Fifty years ago, Joni Mitchell released the album Blue. For her, it was a kind of catharsis; writing songs of loss, and hope, and maybes:
“so she left the loving comfort of her domestic life with fellow musician Graham Nash in Los Angeles’s Laurel Canyon neighborhood, booked a single plane ticket abroad and plunged into the uncharted blue — the cerulean melancholy of the album’s title track, the aquamarine shimmer of “Carey,” the frozen-over lazuline of “River” — all the while staining her hands with the indigo ink of poetic observation and relentless self-examination.” New York Times, “Fifty Reasons to Love Joni Mitchell’s ‘Blue’,” June 21, 2021
In this interactive piece from the New York Times, 25 musicians reflect on “Blue” and the album/Joni’s influence/impact on themselves, their lives, and their music.
For me, the song on Blue will always be “Carey,” even now knowing the backstory on the album, and songs like “Little Green.” I often get the opening lyric, “The wind is in from Africa/Last night I couldn’t sleep,” rattling around in my head.