If John Lennon were alive today, he would be 78. In honour of the lyrical legend, we've made a list of what we feel are the best covers that do his songs justice.
What a life Lennon had. From rocketing to fame with The Beatles through the 1960's, to marrying Yoko Ono and becoming an extremely vocal political activist, to his shocking assassination outside of his home in New York city in 1980 at the age of 40. Lennon lives on through his songwriting however, and is regarded by many as one of the best songwriters that there has ever been.
Now, before we get started on our list, let's get one thing straight - this was an unbelievably hard decision to make. There are literally thousands of John Lennon and The Beatles covers out there – to choose just a few covers was a difficult task.
Our list of John Lennon songs is in no particular order (to keep the peace!):
Beck - 'Love'
Originally appearing on his debut solo album 'John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band', the song was never released as a single, with 'Mother' being the only single released from the album in 1970. Beck sings a stellar cover that doesn't stray too far from the original.
U2 - 'Instant Karma'
The 2007 album 'Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur' was released to raise money for the crisis in Darfur, and featured many artists singing various covers of Lennon songs. U2's offering is the first song on the album.
Arcade Fire - 'Mind Games'
Performed as part of their Lollapalooza set in 2017, the Canadian band do justice to the title track of Lennon's third studio album in typical Arcade Fire fashion, urging concert-goers "don't believe everything you read".
The Roots - 'Mother'
Recorded as part of Lennon's 75th birthday celebrations in NYC three years ago, Jimmy Fallon's best friends added extra lyrics to their version of 'Mother'. Other artists who paid tribute on the night included Brandon Flowers, Paul McCartney, and Yoko Ono.
Lady Gaga - 'Imagine'
Lady Gaga’s take on 'Imagine' is beautiful. Her rendition of the song at the European Games Opening Ceremony in Baku, Azerbaijan is very popular - not only for her performance, but also because of the lyrics that she is singing in front of Vlavimir Putin.
Roxy Music - 'Jealous Guy'
In a case of the cover possibly being more famous than the original, Roxy Music released their 80's synth version of the song in 1981, 10 years after the original.
Elton John - 'Imagine'
One of the most covered songs in the world, Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ has been covered by everyone from Avril Lavigne, to Neil Young, to the late Chris Cornell. However, Elton John covering 'Imagine' in New York a mere couple months before Lennon was shot and killed, speaks volumes.
*Honourable mention* The Corrs - Merry Xmas (War is Over)
Here are the Corrs singing 'Merry Xmas (War is Over)', because it's never too early.
Let us know what you thought of our list, and if there's any that you think we should have included.