"Blue" by Joni Mitchell
"Blue", Joni Mitchell’s 4th album which was originally released in 1971, is a classic timeless recording. A quintessential Joni Mitchell album, everyone should own it -- or if not own it, at least give it a fair listen to, regardless if you are a Joni Mitchell fan or not. With songs like “A Case of You”, “Blue”, “River” and “California”, Joni Mitchell evokes emotions all across the board with her poetic lyrics. These are emotions we all may have had at some point in our lives but maybe could not express, while Joni does so flawlessly in such an enchanting way.
With simple lyrics like “I’m selfish and I’m sad, now I’ve gone and lost the best baby that I ever had. Oh I wish I had a river I could skate away on,” Joni Mitchell captures the true sense of the lonesome blues, caused by personal heartache or a personal mistake that has turned into regret. At some point in our lives this is something all humans may feel and relate to in one form or another.
Or other enthralling lyrics like these from the song "California:" “Reading the news and it sure looks bad. They won’t give peace a chance, that was just a dream some of us had.” Lyrics like these still apply to this day, even though they may have been written well over 30 years ago. The message is still there and completely relevant to today.
Joni Mitchell played an integral role in the world of folk music, and I feel she has largely been unacknowledged or forgotten by the mainstream music industry. Not to say she has not gained any recognition, I’ve actually found that in the past few years she has gained more and more recognition for her incredible talent and influence. Fellow folk rock artist Sarah McLachlan covered songs from this very album in tribute to Joni Mitchell’s greatness. Sarah McLachlan covers the beautiful song “River” on her recently released holiday album, "Wintersong", and she also covers the hauntingly beautiful song “Blue” on her "Rarities, B-Sides & Other Stuff" album, in tribute to Joni Mitchell for all that she has done for folk music in her lifetime.
On the album "Blue" particularly, Joni Mitchell really encompasses the simplicity of just her voice and the guitar, or her voice and the piano. "Blue" is a mellow and introspective album that speaks to the human condition. Joni Mitchell’s beautiful lyrics and music express deeply felt emotions in a remarkably meaningful way.
If you already love this album or are just discovering it for the first time, other Joni Mitchell albums you might enjoy (picked from the many!) include: "Ladies of the Canyon", with favorites like "Big Yellow Taxi", "Clouds", with favorites like "Chelsea Morning" and "Songs to a Seagull", with one of my personal favorites "Cactus Tree". All of these albums are unique and beautiful in their own ways.
To listen to songs from this wonderful album, click below: