Jealous Guy (1971) – John Lennon

I was fascinated by today’s song Jealous Guy growing up. I don’t know how many times I put the needle down on this record (see image left), but it was a lot. We had one of those old wooden turntables which look like a dresser and I remember sitting at the front of the fireplace and putting down the needle on this thing. Jealous Guy is one of my favourite John Lennon songs, but there are many.

It was between Elton John, Abba and John Lennon in my early youth who I heard the most from. In my adolescent years Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen made centre stage and I locked myself in my room and devoured as much music from them I could muster.

I was dreaming of the past
And my heart was beating fast
I began to lose control
I began to lose control

I didn’t mean to hurt you
I’m sorry that I made you cry
Oh no, I didn’t want to hurt you
I’m just a jealous guy

Interestingly, Jealous Guy wasn’t released as a single but became an international hit in early 1981 reaching #1 in the UK and Australia. I never knew until now that Lennon began writing the song in 1968 and it was demoed by the Beatles before they recorded the White Album. The lyrics were inspired by a lecture given by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in early 1968, when the Beatles attended his spiritual retreat in India. The first recording appears on the fiftieth anniversary release of The Beatles, which contains all of the demos recorded at Esher.

Jealous Guy has been recorded by many musicians, to mention a few: Joe Cocker & Belinda Carlisle. Lou Reed covered the song for a 2001 Lennon tribute concert. I would like to give special mention to Bryan Ferry’s version which I was always fond of.

1. Jealous Guy – Wikipedia

“The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.”- Michel Legrand

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14 comments on “Jealous Guy (1971) – John Lennon
  1. A man with a great intellect. Songwriter, my favourite Beattle! Yeah, Brian Ferry’s version, not bad!

  2. Sheree says:

    Prefer the Brian Ferry version

  3. Badfinger (Max) says:

    It’s that melody that hooks you… I’m the same with Sharon…My favorite Beatle. I do like Bryan Ferry’s version of this and “You Can’t See Me”

    • Lennon was by far my favourite growing up, but after Wilburys’ output I’m tossing up between him and George. If Lennon had lived longer I imagine he would have been in the Wilburys. What are your thoughts on that? How did Harrison and Lennon get along?
      I was a big fan of Ferry’s version too. A good song ‘You Won’t See Me’. Thanks Max.

      • Badfinger (Max) says:

        At the time of his death not well BUT they were all like brothers….they would have patched it up. Him and McCartney already planned to write together again.

      • You are the go-to Beatles person so now I am more knowledgeable. I didn’t know that McCartney and Lennon had that in the works. It still pisses me off he was taken from us too soon. Not unlike George in some respects.

      • Badfinger (Max) says:

        Yea and Yoko stopped an earlier union between the two. McCartney called Lennon at the stuiod and Yoko intercepted… Yoko didn’t break the Beatles up but she helped kept them apart.
        There were also rumors that John and Yoko were heading for a divorce…I don’t doubt that.

      • Relationships will do that. I wouldn’t lay the fault at anyone. My understanding is – He was head over heels for her so it takes two to tango as they say.

  4. Hi Matt, try this version of Jealous Guy, the soul music freak that I am! It’s the Donny Hathaway take on this song. You might like it! See what you think!

  5. Hope you are well! Kind regards! Sharon.

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