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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 covered Lennon songs, with at least ninety-two recorded cover versions, the most notable being Roxy Music's version, which reached number one in several countries directly after John Lennon's death.

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. After that, Lennon continued to play it into the Get Back sessions. 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 Studiosmarker 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.

The bass guitar on the song is played by Klaus Voormann, a friend of The Beatles from their Hamburgmarker days, and a boyfriend of Astrid Kirchherr before she became involved with Stuart Sutcliffe.

The release

"Jealous Guy" was released by Parlophone as a single with "Going Down on Love" (a track from Walls and Bridges) as the B-side in the United Kingdommarker in November 1985, under catalogue number R 6117. It reached number 65 in the charts.

In the United Statesmarker, the single reached number 80 in the Billboard top 100 in November 1988.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 Parkmarker mansion to a nearby lake, where they were then shown hopping into a rowing boat.

In 1977, John sat in the presidential suite of the Okura Hotel in Tokyomarker and began singing and playing his old songs with his acoustic guitar. The gigantic hotel suite had lift that arrived straight into the Lennon lounge. As John was playing "Jealous Guy" to himself, the lift doors opened and a Japanesemarker couple — who had arrived on the wrong floor — walked out. They sat and listened as John continued the song. When the song ended, they seemed displeased and went back down the elevator. Little did any of them know it, but this was to be John's last ever 'public' performance. They were the last two members of the general public to ever watch John Lennon perform a song.

Personnel

The album track from Imagine was recorded by

Cover versions

Roxy Music Version

Following Lennon's death in 1980, Roxy Music added a cover version the song to their set while touring in Australia, which they recorded and released in March 1981. This attracted some criticism at the time as it was suggested that they were cashing in on the success of Lennon's work following his death. Previously Bryan Ferry (Roxy Music's lead singer) had recorded the song as a solo artist. 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.

Other versions

"Jealous Guy" has been covered by musicians such as:

References

  1. The Beatles Bible: Child Of Nature Retrieved August 23, 2008.



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