May 23, 2017 I’m Blue

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Joni Mitchell, Blue, Reprise MS-2038, 1971

This is a very highly rated album with both critics and record buyers.  It’s #30 in the Rolling Stone Top 500 albums of all time if that appeals to you.  Of course, you’ll have to get past Joni Mitchell’s singing voice, which is very much an acquired taste.  While I happen to love this album, others would prefer listening to car alarms or animals in pain.

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The stand out track is California, which naturally enough was written in France.  James Taylor, who was Ms. Mitchell’s love interest at the time, plays guitar on it.  Like the rest of the album, it is so direct and honest that it’s almost feels like fiction, but this all really happened in real life.  As such, and despite both Carey and California being released as singles, neither was a hit on AM radio.

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But for $3, what does it matter?  Trust the Best Of lists and listen to this record.  Don’t compare the voice to another vocalist you like.  Listen to the words and the incomparable songwriting, it will grow on you.  And then you’ll get what Blue is all about.  As Alan Rickman says to Emma Thompson in Love, Actually “To continue your emotional education”.

Today’s Summary:
Cost: $3, $55 Remaining

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November 11, 2016 The Grand Laurel Canyon

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Joni Mitchell, Ladies Of The Canyon, Reprise RS-6376, 1970

I really wanted to showcase a Leonard Cohen album today.  But it turns out I don’t have any, bought at any price.  A record with one of his sons being covered would have been great too, but I couldn’t find any of those either.  So I turned to another classic record form a similar vein.

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Joni Mitchell through her songwriting first blended folk, rock, art, and social justice into one seamless package.  That she could sing like an angel was almost an after thought.  This album came out as her star was still rising, and the best known songs on it were made so by being recorded by other people.

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It’s not in perfect condition, but at $2 who cares.  It’s Joni Mitchell at her best, and that’s worth a few pops.

Today’s Summary:
Cost: $2, $654 Remaining