"Mind Games" was John Lennon's fourth major release and the first album which he produced on his own. The previous three all employed Phil 'wall of sound' Spector as co-producer, along with John and Yoko. It was released Nov. 2, 1973 (US) and Nov. 16, 1973 (UK).
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Jan 9, 2008
The thing I find the most interesting when reading all the reviews is how highly regarded John Lennon is still. He has always been my favorite musician from the minute I heard "Help" on the radio at the age of 5 (I'm 43 now). Let's face it we all hold him to a different standard then "regular" musicians and songwriters. There are some mediocre tracks here for sure ("Down on Love") and some of the production was clearly a product of it's place in time that should stay there ("Bless You," and "Scared" and whose idea was it to use all the bongo drums drenched in reverb?). But what is so great about Lennon to me and always was is the way he takes you to a very distinctive emotional place in his best songs. And the place is his - he owns that space and very clearly let's us in to share HIS feelings with him. I love that he writes for himself and we can all still climb into his songs to join him. That is the difference in my opinion between Paul and John. Paul's songs are obviously every bit as genius as John's but in a VERY different way. Paul seems like he wants to make sure you remember how good HE is with his songs "Mind Games" is a John journey of warning and hope, totally unique in it's presentation (I think it's the final pierce of "A Day in the Life"). John's love songs here are so pure and visceral that I feel like I wrote them because of the way they reach in on me. Dated as "Bless You" feels now, I can totally imagine John in the studio (probably high on cocaine - hey this was the seventies) just letting his heartache pour our of him into the Piano the piano or the guitar in the slightly paranoic control of that drug. "Mind Games" also has some of the famous Lennon wit, notably "Steel and Glass" (ouch!) and I think "Ausimussen" is so beautifully eliptical in it's structure that I feel like he is unsure of how to say he's sorry so he just keeps trying. And that guitar solo is so "perfect" in how it caps the sundae of hurt John dishes up. "Nobody Loves You When You're Down and Out" is just a picture of honest introspection from a fellow who knows about this. Look even the great ones aren't picture perfect all the time. Which brings me around to how highly we regard John's talent and songwriting. While we consider some of these mediocre tracks if they weren't from the guy who wrote all those great Beatles songs it's a different story. I never .
Oct 18, 2007
I have written about this album in a earlier review. This album is a bit frusterating because even though there are some excellent songs, it has some songs on here that he should have replaced. Mind Games, Out the Blue, Bring on the Lucie and You Are Here are some great songs by Mr. Lennon. "I Know" is the best one in my opinion apart from the title track. Aisumasen is a waste. Tight AS and Meat City are not all that bad, but John Lennon is better than these songs. Intuition is a matter of opinion, but not a bad song. We seem to have a Mr. Moses who is a McCartney fan. God bless him for it. Paul McCartney was a great singer and a great musician with the Beatles. John Lennon's partner on many songs. I am sure there are web sights about Mr. McCartney that Mr. Moses can go on and be right at home. "Band on the Run" and "Venus and Mars" were the only albums i think Paul McCartney did that were any good. "1985" on Band on the Run I think is the best song he ever did. Juniors Farm and OH Woman, OH Why... were great singles. The rest of McCartney albums i just never liked, but there are fans of his who think differently i am sure. Mr. Moses should understand this is a "JOHN LENNON" web deal. Mind Games has it's merits but much of the problem can be we may compare it to this first two studio albums which were fantastic and maybe it's too hard, even for John Lennon, to keep up that pace. It's a good album if you are a John Lennon fan.....that is part of it too.
Apr 21, 2007
I do agree, this is an underrated lennon album.The thing is, had he included "rock'n'roll people", "I'm the greatest" or "here we go again" it might have turned the whole album into a masterpiece! But he did not, and instead we have "only people","bring on the lucie" and "I know".Not bad at all, but certainly not Lennon at his best.The rest of the album is brilliant,varied with highlights like "out of the blue", tight as","Aisumasen", "You are here" and the title song.The production is a bit mild, but it doesn't affect the content.What really differs for the first time is john's lukewarm cmmitment in the lyrics.But if the album isn't a masterpiece, it still is a very good one.
Feb 27, 2007
At the time of its release, for some strange reason, Mind Games was overshadowed by 'Band on the run' by wings and Ringo's album ''Ringo'..nothing at all against those 2 strong albums but I've never really understood why. Possible because Wings were more popular than Lennon at my school at the time. But then so were the Bay city Rollers and Mud..... Anyway, as a 12 year old Beatle/Lennon maniac,i travelled after school to the HMV in London's west end to purchase a copy on the day of release. I remember the first issues were US imports (different cover material).. I was very excited and when I got home and played it, I was not disappointed.. I've always loved this album. Its very tuneful and the music is uplifting. The lyrics are always interesting and THE VOICE is truly incredible. My favourite voice...There's a good mixture of styles: sublime ballads: Aisumasen, out of the blue, I know, You are here - all sending shivers down my spine -great rockers: tight as, bring on the lucie, meat city and the title track which is a lennon classic. Although I do prefer the 'Plastic Ono Band' and 'Imagine' albums, Mind Games is still an excellent album and criminally underated. None of the songs have lost their appeal after 34 years..and to me the album is his 3rd best solo effort. For the record, I was disappointed with Walls and Bridges and Rock and Roll. But pleasantly surprised with Double Fantasy although it seems dated now... For me Lennons's greatest work was everything he recorded between 1963 and 1971. Its my favourite body of work by any artist. This to me is the 'definitive' Lennon. Although he never regained those heights after moving to America in 1971, Mind Games was the best of the rest.
Dec 29, 2006
Well i have always liked this Album from the moment i bought it in 1973.For me it was a big return to form after the weak Sometime in New York City Album.I can understand people's critisism of the Album sounding very poppy,but for me that was always The Beatles great strength and indeed why John and Paul complimented each other so well.I think John made a deliberate attempt to try and cover as many musical avenues a possible on Mind Games and for me the Album sounds fine.I also agree that the remastered C.D. version really brings the whole thing to life.The title song Mind Games is a great opening to the Album and is surely one of John's best songs.I also like Tight As,i think it rocks really well and the lead guitar work is superb!Aisumasen is a Blues with a terrific guitar solo thrown in.One Day at a Time is a good pop song,but i'm not sure he should have done it all in falsetto,i suppose he was looking for some different variation.Bring On The Lucie always sounds like a Bob Dylan immitation to me,in the If Not For You mold.Intuition has a great bouncy feel to it.Then Out The Blue is a terrific song,John at his best i would say.Only People sounds a bit like a Gospel chanting song.It sounds a little bit dated here and would have worked better on a earlier release.I Know (I Know)is a good song with some great singing.You Are Here is a very overlooked song with its dreamy atmospere and again a terrific performance.The the Album finishes with a good rocker Meat City which sounds great on the remastered version.
Mar 12, 2006
lennon is here
I personally love this album. It was a huge step up from the previous "sometime in new york city". At this point in lennon' career, Mind Games showed everyone how melodic he was as a solo artist. "Plastic Ono Band" and "Imagine" are great, but Mind Games is truely a memorable upbeat enjoyable album for me. favorite song on the album is "Out The Blue" - easily the greatest love song ever made.
Feb 11, 2006
Wow, a real intellect! David Moses is a %%%%%%...such remarkable debating skills. I'll write a book on YOUR genius. And, go and look up the word 'opposite', or go back to primary school.
Dec 26, 2005
I used to feel luke warm about this album, but the CD remaster has made it better. The CD brings out Lennon's incredible singing. This said, "Only People" and "One day at a time" blow. The "rockers"- Freeda People, Tight Ass and Meat City are fun,but a far cry from Yer Blues , Cold Turkey or I found Out. If I had reviewed this before the CD I'd have given it a 2. Now Id give it a 3.25.
Oct 20, 2005
Wow, what no one seems to realize or accept here is that Lennon and McCartney were VERY, almost COMPLETELY different in their musical writing styles, their attitudes, their insecurities and values, etc.and that is what made the Beatles so great (see A Day In The Life for a good clash of their styles, and that is among the best beatles tracks ever, in my opinion). For people to say that one had much more talent than the other is unfounded bias.
Oct 10, 2005
John The Genius Lennon
david moses is a fucking piece of shit. I think you have it the oposite. Paul McCartney wished he had half the talent of Lennon. Paul is garbage, just like yourself. Mind Games is the greatest album ever created.
Sep 11, 2005
Lennon wishes he had half the talents of Macca.
Sep 1, 2005
I didn't realise these review pages were chat rooms aswell. Quite simply put Lennon's worst is McCartney's best, and I think a few songs on this album could be classed as Lennon's worst. Mind Games is a typical over-indulgent, pretentious song from Lennon, which is why I love it. The lyrics are far more important than the music that the music almost has trouble keeping up with his words. Tight Ass is a funny little country and western track that only Lennon could come up with. With Aisumasen you almost feel like you're on a sun-drenched beach with palm trees staring at a glorious blue sea. One Day At A Time is rather mild but is probably following it's own instructions and taking things slowly. Bring On The Lucie is possibly the strongest track on the album it's big and it's loud, you can almost imagine Lennon leading everyone over the hills along to this song. Nutopian International Anthem was a nice idea and it is only 6 seconds long but surely we could have had something to listen to. Not just silence, although I've always got my ears open to listen for the pen scratching when their signing it. Intuition is the most simple song on the album but with some complicated lyrics, you almost fall over the words trying to keep up when singing along. Out The Blue is a nice acoustic guitar/piano ballad about Yoko but has a strange out of space feel to it. You need an open mind for Only People, some think it's pointless and childish but it has the same feeling as All You Need Is Love, anyone can sing along to it. I Know I Know is a great acoutic guitar track that doesn't pretend to be big or great, it is just a good strong track. You Are Here is a great melodic track, maybe a bit too dreamy, if you want it to take you away it will. Finally, Meat City is a tremendous loud rocking track that blows the rest of the album out of your mind, you feel like the old mean aggressive Lennon is back and is about to swear at any minute. I'm not sure what it's about though. This album isn't meant to rock your socks off, it's for you to sit and listen to late at night whilst reading a book or something.
