Picks and Pans Review: Catching Up with ... Joni Mitchell

UPDATED 11/05/2007 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 11/05/2007 at 01:00 AM EST

• The pop icon, 64, is back with her first studio disc in five years, Shine, on the new Starbucks label

ON HER RECORDING HIATUS I turned in [2002's] Travelogue and [a label exec] said, "We're just used-car salesmen now, but this is a work of genius, and we don't know what to do with it." I thought, "What am I gonna do? Get worse? I'm outta here!" I'd gotten to hate music. I couldn't listen to the radio. But then Starbucks put out a series of Artist's Choice [CDs] and I said, "Can I do one of those?" I'm making my desert island tape, so I had to figure out, "What did I care about?"

ON HOW SHE SPENT HER BREAK My life came down to being a granny and watching television. I thought, "Uh-oh, is this the rest of my life? Smoking in front of Ted Turner?"

ON HER CANADIAN GETAWAY I go up to my place in [Sechelt, B.C.] and I get so happy washing my dishes. I look out at this beautiful bay and see blue herons flying by. It heals me.

ON PARTYING WITH HER PAL PRINCE He throws big parties that start at midnight. It's like the old after-hours deal, but on a grander scale. We're not in the back room of some Dixieland place in New Orleans; we're in Prince's palace with Hollywood A--listers!

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