Collection: 3. Joni Mitchell - Blue

In 1971, Joni Mitchell represented the West Coast feminine ideal — celebrated by Robert Plant as “a girl out there with love in her eyes and flowers in her hair” on Led Zeppelin’s “Goin’ to California.” It was a status that Mitchell hadn’t asked for and did not want: “I went, ‘Oh, my God, a lot of people are listening to me,’” she recalled in 2013. “’They better find out who they’re worshiping. Let’s see if they can take it. Let’s get real.’ So I wrote Blue.”

From its smoky, introspective cover to its wholly unguarded approach to songwriting, Blue is the first time any major rock or pop artist had opened up so fully, producing what might be the ultimate breakup album and setting a still-unmatched standard for confessional poetry in pop music. Using acoustic instruments and her octave-leaping voice, Mitchell portrayed herself as a lonely painter, aching to make sense of all her heartbreak. She reflects on past relationships and encounters, including a chef from Crete (“Carey”) and rock luminaries like Graham Nash (“My Old Man”), Leonard Cohen (“A Case of You”), and James Taylor (“This Flight Tonight”), who lent a hand on a few tracks. Along with its romantic melancholy, Blue was the sound of a woman availing herself of the romantic and sexual freedom that was, until then, an exclusively male province in rock.

The songs had such stark, emotional intensity that it shocked the men around her: “Kris Kristofferson said to me, ‘Oh, Joni. Save something for yourself.’ The vulnerability freaked them out.” On “Little Green,” she opens up about a baby she had given up for adoption, and on the staggering piano dirge “River,” she takes responsibility for a romance gone wrong, changing the scope of love songs forever: “I’m so hard to handle/I’m selfish, and I’m sad,” she laments. “Now I’ve gone and lost the best baby/That I ever had.” - RollingStone.com

Mitchell continued to release excellent records throughout the Seventies, but Blue remains her masterpiece. “The Blue album, there’s hardly a dishonest note in the vocals,” she told Rolling Stone in 1979. “At that period of my life, I had no personal defenses. I felt like a cellophane wrapper on a pack of cigarettes. I felt like I had absolutely no secrets from the world, and I couldn’t pretend in my life to be strong. Or to be happy. But the advantage of it in the music was that there were no defenses there either.”

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  • JONI MITCHELL - BLUE (USED VINYL 2001 GERMAN EX-/EX+)
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  • JONI MITCHELL - BLUE CD
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  • JONI MITCHELL - BLUE HIGHLIGHTS VINYL RSD 2022
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  • JONI MITCHELL - BLUE VINYL
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