Joni Mitchell takes a look back at her career with the four-disc box 'Love Has Many Faces: A Quartet, a Ballet, Waiting to Be Danced,' due in stores Nov. 17.

ABC News Radio reports that the new retrospective rose out of the ashes of Mitchell's attempt to use selections from her archives as the accompaniment for a dance production to be staged by Canada's Albert Ballet. Explaining that she was ultimately unable to settle on a list of songs for the project, she eventually settled on the idea of a thematically organized, 53-song overview of her musical legacy.

"I wanted the music to feel like a total work -- a new work," Mitchell wrote of the show in 'Love Has Many Faces'' liner notes. "No matter what I did, though, at that length, it remained merely a collection of songs."

Which is not to say Mitchell considers the box (which also bundles poems, paintings and memories of the sessions that produced these songs) "merely a collection." As she went on to add in her booklet essay, "I am a painter who writes songs. My songs are very visual. The words create scenes ... What I have done here is to gather some of these scenes (like a documentary filmmaker) and by juxtaposition, edit them into a whole new work."

'Love Has Many Faces: A Quartet, a Ballet, Waiting to Be Staged' is available for pre-order now.