I now understand women
Blue is the fourth studio album by Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell, released on June 22, 1971, by Reprise Records. Written and produced entirely by Mitchell, it was recorded in 1971 at A&M Studios in Hollywood, California. Created just after her breakup with Graham Nash and during an intense relationship with James Taylor, Blue explores various facets of relationships from infatuation on "A Case of You" to insecurity on "This Flight Tonight". The songs feature simple accompaniments on piano, guitar and Appalachian dulcimer. The album peaked at number 3 on the UK Albums Chart, number 9 on the Canadian RPM Albums Chart and number 15 on the Billboard 200. Today, Blue is generally regarded by music critics as one of the greatest albums of all time; the cohesion of Mitchell's songwriting, compositions and voice are frequent areas of praise. In January 2000, The New York Times chose Blue as one of the 25 albums that represented "turning points and pinnacles in 20th-century popular music". In 2020, Blue was rated the third greatest album of all time in Rolling Stone's list of the "500 Greatest Albums of All Time", the highest entry by a female artist. It was also voted number 24 in the third edition of Colin Larkin's All Time Top 1000 Albums (2000). In July 2017, Blue was chosen by NPR as the greatest album of all time made by a woman.
I now understand women
i know some songs from this album but omg didn't know the whole album is THIS good!
What have I done to deserve two Joni Mitchell albums in three days? Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.
Very beautiful and heartfelt. She has a very distinct voice and guitar playing style that I think I'll be obsessed with for the rest of my life. This Aussie gives an album they've never listened to before five rounds of backyard cricket with your mates out of five.
masterpiece honest to god carey and a case of you are some of my favourite songs ever
I feel so voyeuristic listening to this album. I feel like I'm looking at her through a one-way mirror, the lyrics a very personal reflection of her situation and the instrumentation perfectly complementing it. A masterpiece of emotion. And her voice, my god.
Joni Mitchel doesn't try to rhyme or form song structure. Her music is like shitty skat poetry
I try and like this album every few years. It's still a 1 even with the creeping familiarity.
Amazing collection of songs. I loved this album. Joni’s lyrics straight from her soul, her remarkable singing voice and unique guitar playing make me very excited to listen to more Joni!
Without question one of the all time great albums. Brilliant in 1971 and just as brilliant and timeless now. Joni is a brilliant writer and musician - perhaps my favorite artist, if I had to choose.
I wish I had words to convey how much I love and admire this artist and her extraordinary creations. Everything: songwriting, her poetry of lyrics, musicality, composition, performance (studio and live), originality, expression, timelessness,...I could go on and on. I hope anyone who loves music gets the chance to explore her catalog. Just incredible. (5 stars seems waaaay to low for this one.)
As soon as I pressed play on this album, a man materialized in my room. I immediately understood him to be my husband whom I loved very much. He promptly left me and broke my heart. Just the way Joni intended. 10/10
Bony Joni and I used to clean toilets together for £4 a day. She used to lick them clean, the dirty little scrubber. She wrote this record about me. She repulses me, but I can't help but love the horrible bitch.
Not on Spotify which doesn't help. Sadly this album does nothing for me, obviously it's a classic that's loved so it must be me but for whatever reason I find it like listening to paint dry - not unpleasant but nothing of interest to me
Just a perfectly written and beautiful sounding expression of a melancholy universal.
Little green is a beautiful song. I feel like I need to curl up with a hot beverage and the lyrics of this album
Thought one track sounded like Jingle Bells, then realised that it was a track with a Christmas theme! All very Joni Mitchell. What's not to like? Very pleasant and easy listening. Loved it.
Wow. I knew this would be good but it completely exceeded my expectations. One of the most beautiful albums I've ever heard. It honestly moved me to tears
There aren’t enough superlatives to give this wonderful album. Joni Mitchell, the original confessional singer songwriter, possesses an exquisite voice and beautiful playing style. This is an album to get lost in and absorbed by. Influential and staggering, Blue is not just one of the greatest albums of the 20th century, it is one of the century’s greatest works of art.
