A Case of You

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"A Case of You"
Song by Joni Mitchell
from the album Blue
Released 1971
Recorded 1971
Genre Folk, folk rock
Length 4:20
Label Reprise
Songwriter(s) Joni Mitchell
Producer(s) Joni Mitchell
Blue track listing
"River"
(8)
"A Case of You"
(9)
"The Last Time I Saw Richard"
(10)

"A Case of You" is a song by Joni Mitchell, from her 1971 album Blue. It is one of her best-known songs.

Writing and recording[edit]

Mitchell wrote "A Case of You" in or before 1970. As with many of the songs on her album Blue, her break up with Graham Nash is often cited as the inspiration for the song.[1] She performed the song at the Amchitka Greenpeace benefit concert in October 1970. She recorded the song in 1971, and it was released on the 1971 album Blue with Mitchell playing Appalachian dulcimer, accompanied by James Taylor on acoustic guitar.

Mitchell's earliest public performances of "A Case of You" contain six lines that had changed by the time Blue was recorded. Some of these nautical-flavored lines are: "Just before our ship got lost"; "'You're silly as a northern fish,' says I"; and "I drew a map of Canada and charted our last squall.". [2] The line "I am as constant as a northern star" is an allusion to Caesar's "I am as constant as the Northern Star" from the Shakespeare play Julius Caesar.

"A Case of You" was also released as the B-side of "California".[3]

Additional recordings and performances[edit]

Mitchell later re-recorded the song for her live album Miles of Aisles (1974), as well as her orchestral album Both Sides Now (2000).

She performed it regularly on her 1983 tour.

The original recording was included on Mitchell's compilation Misses (1996).

Awards and accolades[edit]

In 2011 Mitchell was voted the No. 1 female artist and "A Case of You" the No. 1 female song by listeners of BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs.[4]

Cover versions[edit]

The band Sloan covered the song for the 1992 tribute album Back to the Garden; the cover was released as a single.

Tori Amos covered the song as a B-side for the UK single of "Cornflake Girl" in 1994.

Prince played the song throughout his career. He played it in 1983 during the First Avenue performance where the album versions of "Purple Rain" and several other tracks from the Purple Rain album were recorded. He recorded a version, retitled "A Case of U", for his 2002 album, One Nite Alone.... His rendition was also included on the 2007 tribute album A Tribute to Joni Mitchell.

Jane Monheit covered the song for her 2001 album Come Dream with Me.

Diana Krall covered the song on her 2001 album Live in Paris.

k.d. lang covered the song en her 2004 album Hymns of the 49th Parallel, a tribute to her favourite Canadian songwriters.

Michelle Branch covered the song for the 2009 covers album Covered, A Revolution in Sound.

The English singer/songwriter James Blake made a cover of Mitchell's song for his EP Enough Thunder (2011). Samples of the aforementioned cover were then used in the tracks Tep and the Logic and You Know Your Youth which were both from the deluxe edition of his eponymous debut album.

In 2012 the Portuguese singer Ana Moura recorded a cover version for her album Desfado produced by Mitchell's former husband and producer Larry Klein.

In 2013 James Wolpert performed "A Case of You" during the Live Playoffs of The Voice. His cover reached the Top 10 of the iTunes "Top 200 Singles Chart". Other notable versions were performed by Rebekah Smarin (2014), Madi Davis (2015), and Troy Ramey (2017).

In 2014 English singer/songwriter Gabrielle Aplin recorded a cover version for her English Rain EP. [5]

Soundtrack appearances[edit]

The song appears in the films Truly, Madly, Deeply, Practical Magic and Waking the Dead. Mitchell declined, however, to grant permission to use the song in the 2013 film A Case of You.[6]

The song was both referenced and featured in a 1996 episode of the medical drama Chicago Hope, in which Dr. Diane Grad (Jayne Brook) mentions that Mitchell's Blue album was a personal favorite of hers while growing up, and that "A Case of You" was her favorite song on the album. Mitchell's recording of the song later played over the episode's closing credits.

In 2013 the song was featured in "In Dreams Begin Responsibilities", the fourth episode of NBC's Parenthood's fifth season.[7] One of the main characters, Drew, is pursuing a girl who mentions she loves the song. Drew tries to learn as much about Joni Mitchell as he can, only to find out that the girl only knows "A Case Of You" because it was in a movie.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Behind the Song: Joni Mitchell, "A Case of You" « American Songwriter". americansongwriter.com. 6 February 2013. Retrieved 4 February 2017. 
  2. ^ Calderwood, Brent (2013). "Be prepared to bleed". In Lisa Sornberger and John Sornberger (Eds.), Gathered Light: The Poetry of Joni Mitchell's Songs, pp. 97–100. Toronto: Sumach Press. ISBN 9781927513125
  3. ^ "Joni Mitchell – California". Discogs. Retrieved January 10, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Your Desert Island Discs results". Desert Island Discs. BBC. Retrieved November 15, 2011. 
  5. ^ FB, Dr (3 April 2014). "A Case Of Her: Gabrielle Aplin To Release “English Rain” EP". drfunkenberry.com. Retrieved 4 February 2017. 
  6. ^ "Romantic Comedy: Imbibe in Moderation". The New York Times. 6 November 2013. Retrieved 4 February 2017. 
  7. ^ "Music from Parenthood S5E04". tunefind.com. Retrieved 4 February 2017. 

External links[edit]