Blue

~ Release group by Joni Mitchell

Album

ReleaseFormatTracksCountry/DateLabelCatalog#Barcode
Official
Blue12" Vinyl10
  • US1971-06-22
Reprise Records (genuine label, not for bootleg use)MS 2038[none]
Blue12" Vinyl10
Reprise Records (genuine label, not for bootleg use)44 128[none]
BlueCD10
Reprise Records (genuine label, not for bootleg use)2038-2075992719926
Blue12" Vinyl10
Reprise Records (genuine label, not for bootleg use)K 44128[none]
BlueCD10
Reprise Records (genuine label, not for bootleg use)2038
BlueCD10
Reprise Records (genuine label, not for bootleg use)7599-27199-2075992719926
BlueCD10
  • CA1990-04-24
Reprise Records (genuine label, not for bootleg use)2038-2075992719926
BlueHDCD10
Reprise Records (genuine label, not for bootleg use)7599-27199-2075992719926
Blue (1999 remaster)CD10
  • US1999-03-16
DCC Compact ClassicsGZS-1132010963113228
BlueHDCD10
  • US2000-03-21
Reprise Records (genuine label, not for bootleg use)2038-2075992719926
BlueCD10
Reprise Records (genuine label, not for bootleg use)OPCD-8031081227414924
Blue12" Vinyl10
Reprise Records (genuine label, not for bootleg use)74842081227484217
BlueDigital Media10
  • US2013-05-28
Reprise Records (genuine label, not for bootleg use), Rhino (reissue label)603497921805
BlueHDCD10Reprise Records (genuine label, not for bootleg use)CD 2038075992719926
BlueCD10Reprise Records (genuine label, not for bootleg use)7599-27199-2, WE 835075992719926
BlueCD10Reprise Records (genuine label, not for bootleg use)2038-2075992719926
Blue12" Vinyl10
Reprise Records (genuine label, not for bootleg use)MS 2038[none]
BlueCD10
Reprise Records (genuine label, not for bootleg use)2441280075992719926

Relationships

associated singles/EPs:Carey / California
included in:The Reprise Albums (1968–1971)
The Studio Albums: 1968–1979
part of:Rolling Stone: 500 Greatest Albums of All Time: 2020 edition (number: 3) (order: 3)
Rolling Stone: 500 Greatest Albums of All Time: 2012 edition (number: 30) (order: 30)
The Guardian 100 Best Albums Ever (number: 35) (order: 35)
Discogs:https://www.discogs.com/master/47744 [info]
lyrics page:https://genius.com/albums/Joni-mitchell/Blue [info]
reviews:https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/rvzb [info]
other databases:https://rateyourmusic.com/release/album/joni_mitchell/blue/ [info]
https://www.musik-sammler.de/album/79982/ [info]
Allmusic:https://www.allmusic.com/album/mw0000193531 [info]
Wikidata:Q804554 [info]

CritiqueBrainz Reviews

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Most Recent

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.