Joni Mitchell celebrates 50 years of Blue with two new releases

A digital EP, out now, collects a handful of demos and outtakes, while a longer archival release has a much more extensive tracklist.

Joni Mitchell

Image: Jack Robinson / Getty

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Joni Mitchell has announced two new releases to celebrate the 50th anniversary of her seminal LP Blue, which will turn exactly half a century old tomorrow, being released on 22 June 1971.

A statement notes that the two releases offer “different perspectives on one of the greatest albums ever made and the inspired period of creativity that made it possible.”

The first, Blue 50 (Demos And Outtakes) is a digital EP that features five unreleased recordings from the making of Blue. Its cover features the original Blue colour treatment applied to a previously unseen alternate photo of Mitchell, taken by Tim Considine at the same show as the original’s cover. Take a look below.

Joni Mitchell Blue 50

Blue 50 (Demos And Outtakes) notably includes early versions of California and A Case Of You, the latter having different lyrics to the final that was released on Blue. Also featured on Blue 50 (Demos And Outtakes) is a version of River with French horns, rather than the solo vocal/piano performance heard on the final album, as well as a version of Urge For Going with strings.

Blue 50 (Demos And Outtakes) is out now: you can listen below.

The second release, Joni Mitchell Archives Vol. 2: The Reprise Years (1968-1971) will be released on 29 October as a 5-CD set as well as digitally. There’s also a limited-edition 10 LP set, pressed on 180-gram vinyl.

The tracks are organised chronologically on the release, with a number of unreleased recordings, including live performances and unheard originals. It can be preordered here.

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