In 1964, the psychology book GAMES PEOPLE PLAY by Eric Berne was a massive bestseller.
JOE SOUTH (of "Hush" fame) had a big hit with that theme.
JOE SOUTH -"Games People Play" (1968)
Dozens of artists covered it quickly >. Here's CLAUDE FRANCOIS doing it in French.
CLAUDE FRANCOIS -"Jeu Dangereux" (1969)
Then other original responses appeared.
In this medley of BEACH BOYS songs, listen to "Games Two Can Play" (at 1:40), where Joe South and his song are even referred to directly.
THE BEACH BOYS -"Games Two Can Play" (1969?)
Apple Records star DORIS TROY, produced by George Harrison, responds this way.
DORIS TROY -"Games People Play" (1969)
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Eric Berne's book also coined the term "mind games" for deceitful intentions.
JOHN LENNON flipped the script on the concept by undermining negatives with positive strategies.
JOHN LENNON -"Mind Games" (1973)
Lifted on the bouyant voice of Philippe Wynne and stellar arrangements of Thom Bell, here's THE SPINNERS with another classic original.
THE SPINNERS -"They Just Can't Stop It (Games People Play)" (1975)
ALAN PARSONS, known for producing records with The Beatles and Pink Floyd, made his own big hit with this original.
ALAN PARSONS PROJECT -"Games People Play" (1980)