Aug 8, 2005
Why am I 'a queer'? Personally I don't see the link between my musical taste and my sexual or personal preferences. Clearly you are more intelligent than me, so kindly could you explain how differences in something subjective lead to me being 'queer'?
Aug 6, 2005
instant karma 311
david moses is a queer who knocks down lennon for kicks. By the way Mind Games is the greatest album ever.
Jul 31, 2005
Utterly forgettable really as an album- those who attack paul for his whinsical music must look at 'one day at a time' as one of the most treacle covered songs ever, and by Lennon- Lennon supporters who dislike this in Macca's music, how do you defend this? Aisumasen is so repetitive and has no structure. Same goes for 'Tight as'. Playful rocker that goes nowhere. 'Meat city' is tuneless nonsense. Only really does 'mind games' stand the test of time, with a nice orchestral arrangement.
Jun 17, 2005
I'm astounded that the merit of this record is hotly debated. What's debatable is whether John made only six real albums or twelve -- regardless, this is in the Top 3. Even though fairly slick, it is perhaps John's most listenable and consistent LP, thanks in part to the top-flight studio musicians. "Mind Games" and "Bring on the Lucie" show his idealistic side and rank among my JL all-time favorites. The rest of the tracks are an engaging mix of light love songs (some contented and relaxed, others slightly melancholy), and a few odd and fun tunes. Never a bore. Lennon was nowhere near the melodicist of McCartney -- consider how many of his Beatles tunes, excellent though they were, featured hovering around a single note or two -- but he does an excellent job of stretching on the hummability factor with this collection. If you're new to the Lennon canon, "Mind Games," albeit on the mainstream side, is an excellent album to begin with and to prepare you for his less consistent efforts.
Sep 28, 2004
i am amazed at the so called lennon fans who claim they are lennon fans who say this is crap. mind games is a great album, i rank it with imagine.oh yeah some fans also said imagine is crap, do me a favor crawl back into whatever trailer you came from. mind games is great,tight a$ is a fun rocker, (try playing it in band), it fills the floors up. trust me i know, i've played it. intuition is a great play on insticts, iknow(i know) is my fav track is reminds me of the let it be sessions, if you listen to the way he is singing it he is lost in the meaning, i really don't care what so called fans say. this album hit # 2 what wrong with that, not bad for a man not trying. ahhhhhhhh....... fair weather fans gotta love em. lol like the old cliche if you don't like it don't buy it or don't listen. he has plenty of fans without the likes of you....
Sep 26, 2004
The long weekend begins here. After the pressures of his green card problems, made worse by the overtly political anti-government stance Lennon had taken on his previous release, and the pressures from everywhere concerning his public marriage, Lennon leaves the missus at home and goes of to get drunk with the boys.During this time Lennon does not strain his creativity to much, but the distsnce from Yoko already makes this an improvement from his previous effort. Another postcard, only this time to his wife, and not with her. Hooray for that alone. The politics are gone, but the grovelling has just begun in earnest, as witnessed most notably on Aissumasun. Although this song features a magnificent guitar solo from David Spinozza, the lyrics are mawkish and self pitying to the point of embarrasment. The title track gives free reign to Lennons dyslexia and as such is very much a companion piece to "I am the walrus",although once again the production quality lets this song and the rest of the album down. The real gem in this collection is "Freeda Peeble (Bring on the Lucie)", for all intents and purposes "Gimmee some truth" part two, but no less enjoyable for that. The rest of the collection is enjoyable enough, which in itself is a great step forward, although in the end rather forgetable, but at least some of Lennons sense of humor peaks through after the more serious preachings of previous efforts. And no Yoko involvement people. I can not stress this enough.
Aug 4, 2004
This is a highly contentious album in the Lennon catalogue as many of these reviews attest. Recorded in 1973 with a top-flight studio band (including sterling work from guitarists Pete Kleinow and David Spinozza), the album gives one a strong sense of water-treading...which was absolutely true when it was released. Paul Du Noyer describes the album as sounding "disspirited," and, indeed, it shows a Lennon who is weary of being singled-out and persecuted for his outspokenness and activism. Yet, I agree with the last review that this is a sort of hidden gem. Lennon's talents, while taxed in '73, had never abandoned him and MIND GAMES ranks as one of his most musically gentle and evocative collection of songs. The title track, while lyrically evasive, is a superb, haunting song. "Tight A$" and "Bring on the Lucie" feature a memorably irreverent Lennon...with saucy Pete Kleinow pedal steel. But the rest is a well of deeply-felt balladeering such as the oddly-compelling "Aisumasen" with its rhythmic stumbles and unforgettable Spinozza guitar solo (possibly the finest in the Lennon canon), and "You Are Here"...a not-at-all disposable love song, but a cosmic and airy tribute to Yoko. For me the real hidden gems are "Out the Blue" and "I Know," both beautifully-arranged acoustic ballads which don't contain a trace of artifice in their stated devotions. If the lyrics don't quite ring true, this is in keeping with much of the album where an underconfident Lennon is slowly regaining his steps after SOMETIME IN NEW YORK CITY. "Meat City" is a hearty stew of a rocker, but, for this writer, "Intuition" and "Only People" have the least authenticity. But altogether a noble effort and one that gathers resonance as the years pass. These songs definitely merit a fan's attention and appreciation.
Jul 4, 2004
John took the decision, after the over-blown politics of 'Some Time in New York City', to do the most non-political album he could. 'Mind Games' was the result and even though it is usually said to be one of his worst - After a recent listen, I found it's a very strong album. The title song, of course, is a Lennon classic to this day that has appeared on numerous greatest hits collections. The rest of the songs seem to be a lot of apologies to Yoko for some of the mistakes he has done, mixed in with some nice surreal rockers and strange lyrics. The results are interesting and some songs fail ('Only People', 'I Know' and 'You Are Here' all spring to mind) while others like 'Meat City' and 'Bring on the Lucie' rank high up there with some of John's best work. This album was, of course, the first before John's famous lost weekend and it is already beginning to show some of the troubles he and Yoko were having in their marriage, and John definitely shows a sense of lonileness in some of the tracks and in the cover, which seems to show him stepping away from Yoko. There are many different ways to try and understand the varying content on this album but it is most important just to sit back and enoy some very good music. The politics of the previous album are gone and while some tracks, especially Mind Games, seem like John is just trying to bring back the success and feeling of the 'Imagine' album and song, this album is mostly a good experience and I don't think anyone can truly hate tracks like 'Tight A$' and 'Meat City' which are just fun, innocent rock and roll tracks, the kind of which he hadn't done in a long while.
May 30, 2004
The "Mind Games" is very nice album. Even while you are only reading the title you understand that the title is some kind of political sign. The song "Mind Games" is one of John Lennon's #1 hits Because of it's lyrics and musical harmony. "Tight A$" is nice song written in rock'n'roll style. "Aisumasen(I'm Sorry)" is professionaly made mixture of nice words about Lennon's and Ono's relations and music. "One day (At A Time)" has nice love lyrics and musical harmony but, as for me, it sounds too sweet in this album. Personally, I prefer an "Anthology" version of this album. "Bring On The Lucie (Freda People)" is nice reggae song with great political lyrics.What about "Nutopian Internationl Anthem"? Well, I just didn't understand this well-called joke. "Out The Blue", and "You Are Here" are nice silly love songs with good lyrics and music. "Only People" is nice song to but, actually, I didn't understand its idea. "I Know" is the 2nd hit in this album after "Mind Games" and I love this song very much. In my opinion, this album would be very nice present for everybody who would like to listen some good music with nice polytical lyrics sometimes.
May 15, 2004
Along with John's third album, this is considered a slump in his singing and song writing career. What happened to the immortal genius who brought us 'Mother', 'Imagine and 'Jealous Guy', and that's not even counting some of his best singles. To put it simply, Lennon had lost some of his creativity during this period. I believe it was partly to do with his ongoing political battles which made him a little more pre-occupied than he was during the oh-so-simple early years. However, 'Mind Games' is an enjoyable distraction if you need a forty minute break and does have some very good songs on it. 'Mind Games' is one of John's strongest songs and something like 'Intuition' proves that he still has a strange musical talent that doesn't mean a song actually has to be good, he just adds something to it. The strongest song of all of them, in my opinion, is 'Meat City'. I still believe that it's better than the title track and deserved more than a B-Side. It's fun, crazy, and a great rock and roll track. John's at his best and the song's strange surreal effects make it even more of a pleasure to listen to. It makes the whole listening experience worthwhile. The package still shows John's tremendous sense of humour with quotes from Doctor Winston O'Boogie (his first appearance in John's life?), John's sketches and various little odds and ends. It also includes the announcement of Nutopia, John and Yoko's conceptual country, which I'm a proud member of. The CD actually includes the 6 second Nutopian International Anthem (Much easier on the ears than a lot of other anthems!). The front cover shows what could have been John's mind set at the time. I'm a huge fan of Yoko's work and her as a person but I feel that her and John's relationship was getting rocky at this point because of a lot of their political troubles. With the cover, I think John is trying to say he needs a break from being part of Yoko and get away from the mountain, so to speak. I do believe that their relationship was succesfully put back together and I do believe that they were very happy in their marriage during John's last years (some people dispute that) but John (and Yoko, don't forget) really needed a break. 'Mind Games' was the start of the Lost Weekend, a time that proved John's muse wasn't lost after all.
