Having dealt in romantic mysticism for the title track, in the second song of Mind Games Lennon shifted gears into earthy, horny rock’n’roll. Though for all the crudeness of its lyrics (“Just as tight as you can shake it, girl/Get it on and do your stuff”), “Tight A$” is a pretty lite number; it seems to lack the courage of its lascivious convictions. (John Cale would do the same thing much more successfully two years later.)

“Tight A$” reflects what Tim Riley, in his biography Lennon, calls John’s “zipper problem”: For all his professed devotion to Yoko, he was not very good at monogamy. At an election-night party in November 1972, guests were treated to the spectacle of Lennon audibly going at it with a stranger in the next room as Yoko wept.

It was this kind of behavior that prompted John to write “Aisumasen (I’m Sorry),” which was neither his first nor his last song of apology to Yoko. In this case he went so far as to use her native language, though not entirely correctly.

It was too little, too late — by the time the song was released, Yoko had given John the boot. In historical perspective, it seems like this was a gambit to show him how much he needed her; a very successful gambit at that.

Ringo, meanwhile, had recorded Randy Newman’s “Have You Seen My Baby,” which is similar in sentiment, if very different in tone.

It is followed on the Ringo album by another heartbroken song, “Photograph,” co-written by Ringo and George Harrison. According to the book Ringo: With a Little Help by Michael Seth Starr (no relation) — which arrived on my doorstep over Thanksgiving — this was around the time George was carrying on an affair with Ringo’s soon-to-be-ex-wife Maureen. George’s marriage was disintegrating as well, so there was plenty of heartbreak to go around. It was a messy time in Beatleland.

But on the bright side, “Photograph” was a smash, reaching #1 in the U.S. and #8 in the UK. (It was also #1 in Australia, if you care.) And hit records cover a multitude of sins, do they not?

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