John Lennon Mind Games with Lyrics
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Published on Sep 22, 2012
Mind Games is John Lennon's fourth album, and was recorded and released in November 1973. Like his previous album, the politically topical and somewhat abrasive Some Time in New York City, Mind Games was poorly received by music critics. It reached number 13 in the UK and number 9 in the US, where it went gold. The album was recorded at Record Plant Studios, and was produced solely by Lennon. The album was recorded at the beginning of Lennon's 18-month separation from Yoko Ono. By the start of 1973, John Lennon started to distance himself from the political battles he had gotten into from the previous 18 months. It was also around this time that him and his wife, Yoko Ono, were going through marital problems. As Ono was completing her fourth album, Feeling the Space, Lennon played guitar on a few tracks. Lennon decided he also wanted to record a new album, after he liked the musicians assembled for Ono's album by their assistant and production coordinator, May Pang, and he asked Pang to book them for his sessions. Wanting to produce something that would surpass his previous album, Some Time in New York City, while still living in his Greenwich Village apartment at this point, Lennon started writing and demoing a few songs for Mind Games, after a period of almost a year or not writing any material. Which were written to fulfil his record label contract obligations, several of these were about the feelings Lennon had about his and Ono's marriage.
After constant court appearances battling to stay in the US, Lennon was feeling weighed down, not helped by being surveillanced by the FBI, due to his political activism. Lennon said "I just couldn't function, you know? I was so paranoid from them tappin' the phone and followin' me."All this combined made Lennon began to feel that he was drifting away. Lennon put his suffering to one side to write the songs for Mind Games, writing all the songs for it in a week. Under the incarnation of 'The Plastic U.F.Ono Band', Lennon engaged the services of session drummer Jim Keltner, guitarist David Spinozza, Gordon Edwards on bass, Arthur Jenkins on percussion, Michael Brecker on saxophone, Ken Ascher on piano and organ, and the vocal backing of a group called Something Different. Difficulties between Lennon and Ono were becoming more and more noticeable around this time. Just as the sessions were to get under way in June at New York's Record Plant Studios, the Lennons separated. After Ono edged Pang on, Pang would become Lennon's companion and lover in what would become an 18-month relationship known as Lennon's 'lost weekend'.
The album was recorded between July and August 1973 in Lennon's quick fashion. Lennon produced the album by himself, after a two-year partnership with Phil Spector.It was mixed over a two-week period, when the album was remixed in 2002, many audio anormallies that were hidden in the original mixing were uncovered. Some rough mixes appear on bootlegs and on 1997's John Lennon Anthology. The album continues Lennon's previous attempts to chronicle his life through his songs.The tone of this album is a range of mixed feelings from somber and melodic songs directed to Ono ("Aisumasen (I'm Sorry)", "One Day (At a Time)","Out the Blue", and "You Are Here"), to more light-hearted and optimistic tracks ("Intuition", "Only People") and a few that indulge Lennon's affinity for pure rock 'n' roll.
The title track (with its "love is the answer" refrain and call to "make love not war") was begun during the Beatles' Get Back sessions under the name "Make Love, Not War", and became a Top 20 US hit. "Bring on the Lucie (Freeda Peeple)", "Only People" and the three-second silent "Nutopian International Anthem" were the only political tracks on the album. The latter referred to "Nutopia: The Country of Peace", a conceptual country which the Lennons had announced at a press conference in New York City on April Fool's Day 1973. "I Know (I Know)" features lyrics that Lennon apologizes for his thoughtlessness, and him knowing about the cause for his insecurity. On some of the rough mixes that have appeared on bootlegs, they chronicle the time-consuming overdubbing for the arrangement that Lennon wanted for the song. The Mind Games closer, "Meat City", contains a Lennon curse, "Fuck a pig!", sped up and backwards, while the mix used on the "Mind Games" single B-side gives the same treatment to the phrase "Check the album!"
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