This is like being asked to review the Sistine Chapel. Where to begin. It took me some years to get in the rhythm of Joni Mitchell's music. Thankfully I stuck in there because her music is an indescribable gift. Blue in particular is an album I come back to frequently. Listening to Blue is like reading someone else's diary. It feels very personal, so intimate, so much so that you feel a little like you shouldn't have that kind of access to another person's thoughts. Mitchell’s lyrics are pure poetry. Her turns of phrase are stunning. "I could drink a case of you and still be on my feet" is a line that I think about a lot. It’s simple, but incredibly elegant, evoking all our own feelings and memories of being exuberantly, drunkenly lost in a love, regardless of the cost. The songs are a journey between those exuberant feelings to less pleasant feelings like melancholy, loneliness, disillusionment, loss. She revels in those emotions and displays them for us like jewels. Let's also not sleep on the quality of the music itself. The arrangements are simple, delicately rendered, but incredibly moving. Mitchell's piano and guitar work is a thing of beauty. Her accompanying musicians (James Taylor, Stephen Stills and Pete Kleinow) add great depth and texture to the work. Kleinow’s pedal steel guitar on “California” and especially “This Flight Tonight” is a delight. Mitchell’s vocal is so unique, it’s an instrument in itself. It’s angelically pretty, but she’s not afraid to bend her voice as it suits her, into some unexpected places. A lot of artists get compared to Joni Mitchell, but there’s really no one like her. I could say much more, but it would somehow never be enough. I could drink a case of this and still be on my feet. Fave Songs: A Case of You, River, California, This Flight Tonight, All I Want, Blue
An absolute masterpiece of writing and production. To imagine one person producing this in any amount of time is incredible. Gorgeous songs all the way through, perfectly rendered in a minimal and yet impactful way.
Blue by Joni Mitchell (1971) One must set aside the admittedly fascinating backdrop to this album and assess it on its own merits. Having done that, one must conclude that this is simply one of the greatest albums of all time. Top ten. Easily. Best thing to ever come from a Canadian recording artist. It puts the ‘class’ in ‘classic’. Why did Blue chart better in the UK than in the USA in 1971? Because in 1971 the British still had better taste and sense than we Americans. How things change. Delightfully poetic lyrics, unsurpassed vocal performance, masterful acoustic guitar/piano arrangement and execution, superbly crafted and unexpected melodies all characterize this superlative record. It all comes from the mind and heart of one person—Joni Mitchell. And if one needs to add instrumental color (“Carey”), one might as well get it from James Taylor and Stephen Stills. The poetics harness the rhythms with authority and without awkwardness. And the album is sprinkled with hugely entertaining metaphors and word pictures. The warm chord behind the lyric “warm chord” (second verse of “My Old Man”) exemplifies the perfection of synthesis between poetry and music. Likewise, pay careful attention to the music behind these powerfully poetic lines: “I could drink a case of you and still be on my feet” “I want to get up and jive . . . wreck my stockings in some jukebox dive” “I want to shampoo you” “But when he's gone/Me and them lonesome blues collide/The bed's too big/The frying pan's too wide” “Just a little green/Like the nights when the Northern lights perform” Listen to this record after waking from a bad dream. It will cure you. And Joni Mitchell’s skill on acoustic guitar is so sublime that it discourages amateurs and shames professionals. The delicacy and precision of her finger picking is flawless. And her piano attack and sustain are extraordinarily sensitive. Why don’t people hum these tunes? Because they’re beautifully unhummable. Nobody can do these melodies. Joni Mitchell composes music for precisely her voice alone. She never attempts to exceed her considerable range (even on the exquisitely delicate ending of “California”). She has one of the most recognizable voices in the history of recorded music. Her tone and pitch are endearingly winsome and precise. And she appreciates the importance of the initial consonant for both rhythm and diction. Listening in anticipation during the approach to one of her impossible intervals is like watching Simone Biles sprint toward the vaulting horse. You know what’s coming, yet you’re still dazzled. Why is the song “California” not the official anthem of the Golden State? Because nobody but Joni Mitchell can sing it. Her song “River”, with its regret, longing, introspection, the “Jingle Bells” theme in both the intro and outro, and the deft croak on the final sung note, is simply brilliant. Graham Nash must have shed more than one tear (for reasons we set aside in the first paragraph, but I digress). “River” is a song that should replace Mariah Carey’s nauseatingly ubiquitous “All I Want For Christmas Is You” as the secular pop Xmas carol du jour. But it won’t. We’re so unworthy. What do Barbra Streisand, Céline Dion, Diana Ross, Janis Ian, Roberta Flack, Cyndi Lauper, Loreena McKennitt, and Kenny Rankin all have in common? They all wish they could sing as well as Joni Mitchell. I needed this one. 5/5
I really liked this, great melodies and I liked how her voice does weird key changes.
