Blue

~ Release group by Joni Mitchell

Album

Release Format Tracks Date Country Label Catalog# Barcode
Official
Blue 12" Vinyl 10 Reprise Records MS 2038 [none]
Blue 12" Vinyl 10 Reprise Records 44 128 [none]
Blue 12" Vinyl 10 Reprise Records K 44128 [none]
Blue CD 10 Reprise Records 2038
Blue CD 10 Reprise Records 7599-27199-2 075992719926
Blue CD 10 Reprise Records 2038-2 075992719926
Blue HDCD 10 Reprise Records 7599-27199-2 075992719926
Blue CD 10 DCC Compact Classics GZS-1132 010963113228
Blue HDCD 10 Reprise Records 2038-2 075992719926
Blue CD 10 Reprise Records OPCD-8031 081227414924
Blue 12" Vinyl 10 Reprise Records 74842 081227484217
Blue HDCD 10 Reprise Records CD 2038 075992719926
Blue CD 10 Reprise Records 7599-27199-2, WE 835 075992719926
Blue 12" Vinyl 10 Reprise Records MS 2038 [none]
Blue CD 10 Reprise Records 244128 0075992719926

Relationships

part of: Rolling Stone: 500 Greatest Albums of All Time: 2012 edition (number: 30)
Allmusic: http://www.allmusic.com/album/mw0000193531 [info]
Discogs: https://www.discogs.com/master/47744 [info]
Wikidata: Q804554 [info]
lyrics page: http://genius.com/albums/Joni-mitchell/Blue [info]
other databases: https://rateyourmusic.com/release/album/joni_mitchell/blue/ [info]
https://www.musik-sammler.de/album/79982/ [info]
reviews: http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/rvzb [info]

CritiqueBrainz Reviews

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Joni Mitchell may have been Canadian but, like fellow Canuck Neil Young, she was also the archetypal Laurel Canyon troubadour, at least at this point in her career. But there was always a sense that she was apart from any putative scene, reflecting on rather than immersed in it - even her famous, eponymous song about Woodstock, penned just after the legendary rock festival, had a ruminative, even sorrowful quality about it, as though she was contemplating a moment that had passed, gone forever.

And so it is with Blue, Mitchell's fourth album. It has, as the title suggests, a melancholy atmosphere, one that functions on two levels: one personal, the other universal. It feels as much like the diary entries of a woman written in the wake of a breakup as it does a more general statement about a generation reeling after a series of shocks (Altamont, Manson, RIP the Fabs). Blue evokes the mourning after the nights of free-love before. If The Beatles' split was symptomatic of the failure of the youth to come together, Blue felt like the net result. Orphaned by the death of the hippie nation, Mitchell was left to ponder a future alone, minus the comfort of community. Blue introduced a new paradigm for rock: the solo singer-songwriter confessing her woes, making her way in the world alone, without the solace of a band.

Blue invites such fanciful commentary. It feels like poetry set to music, and even though many of the lyrics are simple ("All I really, really want our love to do is to bring out the best in me and you," from the opening track All I Want), often the music seems to be accommodating the words. As a consequence, the melodies, tracked by Mitchell's swooping, soaring vocals, can be so hard to follow that it's almost a miracle anyone can remember them, let alone the artist.

And yet that's exactly what did happen: these songs became indelibly stamped on the minds of Americans and young people everywhere, isolated and bewildered at the start of a new decade. Carey (which was, tune-wise, Big Yellow Taxi's slight return), the title-track and The Last Time I Saw Richard may have been highly personal, with speculation that they were about, respectively, former beaus James Taylor, David Blue and her ex-husband; A Case Of You may have been as private as a love letter; and Little Green, about giving up a child for adoption, may have been excoriating autobiography. Nevertheless, these songs, sparsely arranged on piano, acoustic guitar and Appalachian dulcimer, delivered with a jazzy looseness and enhanced by the sustained mood of quiet despair, soon became the property of everyone.