Apr 23, 2004
We Lennon fans (worshipers, whatever)should cherish "Mind Games" and shut the hell up. I feel lucky as Lou Gehrig that we have this beautiful record by one of the greatest artists of the twentieth century. The title track is simply one of John's all time classics...a stirring and thrilling track. "Tight A$" is okay but no classic. "Aisumasen" is beautiful and often brings moisture to the eyes. "One Day At a Time" is very cute and evokes the old English music hall (a large influence in the music of Lennon and McCartney). "Bring On The Lucie (Freeda Peeple)" is a searing anti-Nixon, anti-Vietnam anthem (one of my three or four favorites). I love the lines referring to Nixon and his little clique "...so while you're jerking off eachother, you'd better bear this thought in mind. Your time is up you better know it. Or maybe you don't read the sign." "Intuition" is an interesting look into the thought processes that made John so brillant. "Out of the Blue" is a nice song with some good picking I believe by John. It sounds like him. "Only People" can be amusing once and a while...it may come off corny but it is a sincere entreaty for all of us to get together and empower ourselves in unity. "I Know I Know" is a solid Lennon love song. "You Are Here" is also one of my very favorites. The middle eight is one of the most romantic things John ever did. "Meat City" is so nuts it's irresitible. Cherish this album old Beatle Maniacs.
Apr 11, 2004
After "Sometime in New York City", this is Lennon's worst effort. The title track is a nice single but nothing special compared to Lennon's other solo singles. "Aisumasen (I'm Sorry)",and "Out The Blue" are above average slow songs, but they can also be boring on the wrong day. The real gem is "You Are Here". "Tight As" and "Meat City are lame fast songs. "Bring On The Lucie (Freda Peeple)" is a terrible 'protest song' ""Only People" and "I Know (I Know)" will put you to sleep. "One Day (At A Time)" is god awful- i can't help but picture lennon dressed up as Shirley temple when i hear this one; a bad combo to be sure. There are several problms with this album. The biggest is the terrible back up singing. It's as if Lennon is trying to recreate a Girl group sound. Another flaw is the over production. Some of these songs sound much better on the Anthology Boxed Set. Finaly, Lennon just doesn't seem to be into it; the album lacks enthusiasm. If it's between this one and "Sometime...", get this one. Otherwise pass on it in favor of Lennon's other original releases.
Dec 22, 2003
It's not boring to listen to! Worth buying. Why? Read the lyrics. The tunes are fantastic. Lovely.
Dec 7, 2003
Its Not The Best Album That Lennon Recorded, He Could Have Done It Better. But I Liked Mind Games The Most Meat City Was Great To.The Album Was Weak. Imagine, Walls And Brigdes and Live In New York City Are Better.
Jun 19, 2003
I think of "Mind Games" and "Walls and bridges" as sort of brother and sister. While I prefer "Walls and bridges" "Mind Games" is an interesting album. John was writing some very good songs during this period. Case in point being the Lennon favorite "Out the blue" as well as "I know." There is a country edge to "Mind Games" but it seems to work on most of the songs and isn't so blatant that you are scratching your head wondering why Lennon stopped playing Rock n Roll. The weaker parts of the album pop out when John seems to step out of his usual realm playing happy little pop tune diddeys like "Only people" and "Intuition" which, let's face it, sounds like a school house rocks anthem. It is a hit and miss album and seems to have John a bit out of his element in places but when it works it works well. I think "Tight A$" is a great groove and a great Lennon lyric. The music may not be his forte' but the lyrics and the John Lennon wit makes it all his own. I guess the very worst part of "Mind Games" is that it is a 70s album that just did not age well and feels dated. Still though I'm quite fond of that creative yet bizarre track at the end of the album "Meat City." It all seems a bit experimental and even if it didn't work perfectly, isn't that the way we wanted him to be?
Jun 1, 2003
Many people moan about this album. They claim that the title track is great but the rest is shite. Admittably, the album does not hit you straight the way, but it needs persiverance. Yes, 'Mind Games' is a classic Lennon song centering around his humanstic approach. 'Tight as' is almost a Country tune which sounds like it was written as a filler, but surpasses this. 'Aisumasen' (I'm Sorry) sounds like a plea to Yoko, but don't judge a book by it's cover, it's actually one of the album's best songs. A steady drum beat, mellow piano and again a County sounding accoustic lead. 'Out of the Blue' is indicative of Lennon's mind set. It's clear he is celebrating Yoko Ono....fair play.I love the Gospal backing, this is John Lennon raw. 'Only People' would bring down the average of this album, but the lyrics in the chorus "We don't want no Big Brother Scene" that's the rebelious streak in Lennon. 'I Know (I know)' is interesting, it starts off sounding like it is a song which belongs in Thelma and Louise (Country) but it's latter verses offer the lister intrege. A lot was made by John & Yoko of the Nutopian theme to the album but it's not evident in the music...thankfully. On the whole, the songs on this album gel well. I don't think that it's classic Lennon, but it has theraputic qualities and is certainly worthy of more than it's common perception.
Oct 22, 2002
Mind Games is an interesting album, and Lennon fans seem to fall in to two categories when listening to it -- love it or leave it. It seems that John was losing a bit of his footing, so to speak, when he was making this album - which is why it isn't as strong as those before it. The title track isn't one of my personal favorites, especially with it's ballad like movements. If you're a Lennon fan, I doubt you've never heard it. "Tight A$" is a quirky and tongue-in-cheek song that pokes fun at many things including sexpots, druggies and government workers. I find that the progression sticks in your head and the twangy turn-around makes you want to bop. "Aisumasen (I'm Sorry)" is real old-fashioned blusey-sounding, a rather quiet track and is John relieving some of his demons in song-form. It's not too memorable, but it is a nice song. "One Day (At A Time)" is sugar-sweet. And with lyrics like "you're the honey, and I'm the bee", how could it not? Some might write this song off immediately for the strange music and the 'throw-away' lyrics, but please don't. I think John's being honest with himself and his love - Yoko. "Bring On The Lucie (Freda People)" - now this is a song I like. John's in his regular natural state, scatting rhymes and having calling out to his audience. It's got some nice slide work, though nothing major - the lyrics may have been late for his time then, but they do tend to call out to the younger generations. "Intuition" is a cute progression, and the lyrics are a strange contrast to the up-beat progression. The song actually gives some good advice, and definitely sticks in your head. "Out The Blue" starts out slightly painful but quickly progresses into a personal affirmation. The chorus seems really pent-up and quickly resolves itself in the main melody - a nice touch. "Only People" is slightly forgettable only on the basis of melody, which Oasis ripped off in "Shakermaker". The lyrics aren't really up to par with the rest of the album, but it was obviously another try for 'protest song of the year'. "I Know (I Know)" is a steady song, with Spector like arrangements. I like the lyrics a lot and the chorus of 'today I love you more than yesterday, right now I love you more right now' is really fun to sing along with (especially in the car). "You Are Here" is the best song on the album, in my opinion, next to "Intuition" and "Meat City". It's a sweet sexy song that sounds like it belongs in a sea-side cabana. It moves in slow waves like the ocean washes on shore, and I cannot see how someone could *not* like it. Beautiful. "Meat City" cracks me up. The song is john being snarky and clever with his lyrics (like in "Tight A$") and the music is extremely rockin' upbeat. You'll get the lyrics stuck in your head easy, and crack up when you hear "F*** a pig" backwards at the end of the second chorus. A wonderful ;) to end an album.
Oct 16, 2002
This album is a follow on, in terms of subject matter, to Some Time In New York City. However, it's main strengths are attributed to the melodious (with possible exception to the bizzare Meat City) tone of the tracks included. The title track, for example, was the obvious choice for a lead off single, as it has a powerful message and a great tune. However, once we get beyond this, we reach various disappointments. Tight A$ is a good song, with it's barndance atmosphere and feelgood rhythm, but the lyrics are essentially meaningless. As for the title? Any ideas how to pronounce this would be greatly appreciated. (Personally, I think it's either Tight A Dollar or Tight As A Dollar, but I'm not convinced of either) Aisumasen (I'm Sorry) is a nice ballad, and may be one of the best tracks on the album. It's certainly better than the godawful One Day At A Time, which John seems to insist singing beyond his actual highest pitch. Bring On The Lucie (Freda Peeple), however, has what has got to be the first example of White Rap (move over Eminem), although all in all it fails to really deliver the promised punch. Nutopian National Anthem. Well really, how self indulgent could you be, John? The second side however offers better songs than the first, which is somethng of a rarity. Intution is a fairly Beatle-y track, and is sensibly short. You Are Here, I Know (I Know) and Out The Blue are all superb Lennon tracks, with I Know having a distinct George Harrison feel to it. Only People is the obligatory Lennon chant, but seems slightly meandering in it's sentiment. Meat City is a fantastic closing track, as it leads us into a strange world of Lennonian images, enhanced by various sound effects. All in all, not a great album, but rewarding listening. There are worse albums to start your Lennon collection with than this.
