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John v John: Walls And Bridges & Mind Games
9 April 2012
11.22pm
meanmistermustard
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Got some outtakes of the Walls and Bridges sessions and every time i hear the sessions and outtakes im reminded of how good some of the songs are before they were covered in every overdub under the sun so that John could take the focus away up his voice which he hated.

Scared and Nobody Loves You are great songs when heard in their basic states but the album mixes suck big time. Same goes for Old Dirt Road. The only song that survives is Bless You which is such a gorgeous love song from John to Yoko and deserves far more attention than to be forgotten about and left to hide on Wall and Bridges.

Mind Games is even worse. One Day (At A Time) is a highlight on the anthology collection but its simply ghastly on the commercial album. Same goes for songs like You Are Here and I Know (I Know) which is stunning in demo form.

 

Hopefully one day Yoko will turn her attention to these albums and release far more alternate versions (not keen on stripped down albums like with Double Fantasy as those mixes sound weird). However considering W&B was recorded during John's Lost Weekend it will more than likely be left alone.

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
10 April 2012
9.15am
Ben Ramon
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Agreed totally. I really loathe the production on John's music post-Imagine, so drowned in "lush" sounds. The only song on Walls and Bridges which really survives in my opinion is "#9 Dream", which is a shame because like you said loads of the songs are really good. Apparently because John loved 70s disco and funk he was trying to recreate those sounds, which often use lush orchestras and brass, but it comes off sounding like porn jazz. As for "Mind Games", I've just never really liked that album in general, some of John's weakest songwriting on that one.

SHUT UP - Paulie's talkin'
10 April 2012
11.11am
meanmistermustard
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I dont think ive managed to ever get thru the whole Mind Games lp, hearing the production and arrangements only results in a switch to something else. It was a big eye surprise when hearing the outtakes and demo's on the Anthology as i had pretty much forgotten about every song.

 

Its sad that these albums are so poorly presented as it affects how John's musical output is viewed, having to jump from Imagine to Rock 'n' Roll and even that album is way too overproduced and a mixed bag. Plus Double Fantasy only being 7 songs mixed in with 7 of Yoko's doesnt help, his songs on that album are great but in the end his catalogue as officially presented doesnt reflect how good a musician and singer John was. And how good the songs are before all the overdubs and effects were added.

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
10 April 2012
11.18am
Ben Ramon
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I think in the 70s John was quite preoccupied with the Spector sound having used him to great effect on Plastic Ono Band and having been happy with Spector's work on Let It Be also. That's partly why Mind Games and Walls and Bridges have that kind of production overshadowing the songs themselves. But if you ask me, with some rare exceptions, Spector's massive style of production doesn't really do justice to John and Paul's songwriting, and only does justice to George's in some rare cases.

SHUT UP - Paulie's talkin'
10 April 2012
12.05pm
The Walrus
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I quite like Mind Games, the title track is excellent and the remainder is a mix of uptempo songs like Only People, Tight A$ and Meat City, and gentler songs like Out The Blue and I Know (I Know). In some cases the production could do with being stripped down, particularly One Day and Freda People. Weaker tracks are I'm Sorry and Intuition, which I don't think could be saved.

Walls and Bridges, on the other hand, is awful, except #9 Dream which is on a similar plane to Mind Games.

And I neeeeeeeeed her all the time
10 April 2012
1.53pm
meanmistermustard
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At least we can look forward to the inevitable remastered reissues in 4 or 5 years with the odd bonus track shoved on as a sign of Yokos commitment to ripping off Johns catalogue. blue-meanieblue-meanieblue-meanieblue-meanieblue-meanie

 

I get that John only put out 7 studio albums, i get that the miscellanious a and b-sides that are not on the albums would only fill half a cd at most, i get he only put out 1 live cd Live Peace In Toronto (where has that gone by the way, why no remaster along with the other albums), i get its important that fans hear these. But for the love of everything good and wonderful can we please either get something we havent heard before or even the One to One concerts remastered, complete, and on dvd. Anything but another damn release of Imagine (and that includes special formats of both the song and the album) and another compilation of his songs.

And none of that sticking 7 'new' tracks alongside 6 we already have - still havent gotten over the rip-off Acoustic album which i refuse to buy.blue-meanieblue-meanieblue-meanie 

Damn, just remembered the exclusive tracks in the Signature box. blue-meanieblue-meanieblue-meanieblue-meanieblue-meanieblue-meanieblue-meanieblue-meanieblue-meanieblue-meanieblue-meanieblue-meanieblue-meanieblue-meanieblue-meanieblue-meanieblue-meanieblue-meanie

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
10 April 2012
4.07pm
vonbontee
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Aghhh!! Blue Meanie attack!

I put the blame for that endless redundant repackaging on record labels in general, not Yoko. It's not just John's albums - how many times has Band on the Run been redone in "deluxe" editions, after all? Or Dark Side of the Moon or whatever. But I agree with you - I wish they could release the unreleased stuff, and keep it separate from the the RE-released (and re-re-released & etc.) stuff.   

I just want to play. I’d like to think I could work opposite Sinatra, B.B. King, the Beatles, or a polka band... - Jazz musician Rahsaan Roland Kirk, 1967
10 April 2012
4.48pm
meanmistermustard
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True vonbontee. Maybe the John rererere-releases are more noticable because there is little to fill in the gaps. Paul usually has a lot other stuff to fill in the monotony so its less irritating. Im not a Pink Floyd fan so have no idea about how their catalogue is marketed.

