The album was released to cassette tape and Compact disc on July 9, 1996 by MCG Curb (later under Curb Recurds). In November of 1996 a CD single was released exclusively to Target stores and people who bought the album would received a CD single for free. The CD single consisted of two previously unreleased songs, the title track, "Put a Little Holiday in Your Heart" and Rimes' rendition of The Righteous Brothers, "Unchained Melody", as a B-side track. The CD single's back cover stated that the CD single was for promotional use only. "Unchained Melody" peaked at number three on the Country Songs chart while "Put a Little Holiday in Your Heart" peaked at number fifty-one on the same chart in 1997. The album itself reached number three on Billboard 200, and number one on Top Country Albums.
Five singles were released from the album, the first being the title track "Blue" which was written by DJ Bill Mack on June 4, 1996. "The Light in Your Eyes" was released as an a-side track with the song and was originally intended to be the first single off the album but due to an error by DJ "Blue" was played by mistake and due to the success of "Blue", "The Light in Your Eyes" release as a single was changed to a later release on April 1, 1997, serving as the final single from the album. On August 13, 1996 the second single, "Hurt Me" was released. "One Way Ticket (Because I Can)" was released as a single on October 15, 1996 with "Unchained Melody" (read above) released as a b-side track as well. Due to this on December 24, 1996 the song, "Unchained Melody" was released as the fourth single from the album and would later be included on the compilation album Unchained Melody: The Early Years. "One Way Ticket" is Rimes's only number one hit on the country music charts.
The album was met with some positive reviews. Allmusic rated Blue four out of five stars. Shawn M. Haney, who reviewed the album, called it "a glorious free-for-all of sassy pick-me-up country", and stated that "perhaps people of any age or style of interest will feel youthful again after a good listen and a half." Similarly, Entertainment Weekly gave the album a B+ and stated that "such raw, old-fashioned country music, with such a big, twangy, sexy voice at the center, wouldn't be making such a stir in bland '90s Nashville if LeAnn Rimes weren't 13. In other words, the hype machine has inadvertently coughed up a gem." Los Angeles Times gave the album two-and-a-half stars out of four and said that "Rimes displays the unbridled power and freshness you'd expect from a teenager. In an ideal world, she'd bring all that to bear on songs that tap her youthful zeal. Instead, too many on this major-label debut require a level of experience that's clearly beyond her years. There's no question Rimes has been blessed with a magnificent voice. Let's hope she'll be given a few years--say, at least until she's out of high school--to let her natural talent mature."In his Consumer Guide, however, Robert Christgau gave the album a "neither" score, and said it "may impress once or twice with consistent craft or an arresting track or two. Then it won't."
|1.||"Blue"||Bill Mack||Wilbur C. Rimes||2:47|
|2.||"Hurt Me"||Deborah Allen, Bobby Braddock, Rafe VanHoy||Wilbur C. Rimes||2:53|
|3.||"One Way Ticket (Because I Can)"||Keith Hinton, Judy Rodman||Chuck Howard, Wilbur C. Rimes, Bob Campbell-Smith (assistant)||3:42|
|4.||"My Baby"||Allen||Wilbur C. Rimes||2:49|
|5.||"Honestly"||Christi Dannemiller, Joe Johnston||Howard, Wilbur C. Rimes, Campbell-Smith (assistant)||3:21|
|6.||"The Light in Your Eyes"||Dan Tyler||Howard, Wilbur C. Rimes, Johnny Mulhair (co.), Greg Walker (assistant), Campbell-Smith (assistant)||3:20|
|7.||"Talk to Me"||Ron Grimes, Rimes, Jon Rutherford||Howard, Wilbur C. Rimes, Campbell-Smith (assistant)||3:11|
|8.||"I'll Get Even With You"||Coweta House||Wilbur C. Rimes, Mulhair (co.), Walker (assistant)||3:18|
|9.||"Cattle Call" (duet with Eddy Arnold)||Tex Owens||Howard, Wilbur C. Rimes, Mulhair (co.), Walker (assistant), Campbell-Smith (assistant)||3:07|
|10.||"Good Lookin' Man"||Joyce Harrison||Wilbur C. Rimes||3:11|
|11.||"Fade to Blue"||Jim Allison, Anne Reeves, Lang Scott||Wilbur C. Rimes, Mulhair (co.), Walker (assistant)||3:03|
Put a Little Holiday in Your Heart Target exclusive bonus CD Single
- Main article: Put a Little Holiday in Your Heart
|Put a Little Holiday in Your Heart Bonus CD-single|
|1.||"Put a Little Holiday in Your Heart"||Greg Wojohn, Roger Wojohn, Scott Wojohn||Wilbur C. Rimes, Roger Wojohn||3:29|
|2.||"Unchained Melody"||Alex North, Hy Zaret||Wilbur C. Rimes||3:51|
- "Blue: Leann Rimes: Music". Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Leann-Rimes/dp/B000000DEX/. Retrieved 2012-06-25.
- Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008 (Album notes). Record Research, Inc. pp. 352–353. ISBN 0-89820-177-2.
- "Amazon.com: Put a Little Holiday in Your Heart: LeAnn Rimes: Music". amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/Put-Little-Holiday-Your-Heart/dp/B000H7GY0G/. Retrieved August 8, 2011.
- Flippo, Chet (1996-11-23). "Movie Roles Abound For Country Artists; Mark Miller To Shoot Hoops". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. http://books.google.co.kr/books?id=ugkEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA52&dq=LeAnn+Rimes+Unchained+Melody+Billboard&hl=zh-TW&sa=X&ei=HW_JT8GpOI-s0AGy6oiEAQ&ved=0CDoQ6AEwAjgK#v=onepage&q=LeAnn%20Rimes%20Unchained%20Melody%20Billboard&f=false. Retrieved 2012-06-02.
- "Unchained Melody – LeAnn Rimes". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. http://www.billboard.com/artist/306757/leann+rimes/chart. Retrieved 2012-05-06.
- "Put a Little Holiday in Your Heart – LeAnn Rimes". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. http://www.billboard.com/artist/306757/leann+rimes/chart. Retrieved 2012-05-06.
- Haney, Shawn M.. "Blue (LeAnn Rimes album)". AllMusic. http://www.allmusic.com/album/r237851.
- Nash, Alanna (August 2, 1996). "Blue Review". Entertainment Weekly. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,293560,00.html. Retrieved 2012-10-17.
- Lewis, Randy (July 27, 1996). "Rimes Needs Time to Grow". Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/1996-07-27/entertainment/ca-28352_1_leann-rimes. Retrieved 2013-04-12.
- Christgau, Robert. "CG: LeAnn Rimes". RobertChristgau.com. http://www.robertchristgau.com/get_artist.php?name=leann+rimes. Retrieved 2012-10-17.
- Christgau, Robert. "CG 90s: Key to Icons". RobertChristgau.com. http://www.robertchristgau.com/xg/bk-cg90/grades-90s.php. Retrieved 2012-10-05.
- "Billboard". Google Books. http://books.google.co.kr/books?id=xAcEAAAAMBAJ&printsec=frontcover&hl=zh-TW#v=onepage&q&f=false. Retrieved 2011-12-02.
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- "Blue - LeAnn Rimes | Billboard.com". Billboard. http://www.billboard.com/artist/306757/leann+rimes/chart. Retrieved August 8, 2011.
- "Item Display – RPM – Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/rpm/028020-119.01-e.php?&file_num=nlc008388.3051&type=1&interval=20&PHPSESSID=khshdrmucdbma4k8uctvlu14d0. Retrieved 2011-10-07.
- "Chart Log UK: The Rabble Army – RZA". Zobbel.de. http://www.zobbel.de/cluk/CLUK_R.HTM. Retrieved 2011-10-07.
- Geoff Mayfield (December 25, 1999). 1999 The Year in Music Totally '90s: Diary of a Decade – The listing of Top Pop Albums of the '90s & Hot 100 Singles of the '90s (Album notes). http://books.google.co.kr/books?id=9w0EAAAAMBAJ&lpg=PP1&lr&rview=1&pg=RA1-PA4#v=onepage&q&f=false. Retrieved September 30, 2010.
- "ARIA Charts – End Of Year Charts – Top 50 Albums 1996". Aria.com.au. http://www.aria.com.au/pages/aria-charts-end-of-year-charts-top-50albums-1996.htm. Retrieved 2011-10-07.
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- . google.com. Retrieved August 4, 2011.
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- "RPM '97 Year End...Top 50 Country Albums". RPM. December 15, 1997. http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/rpm/028020-119.01-e.php?brws_s=1&file_num=nlc008388.3414&type=1&interval=24&PHPSESSID=2s5gfgdb605fku05he0q36q9j7. Retrieved August 11, 2011.
- "1997 Year End Chart". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc.. December 28, 1996. http://books.google.com/books?id=0g0EAAAAMBAJ. Retrieved August 4, 2011.
- . google.com. Retrieved August 4, 2011.
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- "American album certifications – LeAnn Rimes – Blue". Recording Industry Association of America. http://www.riaa.com/goldandplatinumdata.php?artist=%22Blue%22 If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
- Paul Grein (November 7, 2008). "Chart Watch Extra: Ropin' The Biggest Country Hits – Chart Watch". new.music.yahoo.com. http://new.music.yahoo.com/blogs/chart_watch/18943/chart-watch-extra-ropin-the-biggest-country-hits/ Retrieved May 13, 2011.
Main article: LeAnn Rimes discography