Joni Mitchell says people were "afraid" of her classic album Blue

As her magnum opus turns 50 this week, the legendary singer-songwriter looks back on its legacy in a very rare interview.

Joni Mitchell has given a rare interview, looking back on the legacy of her classic album Blue, which turns 50 this week. 

Originally released in 1971, the LP was the singer-songwriter's fourth album and its introspective lyricism and sparse production has inspired numerous others to follow in Mitchell's footsteps, from Fiona Apple and Lana Del Rey to Taylor Swift and Olivia Rodrigo

Mitchell, now 77, gave a very rare interview to director Cameron Crowe for the LA Times, where she admitted that during Blue's initial release, she could sense people were "afraid" of what she had created. 

"The most feedback that I got was that I had gone too far and was exposing too much of myself," she revealed. "I couldn’t tell what I had created, really."

She went on to say that Blue's legacy - generally now regarded as one of the best folk records ever - is quite surprising to her, given that it was released with a "whimper." 

"Like all of my albums, Blue came out of the chute with a whimper. It didn’t really take off until later," she said. "Now there’s a lot of fuss being made over it, but there wasn’t initially."

Upon its release, Blue peaked on the Official Albums Chart at Number 3, which still remains Mitchell's highest-peaking album in the UK, and her last that charted inside the Top 10. Justifiably some may say, it is also BRIT Certified 2x Platinum.

One of its cuts, the Christmas-tinged River, also became a modern-day hit when it was covered by Ellie Goulding, becoming her third UK Number 1 single in December 2019