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Mind Games

From Academic Kids

Mind Games are a kind of social interaction where participants try to screw with one anothers' heads. The concept is most often used colloquially to refer to deceitful, confusing or Machiavellian situations. However some mind games are described by the psychology of transactional analysis.

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Mind Games was also John Lennon's fourth solo album, recorded and released in 1973. Mind Games marks the beginning of Lennon's fourteen month separation from Yoko Ono and the end of his period of political activism, both prompted in part by the re-election of Richard Nixon.

The title song itself reflects Lennon's situation. Originally written as the triumphant Lennon anthem "Make Love Not War" it was refashioned to describe his inner turmoil. While two other political songs, "Bring On The Lucie" and "Only People" were retained the album largely reverts to the personal introspection of Imagine and his relationship with Yoko Ono.

The two ballads "Aisumasen" and "Out The Blue", both end with powerful solos. Other lyric pieces include the country "I Know, I Know", the schmaltzy "One Day At A Time" and the South Sea "You Are Here".

At the rock ends of the album are "Tight A$" and "Meat City". The Texmex "Tight A$" (i.e. "Tight Ass") is a obscene ditty that gives him a chance to trade guitar licks. "Meat City" is likewise visceral and one of his best solo rock tracks.

There is little of Lennon's experimental music left here beyond the Cage-inspired eight second silence of the "Nutopian International Anthem".

Having learnt a lesson with the inexperienced Elephants Memory Band on Sometime In New York City Lennon now went to the other extreme using top New York session musicians for the album. While the results are more professional they do tend to play the kind of meaningless fills that a Beatle usually avoids. Lennon returned to his house band for the subsequent album, Walls And Bridges in 1974.

Track listing

  1. "Mind Games"
  2. "Tight A$"
  3. "Aisumasen (I'm Sorry)"
  4. "One Day (At A Time)"
  5. "Bring On The Lucy (Freeda People)"
  6. "Nutopian International Anthem"
  7. "Intuition"
  8. "Out The Blue"
  9. "Only People"
  10. "You Are Here"
  11. "I Know (I Know)"
  12. "Meat City"
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