Picking up on a thread from a previous post (https://roymusicusa.com/2021/05/26/no-regrets-coyote-joni-mitchells-hejira/), Joni Mitchell’s iconic masterpiece ‘Blue’ celebrated it’s 50th anniversary recently. As part of celebration, the Joni Mitchell Archives put out a five song EP of demos and outtakes called, appropriately enough, Blue 50 (Demos & Outtakes).
The EP features the song “Hunter,” that previously was only released on the live album Amchitka, the 1970 Vancouver Greenpeace benefit where Mitchell performed with James Taylor. The EP also contains alternate takes of “River” and “Urge for Going,” as well as demos for “California” and “A Case of You,” the latter of which features slightly different lyrics.
Blue is an incredibly personal albums and fifty years later, it’s still one of the most open, and candid, albums ever made. Yet, anyone who’s ever loved someone can recognize and relate to these songs. Informed by Mitchell’s exit from a long relationship with Graham Nash as well as shorter but very intense affairs with James Taylor and Leonard Cohen, Blue is a song cycle dealing with themes of loss and transformation as well as the conflict between love and freedom. It marks the end of one era in Mitchell’s career and the beginning of the another. Blue‘s creative structures and lyrical vulnerability opened up her songwriting and an empowered artistic fearlessness that would go on to produce such future landmark album like Court and Spark and Hejira.
Joni Mitchell – Blue 50 (Demos & Outtakes)