JOHN LENNON MUSIC VIDEOS 1969-2021
Research by Mike Carrera
During John’s solo career, five songs got their own promotional videos: “Give Peace A Chance” (1969), “Cold Turkey” (1969), “Instant Karma” (1970), “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” (1972) and “Whatever Gets You Thru The Night” (1974); he also did one of the first “Video-Albums” with the 10 songs from the album “Imagine” that were part of “Imagine The Film” (not to be confused with the 1988 documentary film), a TV special filmed in the summer of 71 and broadcast in 1972 where each song have their own video. The original televised version was trimmed down when released on video cassette in the eighties; the restored full version was released in 2018 on DVD and Blu Ray as part of the “Imagine” reissues campaign. He also filmed two more videos that were never completed: “I’m Losing You” and “(Just Like) Starting Over”.
This is an updated list containing all the official “music videos” made until our modern days. Special thanks to Roger Stormo.
Dozens of new music videos were created after John’s death, many of them are available on the official releases:
–The John Lennon Video Collection (VHS, Laserdisc 1992)
–Lennon Legend (DVD, 2003)
–Power to The People: The Hits (DVD, 2010)
But there are other versions that are not part of any collection, hidden in the vaults or available only through social media channels or underground releases. This is a chronological list of John Lennon music videos, in order of appearance, followed by all known variations.
Give Peace a Chance #1 (1969)
The first official Lennon video, edited together from a lot of “Bed In” footage recorded in Montreal, Canada in May and June 1969, available from the original unedited 16mm film, 6 minute and 20 second version. Featuring John giving additional instructions during 29 seconds before the count-in begins and also at the end there is more chat after he says “let’s rest”.
Give Peace a Chance #2 (1969)
The second is a 5 minute version, no additional chat, starts directly with the count-in and ends when John says “let’s rest”. There are different “bed-in” scenes inserted that are not present in the previous version.
This was featured in the film “Bed Peace”.
Give Peace a Chance #3 (1992)
This is the same as version #2 but ends earlier, comes from the “John Lennon Video Collection” and features an additional intro teaser with the title of the song, also ends after John says “OK, Beautiful yeah”.
Give Peace a Chance #4 (2003)
From “Lennon Legend”. This version intersperses footage from war, political conflicts and public manifestations. Lasting 5 minutes and 10 seconds, this starts directly with the count-in and has all the dialogue at the end with additional footage of John and Yoko with shorter hair, filmed on Feb 10th, 1970 at a studio in Soho, London.
Give Peace a Chance #5 (2010)
This version from “Power To The People: The Hits” starts with “two” on the count-in (the other 4 previous versions have the full “one, two” count- in) and is the same master used to create Version #4 but ends without any extra dialogue and only last 4 minutes and 57 seconds, inserting earlier the footage from Feb 10th, 1970.
Give Peace a Chance #6 (2016)
Available on the official YouTube channel, it is the 2003 version but trimmed, with the count-in starting at “two” and fading at 4:52. In 2020 a new audio mix was added.
Cold Turkey #1 (1969)
Directed by Jonas Mekas using different footage from the “Bed-In” in Montreal and the Toronto concert from 1969, plus some external footage to create an “experimental film”. Broadcast on BBC Nov 6, 1969 on Top of The Pops. A restored version was uploaded to the official YouTube channel in 2021.
Cold Turkey #2 (1992)
This is the same as version #1, comes from the “John Lennon Video Collection” and features an additional intro teaser with the title of the song.
Cold Turkey #3 (2003)
A new video was created for “Lennon Legend” using footage from the “One to One Concert” and Lennon and Ono leaving the Marylebone Magistrates’ Court in London, 1968. This version was also included on “Power to the People: The Hits”.
Instant Karma #1 (1970)
Instant Karma #2 (1970)
Two different ‘Bag Productions’ videos using archival footage of John and Yoko from between 1968-70. Many scenes are from the 1969 BBC special ’24 Hours: The World of John and Yoko’.
Version #1 was broadcast on Top of the Pops , February 5, 1970 and is in black and white; it features Lennon with a clown’s nose while recording at EMI Studios on December 4, 1969; while Version #2 all in color, features a mix of archival footage along with a car ride video with a sunset effect. Both versions end with the hot-air balloon ride shoot on December 5, 1969 Lavenham, England (later released using different footage as the 18 minute short experimental film “Apotheosis”).
