"Jealous Guy" is a song written and performed by John Lennon which first appeared on his 1971 album Imagine. It is one of the most commonly covered Lennon songs, with at least 92 recorded cover versions, the most notable being Roxy Music's version, which reached number one in several countries three months after John Lennon's death.


 [hide*1 Origins


The song's genesis came in India, after The Beatles attended a lecture by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi about a "son of the mother nature". This inspired both Paul McCartney and John Lennon to write songs about the same subject. McCartney's composition "Mother Nature's Son" was selected for The Beatles (The White Album), while Lennon's song "Child of Nature" was not. However, both were demoed at George Harrison's Esher home in May 1968. The demo featured Lennon's double-tracked vocal and playing an acoustic guitar. After that, Lennon continued to play it into the Get Back sessions.[1] Eventually, the lyrics were scrapped and replaced by the now well known "Jealous Guy" lyrics for Imagine.

Three recordings of "Child of Nature" are currently known. The first is a demo of the song recorded at the home of George Harrison in May 1968. The second, on which George sings backing vocals, was recorded at Twickenham Film Studios on 2 January 1969. A third recording was made at Apple Studios on 24 January. A snatch of the chorus from the second recording appears on the Fly on the Wall bonus disc packaged with Let It Be... Naked.[1]

The bass guitar on the song is played by Klaus Voormann, a friend of The Beatles from their Hamburg days.

The release[edit]Edit

"Jealous Guy" was released on the Imagine album in 1971. During Lennon's lifetime, it was not released as a single.

Almost five years after Lennon's murder, and four-and-a-half years after Roxy Music had taken their cover of the song to number one on the UK charts in 1981, John Lennon's recording of "Jealous Guy" was released by Parlophone as a single in November 1985, under catalogue number R-6117. ("Going Down on Love", a track from Walls and Bridges, was the B-side.) Lennon's version of "Jealous Guy" reached number 65 in the charts.[2]

In the United States, the single reached number 80 in the Billboard Hot 100 in November 1988, in conjunction with the release of the film Imagine: John Lennon.[3] "Jealous Guy" also peaked at number 22 on the Hot Adult Contemporarychart.[4]


The album track from Imagine was recorded by [5]

Promotional video[edit]Edit

A promotional video was made for the song in 1971. It showed, mostly in a continuous overhead shot by helicopter, John and Yoko travelling in a hearse from their Tittenhurst Park mansion to a nearby lake, where they were then shown hopping into a rowing boat.

Roxy Music version[edit]Edit

"Jealous Guy"
Single by Roxy Music
B-side "To Turn You On"
Released February 1981 (UK)
Genre Pop rockNew Wave
Length 6:10
Label Polydor/E.G.
Producer(s) Bryan Ferry and Rhett Davies
Roxy Music singles chronology
"In the Midnight Hour"


"Jealous Guy"


"More Than This"


Following Lennon's death in 1980, Roxy Music added a cover version of the song to their set while touring in Germany, which they recorded and released in March 1981. The single was released by Polydor with "To Turn you on" as the B-side, with catalogue number "ROXY 2". The song was the only UK #1 hit for Roxy Music, topping the charts for two weeks in March 1981.[6] Its B-side, called "To Turn You On", appeared on the 1982 album "Avalon", although it was slightly remixed.[7] Roxy Music's cover of "Jealous Guy" features on many Bryan Ferry/Roxy Music collections and eighties music compilations, though not always in its full-length version.


Weekly charts[edit]Edit

Chart (1981) Peak


Australian Kent Music Report[8] 1
Austrian Top 40[9] 6
Belgium VRT Top 30[9] 5
Dutch Top 40[9] 7
French Singles Chart[10] 9
German Media Control Singles Chart[9] 19
Irish Singles Chart[11] 3
New Zealand Singles Chart[9] 4
Norwegian Singles Chart[9] 6
Radio Luxemburg Singles[12] 1
Spanish Singles Chart 22
Swedish Singles Chart[9] 18
Swiss Singles Chart[9] 4
UK Singles Chart[13] 1

Year-end charts[edit]Edit

Chart (1981) Position
Australian Kent Music Report 4
Belgian VRT Top 30[14] 28
Dutch Top 40[15] 61
UK Singles Chart 20

Music Video[edit]Edit

music video was filmed for the song. The video mainly consisted of Bryan Ferry singing to camera before whistling and playing on a Sequential Circuits Prophet-5 synthesizer during the coda. Guitarist Phil Manzanera and saxophonist Andy Mackay also appear in the video during their respective solos.

Other versions[edit]Edit

"Jealous Guy" has been covered by musicians including:[16][17]

Roberto Bellarosa version[edit]Edit

"Jealous Guy"
Single by Roberto Bellarosa
from the album Ma voie
Released April 4, 2012
Format Digital download
Recorded 2012
Genre Pop
Length 2:50
Label 8ball Music, Sony Music Entertainment
Roberto Bellarosa singles chronology
"Jealous Guy"


"Je Crois"


In 2012 the song was covered by Belgian singer of Italian origin Roberto Bellarosa after winning the first season of The Voice Belgique in 2012, released on April 4, 2012 from his debut albumMa voie (2012). The single reached number 4 in Belgium.

Track listing[edit]Edit

Digital download
  1. "Jealous Guy" – 2:50

Chart performance[edit]Edit

Chart (2012) Peak


Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[21] 4

Release history[edit]Edit

Region Date Format Label
Belgium April 4, 2012[22] Digital download 8ball Music, Sony Music Entertainment
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