Mucho Mungo

John Lennon Anthology box set artworkWritten by: Lennon
Recorded: 1976
Producer: John Lennon

Released: 2 November 1998

John Lennon: vocals, acoustic guitar

Available on:
John Lennon Anthology

John Lennon wrote an early version of Mucho Mungo with Phil Spector during the first sessions for Rock 'N' Roll in late 1973. It was first recorded by Harry Nilsson, and one of Lennon's demos was eventually issued on the 1998 box set John Lennon Anthology.

Spector's contribution to Mucho Mungo was a middle section which has never been widely heard. Lennon recorded three home demos of the song, which he reportedly wrote with guitarist Jesse Ed Davis in mind.

It was instead taped during the sessions for Nilsson's album Pussy Cats, produced by Lennon in 1974. The song was recorded as a medley with one of Nilsson's own compositions, Mt Elga. A lengthy studio rehearsal, available on bootlegs, shows how the songs took shape in the studio, and how one couplet ended up being dropped: "Sailing on the good ship Lollipop/Open up a drug store, a nice kind of shop."

I finished it once with Phil, but he [Nilsson] pointed out the bits he didn't like, which are exactly the bits that Phil wrote, which I didn't like. I'll give you Mucho Mungo. This is a hit record.
John Lennon
Pussy Cats studio session

John Lennon retreated from the music industry in 1975, but continued to write and record in private. In early 1976 he taped another acoustic performance of Mucho Mungo, with the sound of his son Sean crying in the background. This version, released on John Lennon Anthology, was largely the same as the 1974 demo recordings.

2 responses on “Mucho Mungo

  1. Happy

    Are we sure Lennon didint do a guide vocal during the Pussycats recording sessions. & are we sure Lennon & Spector didint record a studio version around the same time they did a recording of Here We Go Again.

    By the way, I think the reviewer may have made one mistake. I don’t believe Lennon says on the demo, that Nilsson didint like the bridge that Spector supposedly wrote.

    What Lennon actually says to Nilsson is- ” That- Phil didn’t like the same part I didn’t like.”speaking about it to Nilsson. Recounting a prior conversation between Phil & John to Nilsson, as Lennon was showing Nilsson the song, for the first time.

    In other words both John & Phil were in agreement, neither one of them liked a musical bridge they had.

    If this exists as a studio mix or on multitrack, with even a rough Lennon vocal. It could be the great untold discovery of the Lennon archives.

    Who would have the tapes, Spector , Yoko or EMI-Apple-Universal somebody needs to check.

    Actually what Lennon says on this demo tape is ( speaking to Harry Nilsson ) I DID THIS ONE, ONCE, ALREADY. WITH PHIL. And he ( PHIL ) didn’t like the same bit I didn’t like.

    Meaning the bridge

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