Instant Karma #3 (1992)
Instant Karma #4 (2003)
While these two different versions were originally taped for the TV show “Top of the Pops” on February 11, 1970 (first version shows John with blue denim jacket and was broadcast Feb 12, 1970 and second version with John wearing black turtleneck, on Feb 19, 1970), they were used as promo videos years later. Version #3 appears on the “John Lennon Video Collection” from 1992, using the original broadcast with live vocal audio over the studio track; while Version #4 was released on “Lennon Legend” in 2003, but changing the original audio which had featured a live vocal and replacing it with a new mix of the unedited studio version (the original live vocal of this version is also in circulation). In 2010 Version #4 was also released on ‘Power to the People: The Hits’ but now using the official studio version as main audio; in 2020 a new audio mix was added.
VERSION 4 (2020 audio mix):
Instant Karma #5 (2021)
A restored copy of Version #3 (now “Version #5”) was uploaded on the official Youtube channel in 2021 which replaced the original live vocal track with the studio version in its ‘Ultimate Mix’.
VERSION 5 (2021 audio mix):
Imagine #1 (1972 long intro)
Imagine #2 (1972 short intro)
Version 1 runs 4 min and 5 seconds, has the long intro sequence in the woods, while version 2 is three minute and 27 second long, and features the title “Imagine” on screen right before the song starts. Both versions come from two different editions of the TV Special “Imagine The Film”, the kiss between Yoko and John is chopped.
Imagine #3 (1992)
This is similar to Version 2 , except it has the introduction teaser clip that all videos from the 1992 “Video Collection” have, and starts directly with the piano notes and the end is complete, showing John and Yoko kissing each other. Total length is 3:31 with the 12 second intro or 3:19 of the actual video.
Imagine #4 (1998- conceptual)
A very rare and obscure video created to promote the “Imagine: John Lennon” soundtrack from 1998, hardly seen after that. The video represents the cycle of life of a boy and a girl growing up, all simply by crossing a door over and over and over. At the end, a grand white piano appears.
Imagine #5 (2003)
From “Lennon Legend”. A 3 minute and 55 seconds long video, almost the same as Version 1 but the intro is a few seconds shorter, and the kiss at the end is complete with a white fade-out effect. in 2020 a new audio mix was added. This version was also included on ‘Power to the People: The Hits”. The sound of the birds during the final part is completely different (in a loop effect) compared to versions 1, 2, 3 and 7.
Imagine #6 (2003-instrumental)
From a “Lennon Legend” bonus. A collection of pictures over the instrumental track.
Imagine #7 (2012)
Premiere Date: Dec 20, 2012.
This version is only 3 minutes and 14 seconds long, although it tries to simulate the original video from 1971, but is actually another variation. It begins almost with the piano notes and ends with the kiss; but also the audio mix at the end includes a more prominent bird sound and continues once the screen has gone blank, which none of the previous versions did.
Jealous Guy #1 (1972)
From “Imagine The Film” with footage shot at Tittenhurst Park, Ascot.
Jealous Guy #2 (1988)
From the soundtrack of “Imagine: John Lennon”, directed by Steve Purcell, using a collage of pictures and old Beatle videos, and footage from the recording session.
Jealous Guy #3 (1992)
Same as Version 2, adding the introduction teaser from the “John Lennon Video Collection”.
Jealous Guy #4 (2003)
From ‘Lennon Legend’. At some point it starts the same as Version 1 just for a few seconds, after that, a completely different video is shown, using outtake footage from the 1972 Tittenhurst Park video shooting, plus footage from the recording session. This version was also included on ‘Power to the People: The Hits”. In 2020 a new audio mix was added.
Gimme Some Truth #1 (1972)
Gimme Some Truth #2 (2010)
The introduction on the second version showing footage from the August 11, 1971 protest in London with John and Yoko starts at a different point compared to the first, this is the only difference.
Version 1 was part of “Imagine The Film” but also as an individual promo with its own slate, while Version 2 was included on ‘Power To the People: The Hits”.