Going in, not super thrilled as I haven't been a huge fan of Joni Mitchell. I don't recognize any songs on the tracklist so let's see if this one changes my mind. Ok yeah, still not a fan. I did learn a quick formula for Joni Mitchell though. Is she playing a guitar? It's going to be a bit more upbeat and half-decent. Is she playing a piano? Prepare to be bummed out.
Boring and menopause-core. Maybe I could relate if I was a chick but im not so im off that vibe
Having never really heard much of Joni Mitchell's work up to this point in my life, I found 'Blue' to be quite a revelation. Sparse and delicate, this is real heart on your sleeve stuff and it's also very beautiful, painfully so.
This was the first Joni I ever heard, introduced to me by an aging hippie whose musical tastes have shaped my own over the years. It has lived at the top of my list ever since. Joni’s singing voice is unique and not necessarily for everyone, but there is no denying the power and influence of her songwriting voice. I don’t think you will find a female recording artist who doesn’t list Joni as an inspiration in some way. One of the original singer/songwriters, her unique folk tunings and feminine perspectives make this album a cornerstone of folk/pop history. I’d be hard pressed to pick a favorite song from Blue, though some resonate more for me than others: All I Want, A Case of You & Carey hit the hardest for me. The bittersweet, almost anti-holiday River evokes a deep & melancholy longing that haunts me. And the title track is a perfect expression of the sadness of a painful loss. This is a no-brained 5 for me.
I enjoyed this quite a bit, although I do find the "longer" songs near the end started to drag the feeling of the album a bit, even if they were still telling compelling enough stories. I would understand why some would not like the song structure in Mitchell's vocals, often going for whatever, whenever, but I actually really enjoy it, with the falsettos often being placed in a way that make them satisfying rather than annoying. Just a solid album, but not perfect.
I don't like this genre of music, generally. That being said, I didn't hate this, and I can see why it made the list. There were a few times where she started a melodic progression that sounded like it was really going to resonate with me, but every time she went in a direction that I didn't find so compelling. My personal enjoyment: 1.5/5 Did it belong on this list: 4/5
Not the biggest fan of female singers and this album is quite slow. It's okay as background music, maybe as music over a sombre photo slide. Depressing af. Okay it gets less depressing as it goes on - almost country esque
I... just don’t get the whole Joni Mitchell thing. Some of her songs are great (River, A Case of You), but her voice on songs like My Old Man makes me want to scream.
He voice alternates between beautiful and absolutely terribly annoying. She shoots up too high very often. 5.8/10
Een krijsende kat klinkt nog beter
I'm sure it sucks but she's against Spotify for political reasons. RIP
If I were ever given a physical copy of this album, I would feel compelled to step back for the 3-pointer and shoot it in the trash. It's just so, so boring.
She just can't hit those high notes
Delicioso. Pra ouvir sem parar!
Love this album
Absolutely gorgeous. Knew a few tracks but not listened to the album in full before.
this album filled my heart with joy and such rustic vibes of counterculture. also this album is called blue and has a song named carey so my opinion is unbiased and carey is not holding a gun to my head as i type this
Lyrically perfect. Fantastic musicianship. Unbelievable delivery. One of the best of all time. Blue me away
This was and still is a great album.
love joni mitchell
Awesome, a lot like Carole King
I can't think of better words to describe this album than 'calm' and 'comfy'. Joni's voice and instrumentals and lyrics all combine to make this album a joy to listen to. The time flew by, and I can see myself listening to this again when I need something smooth to relax to.
