After the break up of The Beatles, there was always the big debate among their fans: who was better as a solo artist, John Lennon or Paul McCartney? Although Paul could write exceptionally good pop/rock songs, to me it was always the depth and meaning in John Lennon’s music that made him better.
John Lennon held a firm belief that the right songs could not only change someone’s life but that they could also impact the world. To some, that may seem like an over the top, grandiose sentiment. But not if you consider the legacy of John Lennon and his music.
“Mind Games” is intentionally less politically motivated than Lennon’s two previous solo albums, due in part to the Nixon administration putting Lennon under FBI surveillance and attempting to have him deported from the US because of the political views expressed in his previous albums. Some of his songs had become rally cries against the war in Vietnam.
Eventually, The Watergate scandal would force Nixon to resign from the Presidency and the US court of appeals would rule that Lennon could not be selectively chosen for deportation based on his nonviolent political activism. Lennon eventually became a permanent resident of the US in 1975.
After Lennon’s tragic death in 1980, a 14 year court battle ensued resulting in over 270 pages of FBI documents being declassified and released. They were published in Jon Wiener’s 2000 book “Gimme Some Truth: The John Lennon FBI Files” and for the making of David Leaf’s 2006 documentary “The US vs. John Lennon”.