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Joni Mitchell – Blue (1971)

February 16, 2012


[Album 19/1001]

For an album frequently acknowledged as the ‘Top Canadian Album of all-time,’ my expectations were high.

Fortunately, Joni did not disappoint.

Though I disagree with Blue being the #1 album, the second track, My Old Man, may feature the #1 Canadian note of all time.

Immediately following the lyric, “we don’t need no piece of paper from the City Hall,” there is a note for the ages.  It is cringe-worthy on the first listen; it eventually becomes the note that absolutely has to be there, just the right amount of dissonance before resolving. 

There are also moments where at first it seems that there are too many lyrics for the time allotted (such as in All I Want).  Once again, upon repeated listens, it’s just right!

Other highlights include Carey and A Case of You.  Perhaps the true strength of the record is that it feels quite genuine (which certainly cannot be said for many popular music acts today).

In Chart Magazine’s 1996, 2000, and 2005 polls, Blue bounced from 3rd to 1st and finally back to 3rd place on the Canadian Albums List.  This is probably how such countdowns are meant to be, constantly in flux.

So maybe it will top my Canadian Albums list one day; Fully Completely, Twice Removed, and Reconstruction Site are currently keeping Blue off the podium.  Perhaps not medal worthy, Blue should at least make consistent appearances in my constantly changing Canadian Top 10.

From → 1970s

  1. Ovidiu Boar permalink

    An interesting album for me: when it’s good, it’s tear-inducing and soul-shaking. But at times it just drags. Some songs relay way too much on the atmosphere and end up not being musically memorable at all. Still, the good definitely outweighs the bad.

    Loved your ‘Old Man’ – my favourite song on the album – description. You really nailed that one; my thoughts exactly.

  2. Thank you sir – if you want to continue enjoying Joni Mitchell, don’t read any of her interviews. She comes across as ungrateful at best!

  3. She doesn’t cheerish her past does Joni, i love this album and Ladies of the Canyon

    • I haven’t heard Ladies of the Canyon yet – she’s got 4 records in the 1001 book (Blue, Court & Spark, Hejira, and Hissing of Summer Lawns) so I’ll add that to the list of Joni records to explore!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Gillian Welch – Time (The Revelator) (2001) | 1001albumsin10years
  2. Leonard Cohen – Songs of Leonard Cohen (1968) & Joni Mitchell – The Hissing of Summer Lawns (1975) | 1001albumsin10years
  3. Thelonious Monk – Brilliant Corners (1957) | 1001albumsin10years
  4. Joni Mitchell – Court & Spark (1974) | 1001albumsin10years

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