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"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 recorded Lennon songs, with at least 92 other recorded versions, the most notable being Roxy Music's version, which reached number one in several countries three months after John Lennon's death.

"Jealous Guy"
Jealous Guy single.jpg
Single by John Lennon
from the album Imagine
B-side "Going Down on Love"
Released 18 November 1985 (UK)
Recorded May and June 1971
Length 4:14
Label Apple Records
Songwriter(s) John Lennon
Producer(s) John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Phil Spector
John Lennon singles chronology
"Every Man Has a Woman Who Loves Him"
"Jealous Guy"
"Every Man Has a Woman Who Loves Him"
"Jealous Guy"



The song's inspiration 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, 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.


Lennon's recording of "Jealous Guy" was released on the Imagine album in 1971. It was not released as a single until November 1985, 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. Accompanied on the B-side by "Going Down on Love", a track from Walls and Bridges, the single reached number 65 in the UK charts.[2]

In the United States, the single reached number 80 on 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 Contemporary chart.[4]


The album track from Imagine was recorded by [5][6]

Promotional videoEdit

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.[7][8]

Other versionsEdit

"Jealous Guy" has been recorded by many musicians including Aslan,[9] Roberto Bellarosa, Donny Hathaway, Frankie Miller, Roxy Music, Deftones, and indie-band Spector.

Roxy Music versionEdit

"Jealous Guy"
Single by Roxy Music
B-side "To Turn You On"
Released February 1981 (UK)
Genre Synthpop, pop rock
Length 6:10
Label Polydor/E.G.
Songwriter(s) John Lennon
Producer(s) Bryan Ferry and Rhett Davies[10]
Roxy Music singles chronology
"In the Midnight Hour"
"Jealous Guy"
"More than This"
"In the Midnight Hour"
"Jealous Guy"
"More than This"

Following Lennon's death in 1980, Roxy Music added a version of the song to their set while touring in Germany, which they recorded and released in February 1981.[10] The single was released by Polydor with "To Turn You On" as the B-side, with catalogue number "ROXY 2".[10][11] The song was the only UK No. 1 hit for Roxy Music, topping the charts for two weeks in March 1981.[12] "To Turn You On" later appeared on the 1982 album Avalon, although it was slightly remixed.[13] Roxy Music's cover of "Jealous Guy" features on many Bryan Ferry/Roxy Music collections and 1980s music compilations, though not always in its full-length version.


Weekly chartsEdit
Chart (1981) Peak
Australian Kent Music Report[14] 1
Austrian Top 40[15] 6
Belgium VRT Top 30[15] 5
Dutch Top 40[15] 7
French Singles Chart[16] 9
German Media Control Singles Chart[15] 19
Irish Singles Chart[17] 3
New Zealand Singles Chart[15] 4
Norwegian Singles Chart[15] 6
Radio Luxemburg Singles[18] 1
Spanish Singles Chart 22
Swedish Singles Chart[15] 18
Swiss Singles Chart[15] 4
UK Singles Chart[19] 1
Year-end chartsEdit
Chart (1981) Position
Australian Kent Music Report 4
Belgian VRT Top 30[20] 28
Dutch Top 40[21] 61
UK Singles Chart 20
Music videoEdit

A music video on YouTube was filmed for the song, which 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.

Roberto Bellarosa versionEdit

"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
Songwriter(s) John Lennon
Roberto Bellarosa singles chronology
"Jealous Guy"
"Je Crois"
"Jealous Guy"
"Je Crois"

In 2012 the song was recorded 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 album Ma voie (2012). The single reached number 4 in Belgium.

Track listingEdit

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

Chart performanceEdit

Chart (2012) Peak
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[22] 4

Release historyEdit

Region Date Format Label
Belgium April 4, 2012[23] Digital download 8ball Music, Sony Music Entertainment


  1. ^ a b "Child Of Nature". The Beatles Bible. Retrieved 2014-03-29. 
  2. ^ "Jealous Guy b/w Going Down On Love - John Lennon". 
  3. ^ "The Billboard Hot 100-Jealous Guy". 
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 143. 
  5. ^ John Blaney (2005-06-06). John Lennon. John Blaney. p. 86. ISBN 978-0-9544528-1-0. 
  6. ^ "John Lennon: Jealous Guy". The Beatles Bible. Retrieved 2016-10-19. 
  7. ^ YouTube - Jealous Guy (John Lennon) - promotional music video
  8. ^ YouTube - Jealous Guy (John Lennon) - official music video
  9. ^ "Aslan Official Site - Singles". Archived from the original on 26 February 2012. Retrieved 2014-03-29. 
  10. ^ a b c Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 212. ISBN 0-85112-250-7. 
  11. ^ Discogs - Jealous Guy - 1981 single, Polydor (ROXY 2) UK
  12. ^ "UK top 40 database". Archived from the original on 13 September 2008. 
  13. ^ "Roxy Music - Songs - on". Retrieved 2014-03-29. 
  14. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h Steffen Hung. "Roxy Music - Jealous Guy". Archived from the original on 22 June 2013. Retrieved 2013-02-21. 
  16. ^ "InfoDisc : Tout les Titres par Artiste". Retrieved 2014-03-29. 
  17. ^ Jaclyn Ward - Fireball Media Group. "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 2014-03-29. 
  18. ^ "Ultimate Music Database". Retrieved 2014-03-29. 
  19. ^ "The Official Charts Company - Jealous Guy by Roxy Music Search". The Official Charts Company. 6 May 2013. 
  20. ^ "1981". Archived from the original on 2 July 2013. Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  21. ^ "Dutch Single Top 100 : 1981" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-03-29. 
  22. ^ " – Roberto Bellarosa – Jealous Guy" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  23. ^ "iTunes - Music - Jealous Guy - Single by Roberto Bellarosa". 2012-04-04. Retrieved 2014-03-29. 

External linksEdit

Preceded by
"Shaddap You Face" by Joe Dolce Music Theatre
UK number-one single (Roxy Music version)
14 March 1981 – 21 March 1981
Succeeded by
"This Ole House" by Shakin' Stevens
Preceded by
"9 to 5 (Morning Train)" by Sheena Easton
Australian Kent Music Report number-one single (Roxy Music version)
11 May 1981 – 1 June 1981