Sep 14, 2002
BluJay ("And U Slip and u slide down the
The thrid album and first single album written in America! (STiNYC being first and vaguely double like). I'd like to start with saying wot I think of the cover. The cover shows some interesting symbolism - Yoko fading over the horizon - does this mean John was going to spit up from her? Which, of course, in two thousand and two we know he did, but |I thought I'd write that cos I thought it was interesting! The title song, MIND GAMES has very little on the surface going for it, and sounds vaguely tacky and muzaky in some places. I haven't got the album handy at the moment cos I'm moving house, and so can't remember wot the second track was. 'AISUMASEN' is a lovely simple love song, with a really soothing vocal. 'FREDA PEOPLE' is the real gem of the album, with a fast pace and catchy simple lyrics getting a serious message across. Some people say it's very similar to BLUEBIRD by Paul McCartney, but personally, I can't see any similarity between the two of them. 'ONLY PEOPLE is a bit repetitive, but the sentiment behind it for people ('Only people can change the world') to change the world is great. MEAT CITY, the final track on the album is inexpressably great with hard vocal and a strong beat at the back, combining into something truly amazing. All in all, Mind Games isn't John's best solo album, but in no way is it his worst. But his music was going to take a blip for the next album before returning to superb form for 'Walls and Bridges'...
Sep 7, 2002
This is a weak John Lennon album. I'd prefer it over "Two Virgins", "Life With The Lions" and "The Wedding Album" though. "Mind Games" is a waste of space and I find the music to be really annoying. "Tight As" is a rocker and I like it but there are better John Lennon songs. "Aisumasen (I'm Sorry)" isn't that good. I usually skip it when I put Mind Games in. "One Day (At A Time)" is Lennon's absolute worst song ever! I hate, hate, hate it! It's way too slow! "Bring On The Lucie (Freda Peeple)" is mediocre, nothing so great. I thought "Intuition" would be like "Isolation" but it wasn't what I expected. It's weaker than "Isolation" but I like it. Interesting music and good lyrics. "Out The Blue" is alright but I skip it when it comes on. "Only People" is a good one! It sounds nice! "I Know (I Know)" is ok, nothing more to say. "You Are Here" is ok but a little weaker than "I Know (I Know)". "Meat City" is the best on the album! A fast, rocking, John Lennon song! This clearly helps this weak album out. I suggest another John Lennon album if you don't have any.
May 27, 2002
The thing about The Beatles is that once they get a reputation like they did, it's very hard to live up to it later on, when doing solo work. All the best bands suffer from this in terms of publicity and media attention, but normally the music on the album is just as good. Taking all that into account, however, I must admit that this album was a bit of a let-down for me, and as far as I'm concerned, the weakest of Lennon's solo albums. It's not a bad album, it's just not great compared to the standard of the rest of his work. It starts off promisingly enough, the title track is a really powerful song with excellent chord structure that is easily in the top five songs Lennon ever wrote - Beatles and solo alike. It is clearly the "Imagine" of its album. However, the rest of the album is fairly average. Tight A$, a nice piece of rock & roll, and Aisumasen, the "Jealous Guy" of the album, sound a little more like Elvis songs than Lennon songs, but that's quibbling. They're both good - nothing special, but all right. It's with "One Day At A Time" and "Bring On The Lucie (Freda People)" that the quality really dips - the former just being a soppy, honey-coated love-song with no real substance, and the latter, while admirable in terms of lyrical principle (we want peace!), is musically cringeworthy, and I don't think I've cringed at a song of Lennon's this much since "Sexy Sadie". Then, three seconds of silence with the "Nutopian National Anthem", furthering the humour that John & Yoko had in a letter to the President of the USA, reprinted inside the lyrics booklet, declaring this new state, Nutopia, a concept for peace - the letter was dated April 1st, 1973, read into it what you will! Still, it's a bit of a waste of a track really. To kick off side two, we have "Intuition" - which after looking at the lyrics, I thought I was going to love, but no, it's musically only average. Not a bad song, but again, not of a great one. Although one of the better songs on the album. Things get considerably better next off with "Out Of The Blue", a happy love song that has a decent melody behind it, and some really emotional singing from John - I like this song. "Only People", next up, about how only people can understand people, and one of those "communicate, brother!" songs that John does regularly, is another of those songs that is lyrically admirable but musically lacking. Music was McCartney's strong point, Lennon's was lyrics. That is demonstrated here on this album many times. Things get better again with the next song, "I Know (I Know)" - after the title track, the high point of the album. I love this a lot - it's got another heartfelt vocal delivery, enhanced by the melody line. It's about how far one has come, and how far one still has to go. The last two songs on the album, "You Are Here" and "Meat City" are both all right but again nothing special; the former having some interesting lyrics, but not much musical substance, the latter the most uptempo rocker of the album, but with absolutely no lyrical value. To sum up then, this album isn't bad, but it isn't great. I like it a lot more now than I did the first time I heard it, so it could be said that it's growing on me. Give me another two years, maybe I'll grow to love it, but I have my doubts. Worth getting, just about, but you have been warned!
May 3, 2002
I would say it like this. I am probably one of the biggest fans of John Lennon. The Mind Games album of John Lennon is good album but what makes it get sub par reviews is because his first one Plastic Ono Band and Imagine were so outstanding and excellent that it prevents this album to be reviewed objectively. Overall, the title song Mind Games is excellent and is as good as a song he ever did in his life. My personal favorite after that one is Out the Blue which is outstanding. The album had the potential to be one of the greatest he ever did, but it just doesn't get there for the reasons listed previously. Or could it be he may have gotten away from the aggressive style he always imposed in his career. Also, I think this album may have lacked Phil Spector who produced his first two solo albums. John Lennon produced it himself, and the album may suffer from too many instruments in the songs and "over production". None the less the album is very good and a definite must in any Beatles (John Lennon)collection. Listen to it with sympathetic ears.
Jan 11, 2002
I like this album second best, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band being my favourite. This album is one of John's best because it combines 'love' songs ('Out The Blue' type things) with songs of a more political nature (ie. Freda People) and therefore has a range of songs for all types of listeners. The title song is weaker instrumentally and in the lyrics because they both border on tomplicated heavy (the drum beat) and quiet gentle and have to much forced pace. The track 'Nutopian International Anthem' is probably the worst song on the album (but then again, with no music it can't really be called a song). Of the quieter 'love' style songs (Aisumasen, One day at a time, out the blue and you are here) 'one day at a time' is the best because it is properly paced and only repeats where critically nesscesary, next i prefer 'Aisumasen' because of it's simplicity. Out the Blue' is nice, (what is that he says about 'I'll survive long enough to make you my wife'? i thought the song was to yoko, who he was already married to!?) but i hate the long boring instrumental bit between the beggining few and the end verse, it is so out of character for the rest of the song. 'You are here' is one of Lennon's songs I would prefer to forget because it is so repetitive and slow. Of the political numbers (Tight As, Bring on The Lucie, Only People, Meat City) are all controlled enough to be enjoyed, though the lyrics on Only People do have the nasty habit of sticking in your head and being hard to shift when you are trying to get to sleep. Meat City and Freda People are by far the best songs on the album (though, personally I prefer more political songs) because they are direct to the point and express my sentiments. Also, on the album, there are two 'self' tracks in which John seems to be exploring himself (Intuition and I know), they both seem to describe that John is only just beginning to see the world again after drugs, yoko etc.
Apr 22, 2001
15 y o BEATLEMANIAC
Mind Games is an exelent album!! I love it, it is my second favorite Lennon album (Platic Ono Band being my first). It's so awesome! And WHAT an improvment since SOMETIME IN NEW YORK CITY! I bet everyone thought John was through after STINYC eh? But then he made is comeback with this album! MIND GAMES, the most popular and known songs on the album, is great! He basicly tells us to make love not war. A great message! TIGHT A$ is a pretty cool tune. It kind of reminds me of Gimme Some Truth. AISUMASEN is a beautifully sad song. The best part of it is the instrumental part with that beautiful guitar work!! God I can't get enough of that guitar! The song is missing something though. I think it could have used some saxophone. ONE DAY AT A TIME is probably my least favorite track on the album. It's just too silly for this album! But I really really love the anthology version better. he should have used that one on this album, his voice was so beautiful in it! BRING ON THE LUCIE is my mom's all time favorite song on this album. I think it is a great song but it should have been on STINYC than on this one. Either way, it's great! NUTOPIAN INTERNATIONAL ANTHEM is very funny track. 3 seconds of nothingness! It's the son of Two Minuets Silence. INTUITION is my second favorite song on the album. It's so good!! The lyrics appeal to my liking alot. It's also just so damn catchy! it's also got a rockin' good beat that everyone can get into. OUT THE BLUE is my #1 favorite on the album. It's so beautiful! The first time I heard the opening guitar at the beginning I knew it was gonna be a damn good song and it was! The lyrics are beautiful and so is everything else. it kicks ass! ONLY PEOPLE is cool and kinda fun. It reminds me of something The Brady Bunch or Partridge Family might sing. I KNOW is a good country like tune. Everybody likes this song. YOU ARE HERE is a beautiful song about John and Yoko. I love the opening line "From Liverpool, to Tokyo what a way to go..." MEAT CITY-what a great way to close the album! A hard rocker with backwards tape, alien noises and funny lyrics! What message do you get when you play this song backwards? I never heard it backwards yet so I wouldn't know. Could someone tell me what happends when it's backwards?
