Joni Mitchell has shared a new demos and outtakes EP to celebrate the 50th anniversary of her highly-acclaimed classic album Blue, released June 22nd in 1971.
Blue is widely regarded as one of the greatest albums of all time. Written in the wake of her breakup with Graham Nash, Mitchell’s deeply personal songwriting was an anomaly of its time and is what makes her an icon today.
“The most feedback that I got was that I had gone too far and was exposing too much of myself," Mitchell revealed to writer Cameron Crowe in a rare interview.
"I couldn’t tell what I had created, really," she continued. "The initial response I got was critical, mostly from the male singer-songwriters. It was kind of like [Bob] Dylan going electric. They were afraid. Is this contagious? Do we all have to get this honest now? That's what the boys were telling me. 'Save something of yourself, Joni. Nobody's ever gonna cover these songs. They're too personal.'"
Today’s arrival, Blue 50 (Demos & Outtakes), is a digital EP debuting five previously unreleased recordings from the original LP session. The collection will also appear on an upcoming extensive archives collection, Joni Mitchell Archives Vol. 2: The Reprise Years (1968 to 1971), arriving later this year (pre-order, here).
The EP includes demos for “California” and an early version of “A Case Of You” featuring alternate lyrics from the final album version. There are also arrangement outtakes, including a version of “River” with French horns and a version of “Urge for Going” with strings. Listen below.
Joni Mitchell | Blue 50 (Demos & Outtakes)
Blue is also being remastered as part of an upcoming box set featuring Mitchell's first four albums. That collection is due out on July 2nd, followed by the five-disc Joni Mitchell Archives Vol. 2: The Reprise Years (1968 to 1971) on October 29th (pre-order, here).
Listen to Blue 50 on Spotify:
Listen to Blue 50 on Apple Music: