According to Rolling Stone, Joni Mitchell‘s seminal 1971 album Blue is second only to Aretha Franklin’s I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You on their newest list, Women Who Rock: 50 Greatest Albums of All Time.
While it’s always great to be recognized, Joni has bristled at gender delineation in the past. As she might say, there is never a Men Who Rock list. It’s a good point, as these kinds of things can seem condescending. But, I’m sure the editors of Rolling Stone meant well and they’re obviously big fans. Of Blue, they say:
An acoustic tour de force with a swinging cast of beautiful losers, cafe romantics, sugar daddies, drunkards, liars and Rolling Stone-reading jet-setters in Spain. The one-liners cut sharp enough for a Preston Sturges film.
Essential moment: “Carey,” a jaded love ditty.
Further down the list, Carole King‘s Tapestry (also from 1971) comes in at #21:
The Brooklyn piano woman who co-wrote “You’ve Got a Friend” and “Will You Love Me Tomorrow?” reaches the Seventies with her marriage broken but her soul intact, singing some of the most painful divorce songs ever.
Essential moment: “So Far Away,” a wistful melody with all the loneliness of the album cover.
Other notable entries are Linda Ronstadt’s Heart Like a Wheel from ’74 (#42) and Bonnie Raitt’s 1972 sophomore album Give It Up (#48).