Gimme Some Truth #3 (2018)
A lyric video was created and uploaded on Nov 6, 2018 as part of the ‘Imagine’ reissue campaign. In 2020 a new audio mix was added.
Gimme Some Truth #4 (2021)
Premiere Date: May 25, 2021.
This is a new edition of the video known as “Raw Studio Out-take” included as a bonus on the DVD/Blu-Ray “Imagine/Gimme Some Truth” from 2018. Now the screen is no longer divided into two angles, but rather it has been unified using the best footage to create a new music video. Although described as “live vocal out-take”, this video actually uses the 2020 studio mix (the raw audio was used in the 2018 release).
Oh My Love (1972)
Crippled Inside (1972)
It’s So Hard (1972)
I Don’t Wanna be a Soldier Mama (1972)
How Do You Sleep? (1972)
Oh Yoko (1972)
All the videos comes from the TV Special “Imagine The Film” from 1972 but were also available as individual promo films with their own slates, at least “How?”, “Oh My Love” and “Crippled Inside”.
Happy Xmas (War is Over) #1 (1972)
The rare Version 1 was produced for the BBC, first broadcast on December 14, 1972, and features footage from a church, along with still pictures of the Lennons recording with the Harlem choir. Available among video collectors from a BBC re-broadcast, this version is not present on any of the official video collections to date.
Happy Xmas (War is Over) #2 (1992)
From ‘John Lennon Video Collection’. This second version was directed by Gerard Meola and features video footage of the 1992 incarnation of the Harlem choir along with still pictures of John and Yoko in Xmas spirit.
1992 VERSION with New Audio Mix:
Happy Xmas (War is Over) #3 (2003)
From ‘Lennon Legend’. The third version is a very moving video showing images of war consequences and suffering around the world. In 2020 a new audio mix was added.
Happy Xmas (War Is Over) #4 (New Alt Acoustic Mix 2018)
Premiere Date: Dec 17, 2018.
A new music video using stripped-down audio that appeared on the ‘Imagine The Ultimate Mixes’ collection that same year. The video uses the posters from the campaign “War is Over! If You Want it” written over 100 different languages.
Whatever Gets You Thru The Night #1 (1974)
The original 1:52 video for this song was filmed on October 17, 1974 in New York. Director Peter Cooper and a film crew followed John as he travelled around the city. Some of the footage was to be used for the European promotion of the single, but may never have been broadcast. Apparently a two-minute edit was used instead for “#9 Dream” in February 1975 (BBC Top Of The Tops). More of this footage appears in “Jealous Guy” from 1988 and “Mind Games” from 1992. In 2003, Yoko Ono bought all the silent 16mm outtake footage (over 40 minutes) at a Christie’s Auction and later used some fragments for other videos like “Borrowed Time” and a new version of “Mind Games”.
The Original Promo:
Whatever Gets You Thru The Night #2 (1992)
Whatever Gets You Thru The Night #3 (2003)
Cartoon-animated video using John’s drawings. Versions 2 and 3 could look the same but they are not. Without counting the extra 11 second teaser intro for the 1992 video, Version 2 is three minute and 24 seconds long, while version 3 is three minute and 35 seconds long, so Version 3 is 11 seconds longer. Both are the same until 2:43, where there is extra animation on Version 3 that is not on the other (a repeated scene of a walking moon and a sequence not present on the original version that shows an elephant drinking wine in bed); plus the audio track used for the 2003 version is the full-length take with no fade out.
Whatever Gets You Thru The Night #4 (2010)
Although “labeled” on the official YouTube channel as “original music video, 2003 with Ultimate Mix audio 2020”, it is actually a new variation coming from “Power to the People: The Hits” using as a base the 2003 edit but the image of this version fades out way before any of the previous ones. Length is 3:26 and uses the official audio mix
Woman #1 (1981)
Mastered on January 1981, this rarely seen video was produced using footage from the TV special ’24 Hours: The World of John and Yoko’, still images and photographs with camera movement. Broadcast only a few times on TV. It was quickly replaced by the second version with a totally different concept; it remains hidden in the vaults of collectors. It has not appeared in any official or underground collection.