Apr 15, 2001
In 1973, most people probably felt that John Lennon the solo artist had yet to fufil his potential. Paul McCartney had yet to produce anything that was more than just competent but he was about to comeback with his carrer-best album (Band On the Run, also 1973). However on Mind Games there is evidence that the older of the two ex-Beatles may not have much left (0r maybe it was just a bad run of form). Lets just get one thing clear, the title track that starts the album is excellent, but was no where near as popular as it could have been. Lennon's original idea was to call the track Make Love Not War, and it is likely that if he had stuck to this idea it may have become an anthem. The album's good start is immediatley halted when you hear Tight A$ which is a hilariously poor track, and is then followed One Day (At A Time) which is as boring and pointless as they come. These two tracks represent some of the worst of Mind Games' throwaways and extrapadding. Unfortunately the rot does not end there, You Are Here is also mediocre and the semi-political Only People has a good beat but it is hardly memorable. The other tracks are likely to delight some fans whilst others may yawn. Bring On the Lucie (Freda Peeple) is politically motivated (As you slip and slide down the hill/on the blood of the people you kill) but becomes strangely ungripping pretty quickly. I Know (I Know)sometimes sounds as if it could have been one of Lennon's most memorable love songs ever, however the arrangement doesn't sound quite right and Lennon would later criticise the song himself. The final song on the album is Meat City, which sounds a bit nonsensical but somehow manages to be one of the more rocking songs on the album, but is still no classic. Overall, Mind Games, however reasonable an album, is just not adventurus enough. Lennon is no where near as angry or political as on previous efforts, and it shows how quicly music had overtaken the ex-beatles in the seventies, leaving Lennon in particular with little to say.
Apr 3, 2001
"Mind Games" is a great album! I've got a vinyl 1984-reissue, and I can play it over and over and over again... "Mind Games" got a lot of critisism. But why? Just listen to "Some Time In NY City". Is "Mind Games" not an enormous improvement? First of all, there's no Yoko Ono. I certainly don't hate her (some of her songs like "Who Has Seen The Wind" are very nice) but John Lennon on a record should be just John Lennon and no one else. (That's why I don't like Double Fantasy...) Secondly, the instrumentation is great on "Mind Games": no dull guitars like on "Some Time" and no 'wall of sound' like on "Imagine" but wonderful and well-produced instruments, backing vocals, choirs... Then there are Lennon's compositions. "I Know (I Know)" is one of Lennon's most beautiful songs ever. (Though, I prefer the "Anthology"-version.) But just listen to it! It's MUCH, MUCH BETTER than "Imagine"! "Out The Blue" is very beautiful too. "Only People" is a great tune, and so is "Freeda Peeple (Bring In The Lucie)". And of course, "Mind Games" is superb. "Aisumasen (I'm Sorry)" has got a great piano bit, but it is - just like the 'throwaways' "Intuition", "Tight A$" and "You Are Here" - a weak, but acceptable song. The only really 'bad' song on "Mind Games" is "One Day At A Time". But what the heck! When you buy this record, you get 5 wonderful - great - fantastic songs!!! And who even cares about the rest..? Critics judged this album on the lyrics, that are - I agree - below Lennon's level. But that doesn't give them the right to turn the whole album into some piece of junk! Is "Walls And Bridges" so much better? Certainly not, but critics just like EVERY album with so called 'intellectual' song titles like "Surprise, Surprise (Sweet Bird Of Paradox)"... So, all I am saying is "give mind games a chance"! ;-)
Dec 10, 2000
For some reason I have always liked what Lennon produced on this album more than most reviews of his career would argue it deserves. It is fairly standard for critics to label it as mediocre or insipid compared to, say Iamgine or Walls & Bridges. I have always thought that is a little unfair and so I have been puzzled over the lukewarm approach to the album as a result. Whenever I listen to it from time to time, it is evident that this album is a far cry from its predecessor, the undisciplined "Some Time In NYC", and a stepping stone in the direction taken by the subsequent Walls & Bridges. In many ways, it is Lennon reverting back to some of the themes of Imagine, most notably Yoko. There are several engaging love songs on the album and it is here that we sense Yoko at her best, as muse to the artist rather than trying to crowd his centre stage with her perplexing wails. But some of the political Lennon remains, with a couple of clear message songs. The overwhelming sesne is a mellow period in the turbulent life, but an underlying reminder that the message is still ever-present. Of the tracks, the title track and single 'Mind Games' is a strong start full of the type pf Lennon lyrics which could mean almost anything but work well with the music. Notably, from the rough demo versions available, he changed the chorus of the song from "Make Love Not War" because, as he put it once, 'that message belonged to the year before'. The ballads to Yoko such as "Out of the Blue","Aisumasen", "One Day at a Time" and "You Are Here" show Lennon's ability to write lovely songs with interesting musical moments such as the middle eights on the latter two. If they suffer, it is only because they number too many and start to make the album a bit syrupy, ironic for a man who used lambast McCartney for doing that in the Beatles ! I can forgive Lennon some sweetness, given the measured use of it through most of his career. "I Know I Know" is a jaunty number with a riff taken from "I've Got A Feeling", while "Tight A$", "Meat City" and "Freeda People" are the heavier songs with subject matter befitting a more aggressive sound. The resulting balance between the ballads and the rockers to my mind, anyway, works well to produce an album that remains a good listen even after 27 years. It is perhaps one of the more accessible Lennon albums for new listeners, but also a beguiling collection for the seasoned followers. Why it still fails to excite the Lennon camp as much as some of the more extreme productions puzzles me. Certainly its production dispenses with some of the heavy handed content that spoils the Phil Spector albums but also avoids the starkness of other albums that make them more esoteric for most listeners.
Sep 15, 2000
It's difficult to believe now but around the time that this album came out in 1973, Richard Nixon was trying to get John Lennon thrown out of the United States as a dangerous radical who was a threat to society. If Nixon had just listened to Mind Games he'd have realised that he didn't have anything much to worry about. Instead of plotting the downfall of the American way of life Lennon was more concerned with trying to get back onside with his missus at the time. Mind Games is a gentle, thoughtful and at times melancholy album, filled with the sort of introspection you'd normally associate with a George Harrison LP. It never catches fire but is pleasant nonetheless and certainly an improvement on Sometime In New York City. Most of the tracks show Lennon preoccupied with his love for Yoko. One Day At A Time, You Are Here, Aisumusen (I'm Sorry) and Intuition are all passable without being brilliant. The title track is without doubt the star turn. It has an uplifting, enigmatic almost mystical quality about it (Number 9 Dream on Walls and Bridges has the same sort of feel to it). Some of the reviews here pan the rocker Meat City but I like it - particularly the wailing baby bit. Tight A$ also has a decent stab at updating rockerbilly but the lyrics are an embarrassment to a man of Lennon's talent. Bring On The Lucie (Freda Peeple) isn't a bad track either. The guitar work and echoed vocal is memorable as is the all-out attack on bloodthirsty politicians of every hue - but it's tucked well out of the way at the end of side two. Mind Games is good easy listening stuff and probably deserves more credit than it gets.
Aug 7, 2000
I really enjoy Mind Games for a number of reasons. In a recent book that I have read, Mind Games was rated as a sub-par album but i believe that it was a great follow up to Imagine. Imagine is the pinnacle of the Lennon collection so to follow up with a great record would be almost impossible, well Lennon did this. This only proves that he is a true genius and one of the best composers of all time. The song "Mind Games" is the heart of Lennon's message. "i want you to make love not war." The song is simple but gets the point across. My personal favorite song from the album is "Out of the Blue." That has to be one of his best songs ever. It a ballad that shows the love shared by John and Yoko. Although some may dislike Yoko, there is no denying the fact that they had a unique love that many wish they could attain. "Tight A**) is a great honky tonk song that provides some humor to a very passionate album. Overall I think Lennon did a great job with this album and its a shame that his next few albums would drift away from this style, that i think was Lennon creative peak. Rock n Roll was a good album but not great and Double Fantasy was Lennon trying to fit in with a new decade which he we never get to really see.
Jul 25, 2000
This album is a great place to start for those listeners new to Lennon - though patchy in content and flawed in production the work as a whole explores (not without a touch of self consciousness) Lennon's major themes, life, love, yoko, politics, inspiration, loneliness, responsibility and human potential. Indeed skip the dreadful One day at a time and Only People and the rest is a very cohesive work. Musically too the album touches base with many traditional Lennon landscapes… 'Aisumasen' is a slow ballad ala 'Jealous Guy' but using the familiar 'Love Letters' style piano motif nicked previously for 'GOD' on the awesome Lennon/Plastic Ono Band LP. One of the best tracks 'I Know (I know)' is whose tumbling main riff is similar to the Beatles' 'I got a Feeling'. 'Freda People' another excellent track has the down home sound and attitude of 'Sometime in New York City' The climatic psycho-rocker 'Meat City' has the stop start sound effects and manic guitaring that Lennon used on Yoko's (brilliant) Plastic Ono record. Ok - so why isn't the album better known?? The flaws are severe… As mentioned, two of the songs are dire. A third, 'Tight A$' only just passes muster, being a lightweight filler ditty which was reworked to some degree and with greater success as 'Whatever gets you through the night' in 74. The band are not the greatest, though Sneaky Pete contributes some lovely dobro. Their most critical flaw being an inability to play reggae, thus forcing at least one tune ('Intuition') to become MOR pop instead. Rarely does the playing catch fire. The production doesn't help - you have to turn the record up really loud to appreciate some of the intricate guitar chimings and sound distortions - but the recording process itself seems to have left a hell of lot of whitenoise over everything, so its actually very hard TO turn it up. Also, and unlike most other Lennon LPs the tracking order seems all wrong. And there should really have been a segue between 'I Know' and Out of the Blue'. Best tracks - 'Mindgames' a pounding psychadelic testamonial in true solo Lennon style yet with a warm almost beatles 67 sound. 'Out the Blue' a lovely and too oft ignored paen to Yoko done simply and sincerely. 'I Know (I know)' one of those tunes that Lennon used to do, ostensibly as a letter out (is it to Yoko? To Paul?) that still seems to be more an internal self communication - this time between the older and the younger Lennon and marking some kind of mid-point between 'Help' and 'Borrowed time'. 'You are Here' an all time classic piece of Lennon dreamery again about Yoko. Listen to the sorrowful way he sings 'from liverpool to tokyo - it's a way to go…' compared to the joy in his voice, half a song later, when he sings; 'well now east is east and west is west the twain shall meet… east is west and west is east, let it be complete'. Right on.