I've listened to this album a few times finding this on the list. I liked it then, and I like it now for sure. God the vocals, instrumentation and writing are fantastic. Super glad I got to listen to this one again.
Excellent pop-folk album that talks about things that are going on at the time through personal experiences.
Amazing album. Great songs, emotional, passionate. Giving it a 5 though really a high 4.5. After River the last 2 songs are a little weak.
One of my favorite folk albums, period!
This album is an absolute classic. I enjoy absolutely everything about it. My personal favourite song is River, but I love all of the songs. 5/5 stars. If I could give more than 5 stars I would.
Five stars. This album is perfect. So beautiful and moving.
Really beautiful album. Such an array of sounds from folk, country, rock and blues of course. Amazing so writing and vocal inflection
Classic, love a lot, the shifted key at end of river really interesting
Joni's vocal talent is way out in front, highlighted by sparse instrumentation. California basically ripped out my heart. This album should be required listening in schools. A Case Of You is another absolute thunderously emotional track. The Last Time I Saw Richard hits harder when i thought this album was out of punches. "Only a phase these dark cafe days"
An all time fav
Beautiful album. Joni's voice is so unique. Amazing songwriting. Legendary album.
Brilliant, that's about all you can say about this album. Visceral and heart rending lyrics that get to show where our Joni was at this stage in her life. I love it! Favourite Tracks gotta be "River" and "A Case Of You" Again one for the vinyl collection.
The album is a close personal acoustic album which showcases the best of Joni's writing and singing. The album doesn't have any weak tracks which could be considered filler, and it stays intriguing throughout
"Beautiful" is an easy word to use for this album. I think the music speaks best for itself
Joni Mitchell is one of the best song writers ever
Top 5 de tout les temps. Une merveille cet album. A ecouter dans ca vie. 6/5 *
Joni has an amazing voice, and it has such an effect on these songs
Fuck this is good. Here's another one that makes me regret not listening to it years ago. I'm familiar with Joni Mitchell's first couple of albums from the late 1960s, and I like them more than most American folk-singer-songwriter stuff of the era. But "Blue" is another level. It exudes "mature album" vibes from every aspect: nice understated poetic lyrics; dynamic, expressive vocals that feel much less affected than the 1960s warbling; music that sounds clean and simple, but perfectly shaped around each song. It also plays through perfectly as a coherent and concise album. 5*
I ‘discovered’ this when I was 19 and at university and it quickly became my favourite album. Listening to it again (as I do often!), it is layered with memory. I love ‘A Case of You,’ which appeals to my romantic sensibility, the meaning in the lyrics evolving over time. ‘Carey’- wonderful instrumentality, poetic lyrically. ‘Blue’- ‘songs are like tattoos’- aren’t they just?
This is a perfect album. I listen to it a few times each year, so it was a pleasure to get it on such a cold day in Chicago. Two of my favorite songs of all time are "Case Of You" and "River." I feel like everything about this album has been said and will just bask in it's overall perfection.
hun er guddommelig
wow. great voice, great song construction. she is definitely at the top.
Genuinely lovely, and raw, album.
Beautiful album! Never heard anything from Joni before, and I loved it. Arrangements are simple but delicate, lyrics are very emotional. I can see why it is considered a vital record to music history. Favorite tracks: * River (so good!) * All I Want * Blue
Lindo, como costumam ser os trabalhos de Mitchell.
This was a bit hole for me. Fits right in with all the Carly Simon and Carol King records my parents would play. Really liked it.
Didn't get a chance to listen because Joni pulled the album from Spotify due to the Joe Rogan misinformation of Covid scandal. But Joni is wonderful and she gets 5 stars. I know her music.
I listened to this full album for the first time a year ago, anticipating we’d be getting it, and knowing it gets rated among the GOAT on many lists. I liked the album more this time. The way Joni jumps around from guitar to piano keeps things fresh, something hard to do for a folk-singer with minimal production and accompaniment. As a producer she does some nifty things, like The Goodbye Baby Goodbye part of This Flight Tonight, which almost sounds like a sample, and the way she toys with jingle bells in The River. The lyrics are very personal, her habit of referring to her boyfriend as her old man is funny, especially since most of the time the guy was in his early twenties. Her vocal range is amazing and compared to her folk singer/song-writing peers from the era she is certainly at the top.