Woman #2 (1981)
Woman #3 (1992)
Mastered on January 20, 1981 and directed by Yoko Ono; showing the footage for the never completed “(Just Like) Starting Over” video, filmed November 26, 1980 in Central Park and the Superone Westwater Gallery, in New York and adding footage of her filmed early 1981. Both versions are the same, except that #2 has the additional “Video Collection” teaser intro. This video is also on the compilations “Lennon Legend” and “Power to the People: The Hits”, as well on the official Youtube channel.
Nobody Told Me #1 (1983)
Nobody Told Me #2 (1992)
Versions 1 and 2 could look the same, but from 3:21 to the end, they feature different home movie footage. Both are a mixture of well-known filmed material between 1968-71 and home movies possibly from 1979 that were later used in an extended form in 2003 for the video of “Watching the Wheels”.
Nobody Told Me #3 (2003)
A newly created video for “Lennon Legend”, using footage from Ascot, England while recording the album ‘Imagine’, rare film from Riverdale, NJ or some other footage taken from ‘Imagine the Film’, all from 1971. In 2020 a new audio mix was added.
Grow Old With Me #1 (1983)
Grow Old With Me #2 (1992)
Produced by Stanley Dorfman, both versions are the same, except for the 1992 teaser intro from the ‘John Lennon Video Collection’. A collage of not so rare footage.
I’m Stepping Out #1 (1984)
I’m Stepping Out #2 (1992)
Another Stanley Dorfman video, both versions are the same, except for the 1992 teaser intro from the ‘John Lennon Video Collection’. Video collage using every possible Lennon footage (including home movies and outtakes from the “Let it Be” film).
Borrowed Time #1 (1984)
Borrowed Time #2 (1984)
Borrowed Time #3 (1992)
The first three versions are the same, but each has a unique variation:
Version 1 has a slate showing a picture of Yoko and John with the title “Living On Borrowed Time”, and during the final part the credits appear over John’s face: “Copyright 1984 Polygram Records, Inc”.
Version 2 has a blue screen with a slate that reads “Borrowed Time” and there are no copyright credits during the end.
Version 3 has the teaser intro from the 1992 Video Collection.
Borrowed Time #4 (2003)
Another new conceptual video created for “Lennon Legend”, using pictures of John as a child creating a “motion sequence”, plus some other footage from various periods of his career and life, some very rare. The audio used is the full-length take, no fade-out.
Every Man has a Woman Who Loves Him (1984)
A not so well known official video. A conceptual story of a man meeting a woman in a restaurant. This video has never been on any of the official video collections to date.
Power To The People #1 (1992)
Power To The People #2 (2003)
Power To The People #3 (2010)
Version 1: 3 minute 11 seconds (plus 10 seconds of additional intro teaser)
Version 2: 3 minute 44 seconds
Version 3: 3 minute 22 seconds
While all three could look the very same, there are different edits. From the start to around 2:50, versions 1 and 2 are the same, but after that, different footage appears, plus the audio from version 2 is the full length take without any fade out and for that reason the video goes on longer. Version 3, compared to versions 1 and 2, has a strong red color on the “Power to The People” sign that appears several times, plus from start to the two minute and 03 second mark, versions 1 ,2 and 3 are the same, but after that, Version 3 shows the footage from the August 11, 1971 protest in London with John and Yoko (and other protests worldwide from more recent years) in different order compared to the other two. Although in different sequences, the three end with scenes of John and Yoko traveling on a ferry raising a fist at the Statue of Liberty, while on Versions 2 and 3 they also observe the Twin Towers.
Power To The People #4 (The US vs John Lennon- 2006)
A two-minute video created by Capitol in 2006 as part of the soundtrack of “The U.S. vs John Lennon” documentary, completely different from any of the other versions.
Power To The People #5 (2016)
Although “labeled” on the official YouTube channel as the “original music video, 2003 with Ultimate Mix audio 2020”, it is actually a new variation coming from “Lennon Legend” but the image of this version fades out way before any of the first three; in here we can’t see John and Yoko traveling on the ferry or raising their fists at the Statue of Liberty. Length is 3:21.
