Remembering that my Beatles solo top ten starts off with a virtual deadlock for all of Level I & Ia for Lennon (3 albums- with 1980 material counting as one album, Imagine & POB)), and 3 from Harrison (ATMP, 33&1/3, Brainwashed) thus leaving 4 spots that are roughly a tie between the 3 best Macca solo alums (BOTR, FP, C&CITBY), 3 more Harrison releases (C9, GH, LITMW) & the level II Lennon here, which is "Walls & Bridges" & "MIND GAMES". For the record, and in Macca's defense, my next three fave Macca's (Ram, Off The Ground, Memory Almost Full) are very close, and a host of others (Tug Of War, Back To The Egg, Venus & Mars, Flower In The Dirt, Driving Rain-followed by McCartney & Red Rose Speedway)) are not far behind either.
Back to "Mind Games"...I think it's far to say that is about on the same level as "Walls & Bridges", and while it is a minor decline after the first couple of pinnacle solo albums, and not as good as the amazing 1980 material, it was a strong step up & forward after STINYC, and sits in my top 10-15 solo Beatle albums. It contains enough great material, and not too much on the "should've been left off" level at all; maybe one track, and you know that can't be bad...yeah, yeah, yeah.!
n looking at the best of the best the title track certainly is a titan (and stands among both his greatest singles, and greatest songs- and Lennon plays the towering slide riff BTW), but I'd like to add special note to my other absolute favorite, "You Are Here" which is one of his most gorgeous songs ever; just breathtaking. "Intuition" is both pop heaven, and a great hopeful mystical song (like "Mind Games"), "I Know (I Know)" a passionate personal song, built around various wonderful melodic changes, and finally "Tight A$" which is filled with clever wordplay and is an effervescent grade A, rock-a-billy, almost tex-mexish, rocker. The rest of the tracks are near great to good, with maybe "Only People" being the exception. Not awful, but certainly the least successful. "Bring On The Lucie (Freda People)" veers from portions of excellent lyric writing, to falling back into almost STINYC-like anger sloganeering, but it has simply great music to help it rise above as an overall track. "Only People" has a moment or two musically, and may be well intentioned but it is the song that feels most like a water-treading, just need another track type of song. The whole album benefited greatly from the recent remastering might I add (with the exception being that the ending of "Meat City" got cut off) giving it breathing room and an expansiveness that replaced a slightly over packed, even cluttered feeling to what is revealed to be a really dense, well made album . Ranking it within in the Lennon Catalog:
Level I: Double Fantasy/Milk & Honey, Imagine
Level Ia: Plastic Ono Band (Live Peace In Toronto)
Level II: MIND GAMES, Walls & Bridges (Rock 'N' Roll)
Level IIa:(Live In New York City)
Level III: Sometime In New York City
The album itself stacks up about like this:
Level I: Mind Games, You Are Here, Intuition, Tight A$, I Know (I Know) (5 of 12) & Nutopian International Anthem- which technically makes 6 of 12- but while I adore the whole concept of Nutopia and think the 2 seconds of silence is brilliant, again conceptually, I have to note that it really doesn't "count" as much of a song, but there are 12 songs on the album, so there you a-go-go.
Level Ia: Bring On The Lucie (Freeda People), Aisumasen (I'm Sorry), Meat City - (3 of 12, making 8 of 12, or 9 of 12 in Level I)
Level II: Out The Blue, One Day At A Time (2 of 12 Level II)
Level III: Only People (1 of 12 Level III)
**Note: combine at least the 5 Level I tracks here (& maybe some of the 3 Level Ia tracks) with the best of "Walls & Bridges" and you get an amazing '73-'74 mix CD that makes a strong case for Lennon still topping his band mates for highest quality in that era!!
Mind Games, You Are Here, Intuition, I Know (I Know), Tight A$, #9 Dream, Whatever Gets You Through The Night, Old Dirt Road, Going Down On Love, Surprise Surprise (Sweet Bird Of Paradox) & add on 2 great 1974 tracks not on W&B Move Over Ms. L, Here We Go Again (that makes 12 incredible tracks!!)...plus possibly any of these fine 6 close also rans- Scared, Nobody Loves You (When You're Down & Out), Beef Jerky, Bring On The Lucie (Freeda People), Aisumasen (I'm Sorry), Meat City,
Last edited by linclink
on Fri Jul 04, 2008 12:24 pm, edited 4 times in total.
Om Namah Shivaya !!!!