Mind Games – the book

Front cover image

Here’s the publishers description.

The definitive exploration—told in revelatory detail—of the writing, recording, and release of John Lennon’s celebrated and magical fourth solo album Mind Games, and the era that inspired it.

Described by Yoko Ono as “ahead of its time,” Mind Games is a breakthrough album from John Lennon in which he employs a Plastic Ono Band comprising the cream of the crop of New York session musicians—a fan favorite that remains a cult classic ever since its first release on October 29, 1973.

This insightful and beautiful book presents handwritten lyrics, letters, artworks by Lennon and Ono, and previously unseen photography alongside their firsthand commentary about the lyrics, songs, and album artwork, as well as contributions from the musicians, friends, engineers, and key figures involved in the making of this landmark album.

Mind Games was the product of an exceptionally turbulent time for the Lennons. While Nixon and Hoover were attempting to have Lennon deported, John and Yoko endured endless litigations and as the popular press turned on them once again, they bravely rose above it all, continuing their campaigns for non-violent peaceful protest to end the war in Vietnam and for equal rights for women. It was also an exciting time when they both re-embraced mysticism and magical thinking.

In this sumptuous volume, text and images from the key players are woven together to reveal not only the details behind the creation, recording, and release of this groundbreaking commercial and skillfully crafted recording, but also to shed new light on a period of transformation and experimentation for Lennon and Ono.

Publication will coincide with extensive publicity surrounding the release of a completely remixed and reissued 6 x CD / 2 x BluRay digital edition of the Mind Games album, together with two deluxe Mind Games boxsets, bringing the album to a new generation of listeners.

List Price: $60.00
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 288
Artwork: 750 color illustrations
Size: 9.5 in x 12.25 inches
Forthcoming: June 4th, 2024
ISBN-10: 0500027781
ISBN-13: 9780500027783
Genre: Music
E-book Available: No

Our comment:

This follows the precedent set by “John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band” and “Imagine”, where the book is kept outside the Deluxe boxed sets, allowing fans the choice. For instance, blind fans are not forced to buy a book they can’t enjoy. Something the McCartney archives series should learn from – they contain a lot more paper than actual musical content. The Lennon Deluxe boxed sets focus on the music, containing a new mix of the album, outtakes and audio blu-rays with surround sound remixes, the latter now abandoned by Apple for the Beatles boxed sets and never adopted by McCartney.

The title track was released in its ultimate mix for a hits boxed set in 2020.

12 Responses

  1. wardo68 says:

    I like the album, but “ahead of its time”? Respectfully disagree, Yoko.

    • Wincorr says:

      In many ways it was. It was brave on it’s attacks on China and introspective songwriting. The production sound was ahead of it’s time

  2. Tony Littman says:

    “celebrated”, “magical”, “ahead of its time”, “breakthrough”, “fan favourite”, “cult classic”, “landmark album”, “groundbreaking commercial and skillfully crafted recording”….
    Who wrote this stuff?
    Not only that, but far from “bravely rising above” press criticism and litigations, John and Yoko did the opposite and split up, as we all know.

  3. Kozmo says:

    I think the songwriting is fairly weak in many places, and I don’t like the production, even less today than I did at the time of release. Some OK songs, but mainly a lot of second-rate MOR filler. Sorry, John!

    • Kozmo says:

      I’m not hearing a whole lot of difference in this “Mind Games” remix (title track), altho’ it is nice to have the original video restored, without all the edits made in the home video release (but wait — isn’t that the promo film made for “Whatever Gets You Thru the Night”? Not made for “Mind Games” at all, unless I’m very much mistaken)

  4. Robert Eliason says:

    “For instance, blind fans are not forced to buy a book they can’t enjoy.”

    Were you sober when you wrote that or just getting paid by the word? Hands down the silliest thing I’ve ever seen in a review.

    • Shad Radna says:

      It’s a perfectly valid example illustrating how selling the book separately might benefit consumers. Another would be that people who want a boxset on both vinyl and CD are also not forced to pay for the same book twice. I’m prepared to bet you’ve read far sillier things in reviews.

    • Tony Littman says:

      “For instance, blind fans are not forced to buy a book they can’t enjoy.”

      Were you sober when you wrote that or just getting paid by the word? Hands down the silliest thing I’ve ever seen in a review.

      -Not silly at all. It’s like if a vegetarian wanted to buy a salad but the restaurant only sold salad with chicken in it, no other option.

  5. Paula says:

    John Lennon was the symbol of love for one another and peace for the world. Wish he was still with us. Maybe he would stand up against all the hate that is going on now. As for his music. It was always beautiful. And he and Yoko did get back together. I cry every time I see a video of him.

  6. DONALD E BJORGO says:

    I wouldn’t say the songs are sub-standard or filler, I just think there wasn’t enough great tracks to elevate the whole album. Even the song Mind Games wasn’t perfect. And personally, I’d rather have the book with the box set. Too bad they couldn’t give all the options.

  7. Tim Wilson says:

    I have always preferred Walls and Bridges to Mind Games from that period. The title track on MG is catchy and some of the vocal style on that track reminds me a little of his Dear Prudence singing style. About three other tracks are very listenable and the remainder are not bad but average.
    The last remix/remaster of MG was pretty well done. I don’t mind at all having the option to have access to updates reworkings and books, if they are well done.

  8. David says:

    Not a favourite but it does have one of his best compositions “Nutopian International Anthem” which is a more succinct and concise self-homage to his earlier masterpiece “Two Minutes Silence”.

    But seriously folks… best I don’t speculate on the machinations of the Widow Lennon here – check out May Pang’s powerful new film for that – but this promotional blurb really is the greatest load of old flannel sales twaddle. Although the John and Yoko love story is more nuanced than many of us might conclude it was still clearly an unhealthy codependence between two damaged individuals and the public “Double Fantasy” soulmates projection is little more than a marketing strategy that is long past its sell-by date. We know way too much now to fall for it.

    I very much like a few tunes on this album but the production is generally bland to say the least and the majority of the songs lack edge. Nevertheless I will buy it of course because Lennon was such an awesome talent even at his least inspired.

    Pity we’ll never get the STINYC box that was supposedly prepared for last year because of the problematic women’s rights song – there was so much material they could have included there. I don’t expect it will ever see the light of day. Fortunately it is heavily bootlegged.

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