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Joni Mitchell is one of the most celebrated artists of the last half-century, and her landmark 1971 album, Blue , is one of her most beloved and revered works. Generations of people have come of age listening to the album, inspired by the way it clarified their own difficult emotions. Critics and musicians admire the idiosyncratic virtuosity of its compositions. Will You Take Me as I Am - the first book about Mitchell to include original interviews with her - looks at Blue to explore the development of an extraordinary artist, the history of songwriting, and much more. In extensive conversations with Mitchell, Michelle Mercer heard firsthand about Mitchell's internal and external journeys as she composed the largely autobiographical albums of what Mercer calls her Blue Period, which lasted through the mid-1970s. Incorporating biography, memoir, reportage, criticism, and interviews into an illuminating narrative, Mercer moves beyond the making of an album genre to arrive at a new form of music writing. The author provides rich analysis of Mitchell's creative achievements: her invative manner of marrying lyrics to melody and her inventive, highly expressive chords that achieve her signature blend of wonder and melancholy. Mercer also explores how Mitchell pioneered personal songwriting and, along with Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, brought a new literacy to the popular song.
Michelle Mercer is a journalist and a regular contributor to National Public Radio's All Things Considered. Her articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Village Voice, Down Beat, and numerous other publications. She is the author of Footprints: The Life and Work of Wayne Shorter.