Apple Music 100 Best Albums

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Joni Mitchell


An exploration of love and loss both intimate and universal.

When Joni Mitchell wrote her fourth album, she had long since moved on from the Saskatchewan stages of her early years and the folk scene of Toronto. She became a Laurel Canyon fixture, as well as the favorite singer-songwriter of some of the world’s favorite singer-songwriters—from Graham Nash (her longtime love and likely muse for “My Old Man” and “A Case of You”) and David Crosby (who produced her debut album) to Leonard Cohen and James Taylor.

Blue took shape in a moment of personal transition for Mitchell, right after the end of her relationship with Nash and as she was falling for Taylor; she wrote her way out of an old love and into a new one. And while Blue offers a glimpse into the recesses of Mitchell’s heart at the time, it explores all love and loss—“Little Green” is an ode to the daughter she gave up for adoption, which she wouldn’t reveal until the ’90s. Blue is as much a testament to her talent as her willingness to share her most intimate truths.