We’re taking a look back at some wonderful live footage as Bryan Ferry leads his band, Roxy Music, through a stunning cover of John Lennon’s ‘Jealous Guy’ back in 1982.
Roxy Music, and perhaps more notably Bryan Ferry, are the kind of act who effortlessly take on the work of others and make it feel like their own. While much of that is down to Ferry’s covers album These Foolish Things, there was inherently smooth about the band that made the transition so simple.
There are few people who can come within a mile radius of John Lennon when one thinks of musical icons. But while Lennon’s real talent lay in songwriting, for Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music it was all about the performance. Here we see the combination of the two as Ferry and the band perform Lennon’s song ‘Jealous Guy’ just two years after his death.
Taken from his 1971 album Imagine the track was originally demoed for the Beatles White Album and sees Lennon in candid form. Starting life out as ‘Child of Nature’, a song inspired by the Fab Four’s visit to India to meet Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the track was modernised and lyrically altered before becoming the ‘Jealous Guy’ that featured on the iconic record.
Following’s Lennon’s death in 1980, Roxy Music began adding a version of the track to their live set during a tour of Germany. It was such a welcomed moment of mutual appreciation that they soon released the song on Polydor. With its B-side ‘To Turn You On’ the song became the band’s only UK number one. It has since featured in most of Ferry and Roxy Music’s compilation albums and is a key moment in the live set too.
When Ferry takes the track on he provides a moment of rock and roll bliss. Below is the perfect example. Shot during their performance Frejus, France on the 27th August 1982 Ferry is the embodiment of suave as he delivers an impassioned performance of the iconic Lennon number.
While Lennon may have provided the sentiment and the music, Ferry delivered a superb performance. Marrying the aching intensity of the song with his incandescent performance, it’s truly a match made in heaven.
Watch Roxy Music covering John Lennon’s ‘Jealous Guy’ live in 1982.