Mind Games #1 (1992)
Mind Games #2 (2003)
Version 1 shows footage from the hot-air balloon ride December 5, 1969, along with outtake footage from the “Whatever Gets You Thru The Night” video shoot on October 17, 1974, plus some other stuff. While Version 2 uses only more outtake footage from the Oct 17, 1974 video shoot, bought by Yoko Ono in 2003. This video is also on the “Power to the People: The Hits” compilation as well on the official Youtube channel.
#9 Dream #1 (1992)
#9 Dream #2 (2003)
Version 1 is simply a collage of well know videos from 1969/1972; and Version 2 (another collage) uses as base, the experimental films “Smile” and “Two Virgins” from 1968. This video is also on the “Power to the People: The Hits” compilation as well on the official Youtube channel.
Slippin’ and Slidin’ (1992)
Stand By Me #1 (1992)
Originally taped for the “Old Grey Whistle Test” TV show, on April 8, 1975, these two “live in the studio” clips were used as music videos in 1992, keeping the original live renditions.
“Slippin’ and Slidin’” was also released on ‘Lennon Legend’ in 2003, as well as on the official Youtube channel.
Stand By Me #2 (2003)
Stand By Me #3 (2010)
Newly created videos using the “Old Grey Whistle Test” shoot but also adding other well-known footage from many Lennon eras, and using the official audio track. Version 2 is four minutes and 3 seconds long because it uses the full-length take, while number 3 is the normal version that last three minutes and 28 seconds. Both videos are the same from start to the 3:10 mark, after that, Version 2 has new footage not available on the other.
Stand By Me #4 (2016)
Although “labeled” on the official YouTube channel as the “original music video, 2003 with Ultimate Mix audio 2020”, it is actually a new variation coming from “Lennon Legend” but there’s a completely different edit starting at 3:19 and until the video ends, with the sequence of Yoko and John running to each other at the beach.
(Just Like) Starting Over #1 (1992)
The original video shoot for this song was made on November 26, 1980 in Central Park and the Superone Westwater Gallery, in New York, but the video was never finished. Later some this footage was used on the 1981 video for “Woman”, and in 1992 reused with many more scenes for the “new” “(Just Like) Starting Over” video. Available on the ‘John Lennon Video Collection’.
(Just Like) Starting Over #2 (2000)
To commemorate 20 years of his death, this video was released December 8, 2000 (later used in ‘Lennon Legend’ and ‘Power to the People: The Hits’). A very good conceptual video in the style of “Free as a Bird”, using tons of references of his life and musical career.
I’m Losing You (Anthology Version) (1998)
I’m Losing You (Anthology Version) (1998 Behind The Scenes)
Only You (Anthology Version 1998)
As part of the ‘Lennon Anthology’ box set, two promotional videos were created. “I’m Losing You”, featuring the original members of Cheap Trick and a combination of original Lennon drawings in animation, directed by Dean Karr. And “Only You”, another collage of well-known footage. Plus, a “Behind the Scenes” video for “I’m Losing You” was also sent to the media as an individual video.
Let’s not confuse this video of “I’m Losing You” with the unreleased footage from 1980 that was discovered a few years ago. That comes from an unfinished attempt to record a video for the released version on LP (which is not the Cheap Trick version), Lennon didn’t like the way he looked and the video was never finished, also it does not count as an official music video because all we have is outtake footage.
Working Class Hero #1 (Anthology Version Take 1- 1998)
This rare video was available only as part of the “John Lennon Anthology” EPK (Electronic press kit, only released to the media), the audio features the first take with the “Well, Well, Well” coda. The video is a montage of well-known footage from various periods of his solo years.
Working Class Hero #2 (F… Version, 2000)
Working Class Hero #3 (Non F… Version, 2000)
A 6:44 minute “video history” of John made for the 20th anniversary of his death using as musical bed the same version from the ‘Lennon Anthology’ but removing the “Well, Well, Well” coda and adding some comments by John himself, interview clips, pictures and archival footage from all periods of his life, as a Beatle and solo.
Version #2 is the well-known one, having the “f” word, while Version #3, is the “non f word” one, the rarest, only removing the audio part while John says this word.