This is Mitchell's greatest album, and that's saying a lot, since she has a lot of great records in her catalog. A folk masterpiece comprised of 10 beautifully composed songs, with iconic lyrics about relationships, tackling topics like falling in love, feeling insecure, clashes of egos and everything you can think about when you are in love. The side two of the album has an almost perfect sequence of songs, starting with "California", then "This Flight Tonight", "River" and the amazing "A Case of You". One of the greatest albums of all time, indeed.
What a songwriter. I should have reserved the 5 score for albums like this that are the best of the best. Best track: A Case of You
It’s a masterpiece! Engaging, emotive, charming… Joni is one of the best folk artists ever and Blue is a compelling example of it. I am hypnotized by her voice, guitar, storytelling, and sweet but unusual harmonies. Definitely, it deserves a 5
My sister got me listening to Joni Mitchell when I was 10 or 11. Always been a fan of her amazing voice and lyrics. This is a great record, to me it’s only superseded by Ladies if the Canyon.
I don’t always focus on lyrics but you have to with Joni Mitchell. They’re literary but still emotionally direct. And the music on this album is spare enough to highlight them, adding playful flourishes to accent her stories. I’ve listened to this album a bunch over the years but the little moments always surprise me. I love the seemingly improvised nature of her phrasing - when she chooses to sing high, when she lingers on a syllable, when she jams a long phrase into a short space. A beautifully constructed album all around. (“Carey” is a personal favorite of mine and Dreena’s. I’ll never get tired of imitating the way she sings “buy you a bottle of wine.”)
Joni's voice is perfection, always, but it is truly magnificent when she's singing this deeply personal and emotional material. This album is her magnum opus, a tour de force, the high watermark of her illustrious career. And she wrote and produced it all herself! Immaculate.
I love Joni and love this album, perfect blend of Folk and Pop.
Blue me away. I'll keep this one brief (for me) as there's not much to be said that hasn't been covered a thousand times, but what a gem of an album and what a songwriting talent. These are delicate and searingly personal songs, "like tattoos" as Mitchell so eloquently puts it in the title track. Over its forty minute running time, "Blue" is wryly comic, frankly confessional and mostly achingly beautiful. Music rarely moves me to tears unless I selfishly relate it to my personal life, but three of the songs here have done that all on their own. Try not to be moved by "Little Green", about Mitchell giving up her adopted daughter, or the heartbreak and desolation filling up "River". Elsewhere, "My Old Man" and "The Last Time I Saw Richard" showcase her storytelling at the height of its powers, and "Blue" and "A Case of You" paint such dazzling imagery with a deft soprano vocal. Amongst all her other talents, Mitchell is a deft guitarist, and her frequent use of open tunings serves the album's distinctive sound really well. Alongside all the other moods on display here, she weaves in perfectly accessible slices of pop-folk. "Carey" and "California" retain the same elegant sense of lyricism and gorgeous, soaring vocal lines, but set them to carefree (even jaunty) guitar accompaniments. "This Flight Tonight" was even enough to attract the attention of hard rock band Nazareth who reworked it a couple of years later. All of this album is stellar, but the second half especially is just a perfect run of songs. If you're thinking of giving it between 2-3 stars (or even 4) listen to it again, read the lyrics and reconsider. If 1, then you're a lost cause, mate.
Blue and Court and Spark are my two favorite Joni Mitchell albums. To me they're 2 sides of the same coin that is JM. Blue is of course the quieter, more sparse album, often just Jon's voice and a guitar or a piano. And what a vocal performance it is. Expressive, emotive and with a range few can match. So mature for such a young lady at the time. I also love when she does up the tempo, specifically on Carey and This Flight Tonight. Every song is an artistic expression. I really never tire of Blue. It should be a staple of every record collection 5 🌟
I’ve heard a lot about this album, so was glad it appeared. It is lovely. Joni Mitchell’s distinctive delivery just calmed me down and made the day feel very good. What could be more perfect than that?
