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 ’73 with a select band of world-class session musicians (jokingly named The Plastic U.F.Ono Band), including their friend drummer Jim Keltner who along with guitarist David Spinozza assembled pianist Ken Ascher, bassist Gordon Edwards, pedal-steel player “SneakyPete Kleinow, saxophonist Michael Brecker, drummer Rick Marotta, backing vocalists Jocelyn Brown, Christine Wiltshire, Angel Coakely and Kathy Mull, and, to make his fourth post-Beatles solo album in just three years. 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, giving us yet another window into his life and soul, and some of his best solo songs, on Mind Games.

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 underappreciated record.

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, including triple GRAMMY®-Award winning engineer Paul Hicks, and mixers/engineers Sam Gannon and Rob Stevens. The definitive Ultimate Collection puts listeners in the center of the studio and explores the album’s 1973 recording sessions at the Record Plant in New York City, from inception to the final master, through scores of unreleased outtakes, unadulterated versions, instrumentals, stripped down mixes, studio chatter and more, revealing how these fan favorite songs evolved and came to life.

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, and 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 Out-Takes 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.

Mind Games – The Ultimate Collection releases will be available in a variety or formats, ranging from digital and 2CD and 2LP versions to a Deluxe box set featuring 6CDs and 2 Blu-ray discs. The pièce de résistance is a Super Deluxe Edition, a Limited Edition of only 1100 copies worldwide.

Last month, a limited edition four-track Mind Games vinyl EP was released exclusively for Record Store Day as a teaser of the Ultimate Collection. Offered in two color variants – a luminous glow-in-the-dark 140g color vinyl and a 180g black vinyl audiophile version, the EP includes three songs from the set, along with “I’m The Greatest(Ultimate Mix), a song written by John for Ringo Starr, which appeared on his 1973 album, Ringo. This previously unreleased version features John on vocals, George Harrison on guitar and Ringo on drums.

The “Mind Games (Evolution Documentary) globally launches the Mind Games – Ultimate Collection and pre-order today.

15 mei 2024
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