"Jealous Guy" is a song written and performed by John Lennon which first appeared on his 1971 albumImagine. 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.
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. 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.
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.
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. "Jealous Guy" also peaked at number 22 on the Hot Adult Contemporary chart.
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.
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 February 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 No. 1 hit for Roxy Music, topping the charts for two weeks in March 1981. "To Turn You On" later appeared on the 1982 album Avalon, although it was slightly remixed. 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.
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 album Ma voie (2012). The single reached number 4 in Belgium.