Feb 27, 2000
Mind Games is a fine album in parts,but lacks the consistency and razzle-dazzlement to make it a classic of Plastic Ono or Double Fantasy standards. The album kicks off with the cracking title track,with it's brilliant descending chord sequence,amazing instrumentation and familiar yet not cliche'd lyrics,it is a true Lennon classic which is up there with the finest of his Beatles work.Next track Tight A$ is like a less silly Crippled Inside style toe tapper which is adequate but really just passes the time. Aisumasen is a touching ballad which holds up well,but is no Jealous Guy.One Day is competent and tuneful,but from here the album gets a bit samey,peaking unexpectedly with the great Bring On The Lucie which is an anthem-and-three-quarters,and from a musician's point of view is wonderfully simplistic yet really effective. the amusing Nutopian National Anthem (Nutopia being John and Yoko's conceptual boundary-free nation,inhabited by all of us)is an entire track devoted to 3 seconds of silence (Nutopia,having no boundaries cannot exist and cannot,therefore,have a national anthem...!)and from then on in things get a bit boring again. Don't get me wrong,these songs are not bad by any means,and they pass the time in a pleasurable way,but they are just not effective enough in such esteemed company. and then comes the masterstroke. Just when you think it's all over,John swaggers back into the fray,straining under the weight of the devastating rocker Meat City. Quite simply,this is one of the greatest songs I've ever heard,and I'll never tire of it. the only way I can describe it to the uninitiated is to say that it's a cross between one of Bowie's early 70's Ziggy/Aladdin Sane guitar blow outs,and Led Zeppelin's For Your Life (off their Presence album,one of the most underrated albums in history-check it out)it is totally disjointed yet very tight musically,and when the breakdown/bridge thing happens,it's like someone's stopped the world,and started spinning it the other way."Grr,just gimme some Rock 'n' Roll!" growls John,followed alternately by backmasked guitar of baby blabber.this is a brilliant song,and on the strength of Meat City,Bring On The Lucie and Mind Games,I'll give it three and a half. Stay Gold, Fil
Dec 30, 1999
This was a step back to melodies and tunefulness, but once you paid attention it seemed as if John was running out of steam. Oh, there were great tunes, and catchy numbers on this album, but it just seemed so...ordinary. The title track still has a soaring quality that makes it a great track to this day (that's not an orchestra, it's just a bunch of guys! But they sound so BIG...) Should he have ever toured, this would have been a show stopper. Tight A$ is "boogie" with nothing else to hold it up, which unfortunately doesn't pass for art. This would not be the only example of water-treading on Mind Games. Aisumasen has some interesting chord changes but lines like "all that I know is just what you tell me" sound more pathetic than romantic. One Day is a good example of why John shouldn't sing falsetto for an entire song; perhaps he was going for a Stylistics feel on this? Bring On The Lucie is a lot of fun, before you realize how maddenlingly repetitive it is. And it seems pointless to spend more than 3 seconds on the side closer. (That's an in-joke.) Side 2 starts off with as close as a potboiler as we'll get, the funky Intuition, showing John was listening to the radio from time to time. Out The Blue is my favorite on the album next to Mind Games, mostly because of the clever chord changes, but also because of the bare honesty in the lyrics and delivery. This was his last gasp, his "I love you, and that's all I know, and damn whatever happens next." Only People is harmless if lightweight; a whole lotta so what. I much prefer the John Denverisms of I Know (that's not meant as a bad thing), yet it's tiring to hear John apologize to Yoko all over this album. You Are Here which takes another old slogan and adds an "East is East" sentiment to it; it just doens't lift itself up at all. Meat City is a rocking way to blow out the album, which, now that you can look back on it, doesn't say much, does it? This unfortunately was the best John could come up with at the time; meanwhile Yoko was incredibly prolific and getting tired of him. He was left to create fourth-quarter product and scamper off to the West Coast. While I slam many of these songs as being slight, it's because they are merely pleasant, when his earlier work, while still incredibly personal, moved me. He would be more inspired after the turmoil in LA with Phil Spector, and write from his gut for his next full-length LP. It's not a bad album. It just isn't great.
Jun 25, 1999
Mind games is a good album, but I think the album is too much disconnected. Some of the songs are really good like: Aisumasen (i`m sorry) (a love song to Yoko), Bring on the Lucie (freda peeple) (a song against the war in Vietnam), I know (I know) (a song about how it is to be old and also how it is to love someone) and You are here (another love song to Yoko). The album contains some really bad songs like: One day (at a time) (another love song to Yoko whit a horrible instrumentation and playing), Nutopian international anthem (a 4 seconds long silence) and Meat city (a horrible hard rocksong). But all in all is this a good album!
May 22, 1999
Mind Games at first seems to be an album with one great song, the title track, and then a bunch of so-so songs that don't really stand out as good music. But infact, I feel that each track is unique and really worth listening to. The first song on the album, Mind Games, is arguably one of Lennon's best songs of all time. Song #2, Tight As, is a nice little rock n' roll number obviously about sex. Aisumen (I'm Sorry) is a slow and sweet ballad writen to Yoko. One Day (At a time) seems much the same - slow, with gently lyrics, but the two are extremely different songs. Bring on the Lucie (Freda Peeple) is a great anthem sung againt the then present war in Vietnam. Following that is the Nutopian International Anthem, which, on the Compact Disc version, is just 4 seconds of silence. Following that is the strong song Intuition, followed by Out the Blue, a beautiful song with some almost haunting chord changes. Only People is another nice song with a catchy chorus and melodious verses. I Know (I Know) is yet another good song, while You Are Here is probably the least enjoyable song existing on the album. It's slow, but lacks more than about 4 chords and is rather boring to listen to. Meat City isa really neat number with some funny sound effects, some strange musical sequences, and some weird lyrical lines. Lennon obviously used some of the same music-making tactics as used on the Sgt. Pepper album - the cutting up, switching around, and putting back together of the audio tape to create some pretty neat-sounding sounds. Overall, a great album with some of John's most profound lyrics.
Jan 26, 1999
I just replaced my Capitol re-issue LP of Mind Games with a spanking new CD and to my surprise... the CD sounds exactly like the LP - as others have said, cluttered busy and thin. But listening to the Mind Games CD through headphones was a whole new experience for me and I recommend it. Ever the crank, Lennon couldn't keep from fudging around with the control board and the new 16-track technology he was using on this album, and there are all sorts of weird little noises and reverberations in the instrumental and vocal tracks, even on relatively straightforward songs. Bass instruments are distorted in the mix to create a dense, thudding rhythym; Lennon's Rock and Roll LP (which he also produced) has a similar sound. For what's considered a "mellow" Lennon album and sometimes a slick one, Mind Games has a very rough edge. The songs are more impersonal than his trademark tracks from more famous albums, often relying on catchy slogans and pop hooks ("Only People," "Bring On The Lucie," "Tight As," "Meat City," "Intuition"). Some nice "ballads" tend to keep the pace of the album a bit slow; where Imagine was more dramatic in its shift from ballad to blues or rock and back again, Mind Games gives the impression of being unfocused because of its lesser substance. It also arguably employs too many musicians too often; that's how I'd explain the "cluttered" production, anyhow. The songs cut against each other and so do the musicians. Lennon's vocals are good but a little limp on a key rocker, "Tight As," and he sounds tired on many of the tracks. That said, it's a most enjoyable Lennon album - a sort of 1973 Lennon Anthology of tracks not quite up to snuff for Plastic Ono Band and Imagine, but good in their own right. I'm glad I bought it (twice).
Oct 20, 1998
I've always viewed Mind Games as one of John Lennon's most underrated albums. Many people don't know any of the songs on it, outside of the masterful title track, but the entire album is first-rate, high-quality material. It opens with the title song, a sweeping atmospheric tune once again declaring "Love is the answer." The second track is one of the few rockers on the album, Tight A$. It's probably my least favorite tune on the record, because of it's repetitiveness. There's just so many times you can hear the phrase "tight as" and not get sick of it. The album includes many unknown but brilliant ballads, such as Aisumasen (I'm Sorry), Out the Blue and You are Here. The latter is one of my favorite Lennon tracks, as he proclaims his love to Yoko yet again with the simple but effective line "Wherever you are, you are here." What's a Lennon mid 70's solo album without some political statements, and Mind Games dishes out a few of those in Bring On the Lucie (Freeda People) and Meat City. I like the tunes, not for their politics but for their ability to rock! Bring On the Lucie is very melodic and contains some derisive and sarcastic lyrics. Meat City rocks harder than any of the songs on the album, and makes a fine closer. It's obvious John is mocking Richard Nixon with the lines "I'm going to China to see for myself," obviously making a comment about the president's visit to China in 1972. Overall, Mind Games ranks just a notch below Plastic Ono Band and Imagine, and I'd recommend it to any fan of the greatest songwriter of our time, John Lennon.
