22 June 2013

22nd June - Joni Mitchell's Blue

Artist – Album: Joni Mitchell - Blue
Released:  22nd June 1971
Sounds Like: she’s kind of blue

Didn’t get your fill of depressed Canadians with Neil Young’s Tonight’s the Night? Why not try Joni Mitchell’s Blue – now even more sad!
Before Blue, Joni Mitchell had experienced some success, first writing songs for others and then as a solo artists in her own right. But the emotion shown on those biggest songs – the philosophical ‘Both Sides Now’, the disappointment on ‘Woodstock’ and the environmentally angry ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ – gave no indication of the raw wounds exposed on this, her fourth album.
Detailed here is the heartbreak of broken relationships (she had recently split up with her longtime boyfriend Graham Nash of Crosby, Stills & Nash fame), failed marriages (‘The Last Time I Saw Richard’) and, most tragically of all, giving up the baby she couldn’t afford to keep (‘Little Green’).
Mitchell herself has said of it “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”. Like cellophane though, she does come across as delicate and eye-catching. The sparse arrangements centre mostly on lightly picked acoustic guitars and her wonderful, distinctive voice. And as weak or crushed as she may have felt, she did possess incredible courage to be able to detail all of these issues with unparalleled power and perception.

Albumaday... rating: 9/10

1.       All I Want – 3:32
2.       My Old Man – 3:33
3.       Little Green – 3:25
4.       Carey – 3:00
5.       Blue – 3:00
6.       California – 3:48
7.       This Flight Tonight – 2:50
8.       River – 4:00
9.       A Case of You – 4:20
10.   The Last Time I Saw Richard – 4:13

Also released on the 22nd May:
2003: Beyoncé – Dangerously in Love
Also released on the 22nd May:
2004: Wilco – A Ghost is Born

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