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John Lennon Mind Games

(180g Vinyl LP)

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John Lennon Mind Games on 180g LP     

Remastered in 2010 from the Original Analogue Tapes by Yoko Ono & Team of Engineers from Abbey Road Studios in London and Avatar Studios in New York

Cut from the 24bit/96k HD Digital Transfers by Sean Magee at the World Renowned Abbey Road Studios

Two months after the release of Some Time In New York City, a dark period began for John and Yoko both personally and politically. It was against this backdrop that Mind Games was largely written and recorded. Yoko had started work on a solo album that became Feeling The Space with musicians that had been been put together with help from their great friend and engineer, Roy Cicala. John liked what he heard and asked Roy to book the same musicians so that he could start recording again; notably guitarist David Spinozza, keyboard player Ken Ascher and drummer Jim Keltner. 

For John, his marital difficulties with Yoko were compounded by the issues and effects of his involvement with radical politics: “I just couldn’t function, you know? I was so paranoid from them tapping the phone and following me.” The month before recording began, John and Yoko moved uptown from Greenwich Village to The Dakota, an apartment building located on the northwest corner of 72nd Street and Central Park West. John stopped working with Phil Spector as a co-producer and because of John and Yoko’s issues, Mind Games was produced solely by Lennon. It was recorded in John’s usual quick-fire fashion, And like Some Time in New York City, it touched on many themes and vignettes from John’s life – but this time it largely avoided overtly political themes.

It opens with the album’s title track, a song that dates back to 1970 when it had had the working title of "Make Love, Not War." Above all else, the song signals John’s intent of returning to his more normal territory as far as song subject matter is concerned. It became the only single to be released from the album. John’s chronicling of his own life features on many of the tracks on Mind Games. There’s "Aisumasen (I’m Sorry)" that reflects on John’s relationship with Yoko and the hurt he felt at the hurt he had inflicted. Aisumasen is Japanese for sorry. It is one of Lennon’s most melancholic of songs, one in which sees himself cast adrift. It was during the recording of the album that Yoko suggested that she and John have a trial separation and that May Pang would be the perfect companion for Lennon. 

Other songs inspired by their love and their difficulties are, "Out The Blue" in which John expresses his doubts over their separation. The beautiful "You Are Here" is a love song to Yoko and it’s hard not to be affected by John’s ability to lay his feelings bare; the song is made more affecting by Sneaky Pete Kleinow’s pedal steel guitar. On "One Day (At A Time)," John sings in his falsetto voice and his notion in this song is that two parts are made bigger than their individual size when they are brought together in love. It features a classic saxophone solo from Michael Brecker on one of his earliest sessions.

As with just about every Lennon solo album, his love for the music that inspired him is ever present. "Tight A$" with shades of 1950s rockabilly and country rock picking is one of Mind Games’ nods to his formative years. On "Meat City" John’s innate love of rock ‘n roll shines through, and he makes his point further by singing “Just got to give me some rock ‘n’ roll.” John did make a brief return to politics on Mind Games, but in a far wittier and lighter fashion than on his previous album. "Bring On The Lucie (Freeda Peeple)" was no less biting, and perhaps it was more effective as a result.

Shortly after Mind Games was released John, along with May Pang, moved from New York to live in Los Angeles and the period that has come to be called ‘The Lost Weekend’ began. As such, this album can almost be looked at as a Friday night, after a long week’s hard work. All that had gone before – from the alienation that John and Yoko felt when living in England and the barbs that Yoko had had to take over her perceived role in the Beatles’ break up, to a different kind of alienation heaped upon the Lennons by the American authorities, was presented in this and the previous three albums.

John Lennon Mind Games Track Listing:   

1.  Mind Games
2.  Tight A$
3.  Aisumasen (I'm Sorry)
4.  One Day (At a Time)
5.  Bring on the Lucie (Freda Peeple)
6.  Intuition
7.  Out the Blue
8.  Only People
9.  I Know (I Know)
10. You Are Here
11. Meat City

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