Working Class Hero #4 (2003)
A completely different and new conceptual video was released for “Lennon Legend”, having a child portraying a young Lennon and using many references of his life and musical career. In 2020 a new audio mix was added.
Watching The Wheels (2003)
Notes from Lennon Legend DVD: “A new video, featuring unique home movie holiday footage of John and Sean in the Cayman Islands, Florida, Japan and New York, much previously unseen.”
This video is also on the “Power to the People: The Hits” compilation as well on the official YouTube channel.
A video created for “Lennon Legend” using archival footage. A restored version was uploaded on the official YouTube channel in 2020 along with a new audio mix.
Another conceptual video created for “Lennon Legend” using pictures of a young John, and also Fred and Julia, etc. A restored version was uploaded on the official YouTube channel in 2021 along with a new audio mix.
Beautiful Boy (2003)
Another “Lennon Legend” video using home movie footage, this time from a vacation in Cold Spring Harbor, New York, April 13, 1980.
How Do You Sleep? (Takes 5 & 6, Raw Studio Mix Out-take 2018)
Considered as a “music video” on the official YouTube channel, published September 21, 2018 as part of the ‘Imagine’ reissue campaign. It shows John with George Harrison, Nicky Hopkins, Alan White and Klaus Voormann in a recording session at Ascot Sound Studios, Tittenhurst Park, 26 May 1971. It was originally a bonus feature in 2018 when ‘Imagine The Film’ was restored and shown in cinemas worldwide; later it was also included as a bonus on the 2019 DVD/Blu-Ray ‘Above Us Only Sky’.
The Luck Of The Irish (2020)
Premiere Date: March 17, 2020.
From the YouTube notes: “Written and performed by John Lennon & Yoko Ono Filmed on Portapak video by John Reilly at John & Yoko’s apartment 105 Bank Street, New York, USA on 12 November 1971.”
Labeled now as another “official music video”, it is a collage with highlights taken from the lengthy footage shoot for the ‘Luck of the Irish’ film, which includes many rehearsals and a few complete takes of this song.
Look At Me #1 (2021 VARIATION A- HORIZONTAL)
Look At Me #2 (2021 VARIATION B- VERTICAL)
Premiere Date: April 1, 2021.
This newly created video for the ‘Plastic Ono Band’ reissue campaign includes fragments of “home movies” filmed at John’s home ‘Kenwood’ in Weybridge, Surrey, on June 9, 1968; the same day John and Yoko did two experimental films: “Two Virgins” and “Smile”. There are two variations: Horizontal and Vertical. Both were shared on John’s official social media. (Thanks to Luis Inngais)
Isolation (Take 29 Raw Studio Mix- 2021)
Premiere Date. April 21, 2021.
This newly created video for the ‘Plastic Ono Band’ reissue campaign includes unseen archive footage of the rooms used by Lennon and Yoko Ono in Tittenhurst Park, shot on July 16, 1971.
Hold On (Elements Mix- 2021)
Premiere Date: April 24, 2021
A kind of “visualizer” video, giving a bit of animation to the cover of the album ‘John Lennon-Plastic Ono Band’, with the leaves of the trees moving and the rays of the sun entering between the branches.
It first premiered on Twitter at the end of April and until May 7, 2021 it was uploaded on YouTube as another official music video. A slight variation (only cropping the image) in portrait format is also available. The animation was directed by David Frearson.
Footage of John Lennon used for other videos, he is also present on two Yoko Ono promotional clips:
Walking on Thin Ice (1981)
Goodbye Sadness (1981)
John appears on the following videos coming from ‘Imagine The Film’, and the songs were taken from Yoko’s ‘Fly’ album.
Don’t Count The Waves (1972)
Mrs. Lennon (1972)
Mind Train (1972)
Midsummer New York (1972)
Original footage of John was used for some charity videos:
Give Peace a Chance (1991 The Peace Choir)
It also features Sean and Yoko, Little Richard, Peter Gabriel, Tom Petty, among others. At the end we can see a brief scene from June 1st, 1969 while recording “Give Peace a Chance” in Montreal and using the original audio without any overdubs, contrary to any official video of this same song.
Imagine (2014 UNICEF Various Artists)
With at least four different variations existing of this video, all showing John Lennon.
Here is the “World Version”: