogan led to the restoration of his music to the service. “My decision comes as music services Apple and Amazon have started serving the same disinformation podcast features I had opposed at Spotify,” Young’s post read – in a clear reference to the Rogan podcast, though he never mentioned the show, or its host, by name. Since last month, the Rogan podcast has been available on a variety of platform, including Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and YouTube.

“I cannot just leave Apple and Amazon, like I did Spotify, because my music would have very little streaming outlet to music lovers at all, so I have returned to Spotify,” Young explained about his turnabout.

At the time of Mitchell’s boycott not all of her music was actually removed from Spotify. While such iconic titles as 1970’s Ladies of the Canyon, 1971’s Blue and 1974’s Court and Spark went away during the pull-out, her four Geffen Records albums from the 1980s and early 1990s — Wild Things Run Fast (1982), Dog Eat Dog (1985), Chalk Mark in a Rain Storm (1988) and Night Ride Home (1991) — were still available. In fact, Billboard reported at the time that in the first four days after the wider catalog removal, songs from Mitchell’s Geffen albums across all streaming services saw at 484% increase in on-demand streaming activity in the U.S.

Young’s original 2022 boycott was also supported by several other artists, including his Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young bandmates David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash, as well as India.Arie, though CSN/CSN&Y and Arie’s music were back on the service in short order.

Mitchell’s return to Spotify comes amidst the singer’s late-career resurgence, which last month found her performing at the Grammy Awards for the first time. The emotional run through “Both Sides Now” from the singer who has been off-the-radar for years due to a brain aneurysm and a battle with the rare skin condition Moregellons disease included an introduction from superfan and collaborator Brandi Carlile and backing from Alison Russell, Lucius and Jacob Collier.

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