John Lennon on iTunes

The presence of the third Beatle’s solo catalog on iTunes (the holdout at this point is the sublime George Harrison, whose estate one must imagine is going to take some time to process the question of moving to new formats) is old news at this point. In fact, John’s solo catalog generally is old news for most listeners—or is it? I would guess that the number of music aficionados born after 1970 who have listened to much more than Plastic Ono Band, Imagine, and maybe Shaved Fish is pretty low.

I got Mind Games earlier this week and am listening to it right now. There is a lot of mid-70s paunch in this recording; the session musicians aren’t bringing their a-game, and John’s songwriting isn’t at his finest here. Except, of course, for the title track. And “Aisumasen,” which is pretty touching.

And one verse in “Out of the Blue” which completely grabbed me by the throat:

All my life has been a long slow knife
I was born just to get to you

That’s quite a statement. In another universe, that would be the standard toast from a bride to a groom. Coming as it did on the heels of John’s “lost weekend,” it’s got even more power and resonance.

It’s nice to have the opportunity to go back and sample some of this material without having to devote physical space to the disc.