Poetic and soothing. Really beautiful. I am grateful.
What a pretty sounding album. Just lovely.
A few observations: What happened to autoharps? They were all over when I was a kid, especially for elementary school music teachers. I like them. An entire bonus point has been granted for the lyric, "Acid, booze, and ass." (Also, "I want to shampoo you" and "There'll be crocuses to bring to school tomorrow") I wasn't immediately in love with this album, but each listen reveals something marvelous.
I wasn't fully on board until the last song and then it all hit me like a ton of bricks. Made me immediately want to give it another listen. 9/10
Such a light touch for such serious stuff.
My initial reaction to this album is "Wow". I know this may not be everyone's cup of tea, but the way Joni sang every word had me convinced. Plus, the musical arrangements were just absolutely lovely. I could sink into this album for hours on end.
I get why people hate on Joni Mitchell but I still fucking love her music it’s interesting hearing her discography because it just sounds like a normal Bjork or I guess Bjork is just Joni Mitchell with an Icelandic accent, and a lot more experimental oddities I’m not making fun of either artist btw, huge fans of both anyway this album was obviously amazing - 10/10
Any single one of these songs would get a new artist signed to a multi-record deal. How timeless and flawless.
Complex in a "how did she come up with the idea for these chord progressions?" way but still extremely accessible on literally every track. Incredible guitar playing, airy piano, her vocals are not only never too much for me and (as not someone who focuses much on vocals) at times it's simply arresting as to how perfect her voice is. I think the lyrics are probably pretty good too :P It's never good enough for me to just listen to one song on this album, even though literally every song is excellent. It works so well as an entire unit and it's only ~36 minutes long anyways.... which often means an immediate replay. In sum: this is pretty much perfect. 10/10 5 stars.
One of the best albums of all time. Jingle bells remake, a case of you, all incredible.
Obra prima da Joni Mitchel! Melancólico e bonito! Melhores músicas: Blue, River e A Case of you
There is a deep mystery to this album. Everything in it is so personal--the lyrics, Joni Mitchell's idiosyncratic chord changes, her high-pitched voice, never grating, but still insanely eccentric in their own way to express the "blues", her insanely good guitar playing, displaying a sense of rhythm most players would kill for--and yet, for all those subtle flourishes, the record also spoke directly to the hearts of millions of souls in the ways only a straightforward pop album could, and it continues to do so these days. I'm not even sure this is my favorite Joni Mitchell LP--sometimes, I favor *Ladies of The Canyon* when it comes to her "Reprise" years, and after that, I have an even softer spot for the lush pop overtones of *Court And Spark", or for the jazzy digressions of *Hejira*. But *Blue* is definitely an essential album everyone should listen to at least once in their lives. It was *not* my entry point to Joni's universe, curiously enough. But it's been the one of so many fans of her that you just gotta consider it for the historical album it is. And please, don't get fooled by the melodically unobtrusive and lyrically naive "All I Want" that opens this record. Because once you pass this sort of back entrance to it, you're in for a treat, and this for each and every one of those tracks. A few examples here: the subject matter of *Little Green*--Joni's lament to the child she gave up for adoption--slaps HARD. "California" and "Carey" are just perfect pop songs about Bohemian lifestyles of the seventies, and yet they're anything but *easy* compositions. The plane trip of "This Flight Tonight" is as experimental as anything she later wrote, and yet it's also *fun* to listen to. As for "River" and "A Case Of You", they're the quintessential Christmas song and love ballad, respectively, and yet they're not following any old formula. Only Joni could have written those tunes. After all these years, it's still a true mystery how she could do this. As is the overall effect of this "slow burner" on me today. Indeed, the more you fall in love with this record, the more that blue haze on the cover thickens... One for the ages, in all senses of the word. Number of albums left to review or just listen to: 856 Number of albums from the list I find relevant enough to be mandatory: 79 (including this one) Albums from the list I *might* include in mine later on: 36 Albums from the list I will certainly *not* include in mine (many others are more important): 30
This rules. I’m a woman now.