Sep 13, 1998
John Lennon had to die for me to hear this album. "Mind Games" had been long out of print when I became a Lennon fan and it took his death to bring it back. Some may say it was not worth bringing back. Don't let that stop you from trying it, though. Odds are it will disapoint you at first, but keep playing it, it will grow on you. I think the initial disapointment comes from John's self production. It's cluttered and busy but still thin. Many traditionally Beatly hooks are unfortunately buried in the mix. Also, John's use of talented but uninspired studio musicians add to the lacklusterness of the album. The album is also strangely subdued for Lennon. It seems he may have been leery of another bomb like his previous political album. Still, the vocals are great, the lyrics are passable and the melodies are catchy. Particularly good are "Tight A$", "MInd Games" and "Out the Blue". Even though none of the songs are truly standouts, none are total dogs either. That's a statement no other solo Beatle album of 1973 can say.
Jun 10, 1998
It has been said, primarily by Ray Coleman in his biography of John, that the musical lull seen in Mind Games led to the famed 'lost weekend'. It is certainly one of his weaker offerings. Highlights have to be 'Out of the Blue' , 'Aisasumasen' and 'Meat City', the former two model Lennon ballads, the latter a cracking Lennon rocker. Trouble is that the album contains too much filler and vague political posturing. 'Only People' and 'Bring on the Lucie' are attempts to put forward the Lennonist ideology, but are largely meaningless. The three-second 'Nutopian International Anthem' is quite clever, though: three seconds of peace! Session musicians aren't up to scratch and neither was Lennon. Trouble is you can't mark ANY Lennon album below 3/5.
Mar 23, 1998
this album is NOT lennons best album. but it is a briliant album. the main problem with the album is that it didnt have songs that can become clasics,it is a collection of very good tracks. the first song is "mind games" which is the strongest song in the album,it had a good message and great melody,and it is the only song of the album that was included in one of the collections. the second song is "tight as" that fills the usual country/bluse track in the album(like "crippled inside from the "imagine" album,and like "i found out" on "plastic ono band") its a good solid preformence but its not somthing we havent heard lennon do before. the next track though ( "aisumasen") is a simple peacfull balad that has an atmosphear that is diffreant from anything lennon did till this point. "one day at a time" is another song that is a celebration of love. but like "aisumasen" the songs style is difreant from evrything john has done to this point. "bring back the lucie(freda pepole)"is an amzing peace anthem based on a three chord sequence,it is realy the most ingoieble song of the album. the next track is six seconnds of silence which make their message perfectly clear("nutopien international anthem"). the next song is "intuition" which is a fairly good track but it is less apealing then the other songs of the album. "out of the blue" is another love song but it is stronger then "one day at a time" i think that any lennon fan will fall in love with this song the first time he hears it. "only pepole" is another peace anthem , its amazingly catchy and it has an unforgeteble melody. "i know" is a great gentle song you will have to litsen to it a few times but evetually you will probebly love it. "you are here" shows again the more relaxed side of lennon it is very suthing .both of this tracks ("i know" and "you are here") are not hits but they are very good songs. "meat city" cuts against the mood of the album, lennon leaps into one of hs greatst rock songs of his solo carier. this album is not strong as the ones that came before it but it is an album all lennon fan must have,dont expect to find here the next "imagine" this album is a brriliant collection of somtimes less then brriliant songs.
Feb 28, 1998
Dr. Robert Henry O'Cleary
This album is the greatest. Unlike Imagine which had a slight reference to peace,in mind games the outcry for peace is most intense.Freda People is the best it says "STOP THE KILLING NOW" and "YOUR NAME IS 666"to Tricky Dicky and the rest of Washington.I think this album is even better than Darkside of the Moon by Pink Floyd.It's great buy it now!Except I have to warn you it's not on sale everywhere.
Feb 8, 1998
Listen people, I don't care what your opinions of this album are, especially the 2nd review guy up there who probably can't even spell his own name, much less leave a proper review. The thing is, this just happens to be THE best John Lennon album. There is not one bad track here. I didn't care for the album much at all when I first bought it, but I happened to listen to track 10, I Know (I Know) and I realized that it was an incredible song. It has since become one of my five favorite Lennon songs. Upon further inspection of the album, I saw that this album was of a much higher calibre than Sometime in New York City, its predecessor, and as a matter of fact was a work of genius. The inner turmoil of Lennon's personal life at the time had no adverse affect on his songwriting ability. Aisumasen is a great riff that I love personally. The song Bring on the Lucie is written for Richard Nixon, who Lennon had personally dubbed "666." Just give this album a second listen and you'll see how great it is.
Jan 28, 1998
i dont understand why do pepole see "mind games" as lennons attempt to write a second "imagaine". even if lennon would come to me and say that its true it wouldnt change a thing. some pepole say that "aisumasen" was supposed to be "jealouse guy" beacuse it is wrriten as an appology to yoko. but if the music is totally diffrent from jelouse guy music and the words are complitly diffrent to then who the hell cares. the dummest thing is that pepole also said that bring back the lucie was supposed to take i dont want to be asoldiar spot on the album. and that just dumb how could pepole compare two songs with such a diffrent atmosphire and diffrent lyrical messages. i think this album has lots of great songs like mind games aissumasen ,only pepole,you are here, i know i cant understand how "out of the blue"and "bring back the lucie" didnt become hits in the chart or at least make it to on of the collections. give this album a chanse litsen to it a few times before you judje it or call it imagaine2.
Jan 19, 1998
This album will never get the credit it deserves. Compared to JOHN LENNON/PLASTIC ONO BAND or IMAGINE, it isn't so appealing. But the whole idea behind this album was for John to return to the musical and lyrical achievements he created on IMAGINE, and forget about the political mayhem he created with his last unsuccessful album. The first track is semi-satisfying, but John's original title, "Make Love, Not War", would've done the song more justice than the vague "Mind Games." Nonetheless, it is very hummable, and provided the only commercial stand out song on the album. The second song "Tight A$", keeping with the tradition of the "Imagine" album, is a Honky-Tonk kind of tune, with rather pointless lyrics, but incredible guitar work. Then, as with "Jealous Guy" two albums before, we hear John's apologies to Yoko with the more bluesy "Aisumasen." The next song, "One Day (At A Time), is something completely different. Very light and dreamy, it is John's attempt to sing in a falsetto voice. Personally, I thought it was a bad song, but strangely enough, it stood out enough to be later covered by Elton John. Next, we hear John returning to his political side for a good rocker, aptly titled "Free the People" (at least that's what I call it, having no clue what "Bring on the Lucie" means). Track 6 was a concept not a song. "Nutopian National Anthem" is a few seconds of silence to represent John and Yoko's new society, which existed cosmically, through the imagination. "Intuition" seems like John's answer to the beautiful "How?", which, once again, occured on the IMAGINE album. "Out the Blue" is another love song to Yoko, a la "Oh My Love." It falls short in it's comparison unfortuneately. The next song, "Only People", is another semi-political flashback. It rocks along with the same energy of "Instant Karma!". The tenth track, "I Know", is the albums best and most underrated song in my opinion. The guitar lick is fabulous, and it's lyrically strong as well. It's one of those true "feel good" songs, and one of my favorites by John. "You Are Here" is another strong song, with excellent choir backing, and the theme of "East Meets West". The last track, "Meat City," is a hell of a rocker, but lyrically weak. We see John flashing back to "New York City" here, the only idea preserved from the SOME TIME IN NYC ALBUM. Overall, this album isn't bad and I'll give it credit where credit is due.
Oct 15, 1997
This is John's best solo album (along with Double Fantasy). In songs like "Nutopian International Anthem" and "Bring On the Lucre" he veers away from the topical themes employed on his earlier albums and in the process masterfully prevents himself and Yoko from being cornered into a "preachy political-social songwriter" trap. Also, he takes a good look at himself with songs like "Aisumasen (I'm Sorry)" and "I Know (I Know)". The latter is a heartfelt apology to his ex-partner Paul as well as a scenario of John publically washing his dirty laundry. This tune (edited) could've been a terrific single but the title track qualified just as well. "I Know (I Know)" should've also dispelled all the rotten rumors but "I know" that the idiot gossipmongering press loves to remember and emphasize all the nasty things we say and do. It certainly couldn't been easy being fab and more personal crises were to follow, but on this album Lennon is beginning to come to terms with his life. That's the legacy and beauty of this album. That's the beauty and legacy of this underrated gem. Ooooo-hoooo no more crying...
Aug 9, 1997
John's follow up to the highly controversial Sometime In New York City is a major improvement. Gone are most of the pollitcal songs and a return to some rock and roll. I wish I could say that this is a great album but I can't. The songs Mind Games,& Tight As start the album off well along with Aisumasen(I'm Sorry. After that the album tends to get a little boring. The female backup singers don't seem to perk this album up either. This album marks the the beginning of John's transitional period, the beginning of his lost weekend which lasted nearly two years. Footnote: As with Unfinished Music #2 Life With The Lions, Once again John copyrighted three seconds of silence-Nutopian National Anthem. Also on the song Meat City, there is a little backward snippet, for those who have the 45, Apple 1867,Mind Games/Meat City, the record says check the album. When you play it backwards on the album,a different message is heard.
