“Most of my songs have that blue feeling. They have that sorry feeling, and I don’t know what I’m sorry about” – Etta James
“I want to die with my blue jeans on” – Andy Warhol
A primary colour sitting between violet and green on the visible spectrum, it’s the colour of both the deep sea and the daytime sky. In ancient Egypt it was a divine colour, and all around the Mediterranean people wore blue jewelry and adornments to protect themselves from evil. It’s the colour of the robe of the Virgin Mary in classical art, of many police and military uniforms, of football kits from Chelsea to France and Italy, and of course the perennial colour of jeans. Blue is often associated with the cold (like on taps), with melancholy and sadness (feeling blue), but also with prestige (Blue Riband, blue chip), and nobility (blue blooded), although it’s also in different ways associated with the working classes (blue collar) and in Oriental and Asian societies it’s often associated with torment, ghosts and ghouls, and even death. In Western societies it’s a boys colour (with pink for girls), as well as being the colour of political parties like the British Conservative party and the Democrats in America, as well as many liberal parties throughout Europe. It’s the colour of Smurfs, the Nile, Hawaii, and Velvet, the screen of death, lagoons everywhere, pornographic movies, the ridge mountains of Virginia, and of course the Earth itself when seen from space.
And then there’s music: A ‘blue note’ is one bent downwards to convey some kind of feeling and there is of course the famous Blue Note record label; white soul singers are often labelled ‘blue-eyed soul’, we’ve had Blue Oyster Cult, Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland, The Bluetones and, unfortunately, Blue, and it’s often used in songs to convey something, and in song titles in particular. In this playlist we’ve consciously avoided using actual ‘blues’ songs (Crossroad Blues etc…), and instead focussed on those that use the colour in different, more imaginative ways. In doing so we think we’ve created a rather wonderful and varied collection encompassing many different ‘shades’. We hope you enjoy…