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John Lennon’s ‘Mind Games’ To Receive New ‘Ultimate Collection’ Release

The new edition will arrive on July 12 via Capitol Records/UMe.

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John Lennon, ‘Mind Games’ - Photo: Courtesy of Capitol Records/UMe
John Lennon, ‘Mind Games’ - Photo: Courtesy of Capitol Records/UMe

On July 12, The John Lennon Estate and Universal Music will celebrate John Lennon’s pivotal and intensely personal 1973 album, Mind Games, with a suite of completely newly remixed and expanded Ultimate Collection editions, offering an immersive, deep listening experience and in-depth exploration of this classic, yet under-appreciated record.

Shop the best of John Lennon’s discography on vinyl and more.

Fully authorized by Yoko Ono Lennon and produced by Sean Ono Lennon—who oversaw the production and creative direction—the Ultimate Collection is from the same audio team that worked on the critically acclaimed Imagine and John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band Ultimate Collections. This team includes triple Grammy-Award winning engineer Paul Hicks and mixers/engineers Sam Gannon and Rob Stevens.

The definitive Ultimate Collection from The Beatles icon puts listeners in the center of the studio and explores the album’s 1973 recording sessions at the Record Plant in New York City. The journey moves from inception to the final master, through scores of unreleased outtakes, unadulterated versions, instrumentals, stripped down mixes, studio chatter, and more.

JOHN LENNON - MIND GAMES (The Ultimate Collection) - Preorder Now.

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Yoko Ono Lennon said: “John was trying to convey the message that we all play mind games. But if we can play mind games, why not make a positive future with it – to be a positive mind game? ‘Mind Games’ is such an incredibly strong song. At the time, people didn’t quite get the message because this was before its time. Now, people would understand it. I don’t think in those days people knew they were playing mind games anyway.”

Mind Games – The Ultimate Collection offers six different unique listening experiences that are at once immersive and intimate, ranging from the brand new Ultimate Mixes of the timeless album, which put John’s vocals front and center and sonically upgrade the sound, to the Elements Mixes, which isolate and bring forth certain instruments from the multitrack recordings to highlight playing previously buried in the original mix. Also featured is the Raw Studio Mixes, which allows listeners to hear the recording that John and The Plastic U.F.Ono Band laid to tape, mixed raw and live without vocals effects, tape delays or reverbs.

The Evolutionary Documentary is a unique track-by-track audio montage that details the evolution of each song from demo to master recording via demos, rehearsals, out-takes, multitrack exploration, and studio conversations. The outtakes allow listeners to hear compelling different takes of each song while the Elemental Mixes, a new set created especially for the Mind Games – Ultimate Collection, inhabit a world between the minimalism of the Elements Mixes and the Ultimate Mixes, stripping the songs back to simpler, lean-back arrangements with John’s voice to the fore, and without drums.

An array of listening options, including High-Definition, studio quality 192kHz/24bit audio in stereo and enveloping 5.1 Surround and Dolby Atmos mixes, are available on Blu-ray.

All of the tracks have been completely remixed from scratch from the 15 original two-inch multitrack session tapes using brand new 192-24 digital transfers. The Ultimate Collection includes previously unreleased out-takes and stems plus additional never-heard-before audio from archive ¼” reel-to-reels, cassettes, and videotapes.

Anchored by the buoyant peace-and-love anthem, “Mind Games,” John Lennon’s fourth album of the same name, was surprisingly written and recorded during an incredibly tumultuous time in the rock legend’s life. In 1973, at age 33, John found himself in personal and political upheaval.

A years-long deportation battle with U.S. immigration continued to rage on while his high-profile anti-Nixon campaigning, anti-Vietnam war activism, as well as the overtly political messages on his polarizing 1972 album, Sometime in New York City, made him a target of a newly elected Richard Nixon, leading to surveillance by the FBI.

This was the dramatic backdrop as John entered NYC’s Record Plant in August of 1973 with a select band of world-class session musicians (jokingly named The Plastic U.F.Ono Band), including drummer Jim Keltner. He was joined by guitarist David Spinozza, pianist Ken Ascher, bassist Gordon Edwards, pedal-steel player “Sneaky” Pete Kleinow, saxophonist Michael Brecker, drummer Rick Marotta, backing vocalists Jocelyn Brown, Christine Wiltshire, Angel Coakely and Kathy Mull.

John would channel this period of extraordinary activity to make a deeply personal and engrossing album of self-reflection that explored themes of love, heartbreak, peace, spirituality and social injustice. The result is Mind Games, which gives listeners yet another window into his life and soul, and some of his best solo songs.

Pre-order Mind Games – Ultimate Collection.

3 Comments

3 Comments

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