I was a freshman or sophomore in college when a friend asked me if I liked Joni Mitchell. When I sheepishly replied that I’d liked what I’d heard of her but didn’t know very much of her work, he handed me a pile of her CDs and told me he hoped I would enjoy them.
One of those CDs was her seminal album, Blue, released in 1971. Her fourth album, Blue was the first of her records to reach platinum on both the US and UK, even going double platinum in the UK.
Truth be told, I don’t think there’s a bad track on this album, but one in particular caught my attention when I first heard it and again when I stumbled across it recently. “A Case of You” is probably my favorite song on Blue. The combination of her sparse mountain dulcimer and compelling story-telling is irresistible. Like so many of Mitchell’s songs, “A Case of You” is about a relationship, but what makes it stand out to me is the complexity that she captures in just under 4 1/2 minutes. This lover is by turns infatuating and infuriating, and though it all, she never fails to perfectly illustrate how they are “so bitter and so sweet.”