Joni Mitchell’s ‘Blue’ turns 50. Her new EP unearths demos, outtakes from the era

Written by Danielle Chiriguayo, produced by Rosalie Atkinson

Today marks the 50th anniversary of Joni Mitchell’s most beloved album “Blue.” It was birthed as she traveled the world in search of herself and the ideas of freedom and escape. Mitchell celebrated the anniversary by releasing a new EP filled with outtakes, demos, and other never-before-heard content. 

“Joni Mitchell wrote much of the material for ‘Blue’ [when] she was at a crossroads of her life and had turned down a marriage proposal and left California to take a trip through Europe and explore the world and herself. She had been to Greece and France and she came back to California,” says Jen Pelly, a contributing editor for Pitchfork. 

Pelly says the album was all about digging deep. “Joni Mitchell was narrating interior life from the perspective of a woman and really architecting a whole way of being a woman in the world.”

She notes that the album’s unfinished music helps make it a lot more personal. 

“It's interesting because you think how could Joni Mitchell's music be more human than it already is? Hearing the songs [in their] unfinished state is also really interesting because so much of her music is about kind of unresolved feelings and feelings that are like questions. And to hear an unfinished version of a song that is about an unfinished feeling is really cool.”