May 30, 1997
Alot of critics say John lost it roundabout this time,but that is very untrue,in fact it's probably one of his best albums.The brilliant title track makes the album what it is."Tight as" one of his best rockers,superb guitar work and one of a few occasions where he didn't double track his brilliant voice."One day at a time" with his voice at his highest range,excellent stuff."out the blue" and "i know i know" are the best songs on the album.In "out the blue" he sings "all my life it's been a long slow knife" how we feel for him. And the excellent Japanese orientated"You are here" well worth listening to.
May 23, 1997
I thought this album was just GREAT! I read in a Beatles book that some critics thought the album was "a collection of low-key, off-hand songs that seemed like hang-overs from past sessions at the studio". I was skeptical about this: I had read good critics from the fans on here at Bagism, and also on other Lennon sites. So I bought it. Do I regret it? NO! This album is beautifully varied. Superb ballads: Aisumasen (I'm sorry), One Day (At A Time). Great songs with statements like Bring On The Lucie (Freda People). The title track, Mind Games, a classic already, with its dreamy melody and arrangement. Some great raving rockers like Meat City, Intuition. Other great songs include Out The Blue, I Know (I Know). The only song that I liked less than the others would have to be Only People, with some female chants that get on the nerves rather quickly. But even then, I'm sure many people would disagree with me on this one. Some critisized the production on John's first turn at the task. Personally I think that he did a great job, like on Out The Blue, Meat City and others. I appreciate this album enormously and would recommend it to any Lennon fan, or any music fan at all!
May 10, 1997
MIND GAMES marks Lennon's return to good ol' rock and roll. Once again he displays his varied palette of songs. Raving rockers (Meat City), ballads (Aisumasen [my favorite song on the album]), and cosmic meanderings (Mind Games). Lennon's full lyrical talent and musicianship has returned to the fore after echoing political slogans on his previous LP. For his first turn as sole producer I think Lennon does a great job. The production on Mind Games is first rate and the building power of Out The Blue proves this. He still dabbles with the avant-garde on Nutopian International Anthem but it is just a sign that his distinctive sense of humor has returned since the previous year. Here we have an excellent stepping stone to his next album, WALLS AND BRIDGES.
May 7, 1997
Mind Games is Lennon's fourth major studio album and easily his most forgotten (Even Sometime In New York City is better known, if only for its horrible reputation). Superficially, it's easy to see why: the package is drab as can be, with an uninspiring cover and the disturbing image of a tiny John Lennon being dwarfed by the massive image of Yoko Ono's head, but the production quality is somewhat flimsy. This was Lennon's first attempt at producing his own album, and it shows. The orchestration is weak and tinny (more on this later), and John's vocals are either too echoey or too raw. Lennon's discomfiture at being left to produce his own work shows. In fact, one could make the case that Lennon either subconsciously wanted this album to fail or that he had no grip on the musical market, because he inexplicably chose one the album's weakest songs as both the title track, and the only single from the album. "Mind Games" is an admirable grope for a song with an epic sound, and a utopian message, but not only are lyrics redundant ("love is the answer" is just an inferior rehash of "love is all you need," lyrically) and totally inscrutable (how, exactly, does one "do the mind guerrilla," I venture to ask?), but the production is simply not up to snuff. The strings are pitched much too high, and in a tinny register, so that they become annoying quickly. There is a warping efect near the end of the fade-out of the song that is irksome, and musically, the tune is second-rate Lennon (we all know what he is capable of). The problems do not end there. "Tight A$" is nothing more than filler, with nary a musical hook nor lyrical idea to distinguish its potboiling nature. "Only People"'s all-woman chorus grates on the ears very quickly. Why then, do I give this album a 3 1/2 apple rating, then? Because, despite the album's production shortcomings, the rest of the songs represent a soaring high point, and a fine recovery of form after Sometime In New York City. "One Day (At A Time)" is a frail, delicate ballad entirely uncharacteristic of Lennon, sung entirely in a lilting falsetto, with an effectively deployed female chorus during the refrain and a tune so beautiful that Elton John felt compelled to record it. "Bring On The Lucie (Freda Peeple)," aside from the annoying titular spelling errors, is probably Lennon's most convincing political song, with a rollicking Carribean beat, and a great middle eight ("As you slip and you slide down the hill/on the blood of the people you killed"). "Nutopian International Anthem" is actually an old avant-garde trick; it's just three seconds of silence, because Nutopia, having no boundaries and exlcuding nobody, HAS no anthem. "Out The Blue" is a thrillingly good rock/love song, starting out as an unassuming acoustic guitar song and then developing into a barrelhouse rocker, complete with tack piano reminiscient of the tack piano on "Lovely Rita." "You Are Here" is Hawaiian sounding, very laid-back, relaxing, and achingly beautiful, especially the "love has opened up my eyes" section. "Meat City" is one of those unfairly forgotten Lennon CLASSIC ravers, complete with backwards tape, dissonant guitar, and a hilarious, screamed lyric. (I have the creeping suspicion that "Mothertruckin'" wasn't the word John originally wanted to say...) All of this pales, however, compared to John's best song on this album, and arguably one of his best solo songs ever. It's "I Know (I Know)" and it should have been the single from the album, seeing as how it has an irresistible opening hook, a confident refrain, lovely tune and a worldly-wise lyric reminiscient of "In My Life" ("The years have passed so quickly.."). It reminds me of a gloriously windy summer afternoon. It justifies the purchase of the album alone, and elevates it from something slightly better than the overrated "Imagine" to an-almost classic. The production flair, which weighs this album down, would gloriously be made right in John's supreme follow-up, Walls And Bridges.
Apr 29, 1997
This album is underated. Period. A must for true Lennon fans. Songs to immediately check out are Mind Games, Inuition, Tight A$ and Meat City. Mind Games is classic...'nuff said...Tight A$ is great becuase if you're a fan of John's humour, you'll probably find yourself laughing (along with John in fact, his snickering is audible if you listen closely) on this track...Meat City is like Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey...it has the sound effects, ripping guitar, and tempo changes that made this and Monkey two of my favorite Lennon tracks...Intuition really grows on you...similar to Nobody Told Me, Intuition is great because its the kind of song John wrote when he was feeling good...overall Mind Games is a great, must-own album!
Mar 25, 1997
Perhaps one of Lennon's least known albums, it is a well produced masterpiece of variety. Containing a great spread of material from passionate ballads to freedom fighter's anthems, Mind Games represents a genuine genius in the melding of lyrics and music with all of the songs attempting to parlay the message of peace and love for one's fellow man. Truly, Mind Games exhibits this love and is, in my opinion, one of Lennon's enduring masterpieces.
Mar 23, 1997
This is the last album Lennon did that I really like ALOT, and his last "political" album. This album followed the very unsuccessful Sometime in New York, and John seems to be trying to copy the formula so succesful on the Imagine album. A return to a more mainstream, polished sound. The albums open with peace anthems, IMAGINE / MIND GAMES "make love not war, I know YOU'VE HEARD IT BEFORE". Follows with skiffle/jug bandish songs CRIPPLED INSIDE / TIGHT A$. Then drippy apologies to Yoko JEALOUS GUY / AISUMASEN (I'M SORRY). Both side ones end with big protest songs I DON'T WANT TO BE A SOLDIER / FREEDA PEOPLE... and so on OH MY LOVE = OUT THE BLUE, HOW = YOU ARE HERE etc. But I enjoy this album alot, and would like to point out the reggae influence on some of the songs I believe a good two years before Clapton's doing I Shot The Sheriff, and Marley's rise in popularity in the US, and think it is generally underrated. If you don't have this one, I'll say get Imagine first, and if you like that then you'll probably like this also.
Mar 20, 1997
This is a very nice album. What makes it so nice is the many 'lush' songs throughout, with the occasional rockier songs thrown in (though they aren't memorable). Mind Games probaly tops the list. Most of the songs have minimal instrumentation, for example aisummen and one day at a time, which is ok I guess but some suspecting buyer should be aware of this. On the other scale however Freeda the people is unmemorable and didn't somebody wipe track 6 off? Theres nothing there!. On the Whole the album is not a 'cocept' as it was probaly indicated by the title but if your looking for a mellow album this is it!
Mar 20, 1997
Mind Games was the first record ever that John wrote and produced totally on his own. Its best parts is its fabulous lovesongs to Yoko Ono. 5 of the songs, "Aisumasen (I'm sorry)", "One Day (at a time)", "Out the blue", "I Know (I know)", and "You are here", he sings right to her. By this time he was deeply in love with her and that is clearly shown since this album, compared to his other albums, contains his greatest love declararations to her. Together with the most lovely and tender lyrics, he presents the most beautiful music. He is also so honest in his composing. Not only does he totally state his inner feelings about Yoko, but also he sings from his heart to the people in 3 other songs, namely "Mind Games", "Bring On the Lucie (Freeda Peeple)", and "Only People", infact he does indirect also in "Meat City". He is sincere and tell people to stand up for their freedom and civil rights. In "Bring on the Lucie" he addresses his message right to the people in power "free the people now". I like the most that he at all times was so sincere and honest. At last I would say that I classify this record as the best one ever made.
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Last updated on Nov 6, 1998