Plus it really annoys me how Yoko handles Johns music so its easy to go off on one. That whole 'wasnt John just wonderful, all his music is fantastic - here's the exact same 12 songs as last time to prove it. Oh and have an Imagine toothbrush so you can brush for peace. John was a peaceful guy, he would want this tat out there.'.

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
10 April 2012
11.24pm
The Walrus
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meanmistermustard said  i get he only put out 1 live cd Live Peace In Toronto (where has that gone by the way, why no remaster along with the other albums), 

Don't forget the bonus disk of Some Time In New York City!

And I neeeeeeeeed her all the time
11 April 2012
12.42am
meanmistermustard
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Yeah, forgot about that but it is essentially a part of STINYC.

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
20 April 2012
11.49pm
minime
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Umm. I don't really hate this "wall of sound" or whatever it's called, I just dislike the songs on Walls and Bridges in general. Except for for Nobody loves you... and 9#, I just love the latter one. Perhaps I'm weird but poor remixing doesn't affect a great song in my opinion... Like TLAWR and ATU

22 April 2012
9.13pm
unknown
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I don't really think either of them are great albums, but if I had to pick it would be Walls and Bridges! They both blend into each other for me, though so I don't really know.

All living things must abide by the laws of the shape they inhabit
28 September 2012
7.33pm
MKR
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i'm going to agree with most of what's been said here.  The production in most of Lennon's post imagine releases has let him down.  I've recently come around to mind games though.  It was an album i've never really given much thought, however upon re-connecting with it recently i think it's pretty solid and better than walls and bridges.  It's funny, walrus commented on on intuition and i'm sorry - and those are actually my two favorite songs on the album. 

 

Another thing too, as much as i want to hate spector's connection to the beatles (due to him being a piece of shit human being), i actually have to admit that his artistic contribution is pretty good.  PLastic Ono band sounds incredible, All things must pass does too, Imagine is a classic as well. (i don't have rock and roll). Heck i even like the Let it Be production.

28 September 2012
8.07pm
Von Bontee
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Heh, Spector was barely around for POB, and I personally think "All Things Must Pass" sounds fairly lousy! I appreciate what he was trying to do, but that damn wall of sound...sounds like it was recorded in a railway station. I'll give him credit for "I Don't Wanna Be A Soldier..." though - his bombast really makes the song worth listening to. (I think it's a pretty weak song actually, worst thing on that album.)

"Mind Games" I admittedly haven't heard in awhile, so maybe it's just that damn dreary production dragging my memories down. But as it is, I really prefer the "Walls & Bridges" material - or maybe I just think its filler is less dreary than that of the earlier album. I can't think of anything on "Mind Games" as good as "Bless You" or the two big W&B singles. But maybe I shouldn't answer until giving the former a new listen. I'm gonna go to the mall TONIGHT and see if it's in the "Lennon" bin! (It'll be the first album I've bought in nearly 4 weeks!)

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!" -- Paul McCartney
28 September 2012
8.23pm
MKR
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Von Bontee said
Heh, Spector was barely around for POB, and I personally think "All Things Must Pass" sounds fairly lousy! I appreciate what he was trying to do, but that damn wall of sound...sounds like it was recorded in a railway station.

Oh no you didn't!

 

I can't knock anything on All things must pass.  Nothing.  It's such a masterpiece really.  and actually i don't find the 'wall of sound' thing to stand out that much.  It does on a few songs (art of dying namely), but i think it works pretty well there for me.  Mind you most of the songs on the album are so good that it would be hard to mess them up.  But clearly it's a matter of opinion. 

Going back to John, i actually think the songwriting is better on W & b's than on mind games, but that sound and production just kills it for me which is a shame.  For a while now i've been meaning to rip my Lennon Anthology box as most of my listening is done through ipod.  I've really got to get around to doing that.

28 September 2012
8.40pm
meanmistermustard
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When ATMP was reissued in 2001(?) George himself said it was too Spectorised

 

From its wiki entry

Harrison enlisted the aid of Phil Spector to co-produce the album, giving All Things Must Pass a heavy and reverb-oriented sound, typical for a 1960s/1970s Spector production — a sound Harrison would subsequently regret with the passage of time. In the electronic press kit that accompanies the 30th Anniversary reissue, Harrison is asked what he thinks of the album 30 years later; he replied: "Too much echo."

Over the last 6 months have grown to like WAB more but compared to the outtakes its still too laboured in its production, all the looseness that is evident in the studio when recording is gone. Maybe that was how the sound was at the time tho. Would love to get an alternate or basic tracks version.

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
29 September 2012
1.28am
Duke_of_Kirkcaldy
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Both sound practically the same to me.  a-hard-days-night-john-7  These albums are definitely more what I meant in another post by John going soft in his solo career.  And he utilizes the exact same instrumentation (including that rather cheesy tenor sax sound that he, George, and Ringo all fell so in love with in the '70s  a-hard-days-night-ringo-14) and production values for these albums (as well as Rock and Roll).  But I do consider songs like "Aisumasen (I'm Sorry)," "Bless You," and "Going Down on Love" some of his more underrated songs.

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