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The John Lennon Collection

The John Lennon Collection
Compilation album by John Lennon
Released 1 November 1982 (UK)
8 November 1982 (US)
Recorded June 1969 – October 1980
Genre Rock
Length 69:29
Label Parlophone (UK)
Geffen Records (US)
Producer John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Phil Spector, Jack Douglas
John Lennon chronology
Double Fantasy
The John Lennon Collection
Milk and Honey
Singles from The John Lennon Collection
  1. "Love"
    Released: 15 November 1982 (UK)
  2. "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)"
    Released: November 1982 (US)

The John Lennon Collection is a retrospective compilation album of music from John Lennon's solo career.


  • Release and selection 1
  • Reissue 2
  • Reception 3
  • Cover 4
  • Track listing 5
  • Charts 6
    • Peak positions 6.1
    • Year-end charts 6.2
  • Certifications and sales 7
  • Credits 8
  • References 9

Release and selection

The album was originally scheduled for release in late 1981, but was held back a year due to sort out the legalities owing to the fact that half the songs on the album were licensed to EMI and the other half, songs from Double Fantasy, were licensed to Geffen.[1] It was eventually released on 1 November 1982 by Parlophone in the United Kingdom,[nb 1] and on 8 November by Geffen in the United States.[nb 2][1] It was the first Lennon album to be issued following his death in 1980. The album includes most of Lennon's hit singles and other tracks from his solo albums recorded with EMI from 1970–75, as well as all but one of his tracks from his final album Double Fantasy, which was initially distributed by Geffen Records in America and EMI/Parlophone in the United Kingdom.[1]

The EMI selections on the album are similar to those on Shaved Fish, Lennon's 1975 compilation album, but without the singles "Cold Turkey", "Mother" and "Woman Is the Nigger of the World." These were substituted with the 1975 hit single "Stand by Me" and "Love", a popular track from the John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band album. The other half consisted of many of the tracks from Double Fantasy. In the US, the album was issued with a slightly different track listing,[nb 3] with "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" and "Stand by Me" excluded.[1]


In 1989, after EMI acquired the rights to the Double Fantasy material, The John Lennon Collection was remastered and reissued worldwide with two bonus tracks for its CD release,[nb 4] "Move Over Ms. L" and "Cold Turkey" (the former being the only officially released Lennon track previously unavailable on any UK album, the latter the only UK hit single originally excluded from the compilation). "Move Over Ms. L" was the more notable inclusion – originally intended for Walls and Bridges but cut at the last minute; it was released as the B-side to "Stand by Me".[2] The CD was released in the UK on 23 October 1989.[1] "Less Christmassy than it sounds, ['Cold Turkey'] is now restored on CD," wrote Mat Snow in Q, "and is guaranteed to poop any party of sentimental Lennonism – presumably why it's kept till last; 1970's Plastic Ono Band album apart, it remains his most discomfortingly intense work."[3]

In the US, the 1989 CD re-issue of The John Lennon Collection not only included the two bonus tracks but also the two songs originally excluded from the US release, "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" and "Stand by Me" (these were also thought of as 'bonus tracks' in the US), thereby making the track-listing now identical in both countries.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic [4]
MusicHound [5]

As Lennon's first posthumous release, The John Lennon Collection did extremely well, reaching number 1 in the UK[1] and peaking at number 33 in the US where it would eventually reach triple platinum. The album sold 300,000 copies in the first week, and 1 million by its third week in the UK.[1] In the UK, "Love" was excerpted as a single in the UK,[nb 5] (featuring a version of the song without the slow fade-ins) and managed to reach number 41. "Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)" was released as the B-side to "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)", which was released by Geffen, in a brand-new picture sleeve, in the US.[nb 6][6]


The front and back covers for The John Lennon Collection were taken by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz on 8 December 1980, the day Lennon was murdered.

Track listing

All songs by John Lennon, except where noted.

Side one
  1. "Give Peace a Chance" – 4:52
    • Originally credited to Lennon–McCartney, the credit was revised in the 1990s to cite only Lennon as its composer.
  2. "Instant Karma!" – 3:20
  3. "Power to the People" – 3:16
  4. "Whatever Gets You thru the Night" – 3:17
  5. "#9 Dream" – 2:46 (4:46 on 1989's CD reissue)
    • Edit of 1974 full length version on Walls and Bridges.
    • The full length version was included on 1989's CD reissue of the compilation.
  6. "Mind Games" – 4:12
  7. "Love" – 3:22
  8. "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" (Lennon/Yoko Ono) – 3:33
    • Originally excluded from US version of this compilation, included on 1989 re-issue.
Side two
  1. "Imagine" – 3:02
  2. "Jealous Guy" – 4:14
  3. "Stand by Me" (Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller/Ben E. King) – 3:25
    • Originally excluded from US version of this compilation, included on 1989 re-issue.
  4. "(Just Like) Starting Over" – 3:55
  5. "Woman" – 3:25
  6. "I'm Losing You" – 3:57
  7. "Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)" – 4:01
  8. "Watching the Wheels" – 3:31
  9. "Dear Yoko" – 2:33
1989 CD bonus tracks
  1. "Move Over Ms. L." – 2:56
    • Originally released in 1975 as "Stand by Me"'s B-Side..
  2. "Cold Turkey" – 5:01


Certifications and sales

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Argentina (CAPIF)[19] Gold 30,000x
Austria (IFPI Austria)[20] Gold 25,000x
Canada (Music Canada)[21] Platinum 100,000^
France (SNEP)[22] Platinum 203,600[23]
Japan (Oricon Charts) 205,000[11]
Norway (IFPI Norway)[24] Gold 25,000*
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[25] Platinum 100,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[26] 3× Platinum 900,000^
United States (RIAA)[27] 3× Platinum 3,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone



  1. ^ UK Parlophone EMTV 37[1]
  2. ^ US Geffen GHSP 2023[1]
  3. ^ "Watching the Wheels" and "Dear Yoko" had swapped places.[1]
  4. ^ UK Parlophone CDEMTV 37[1]
  5. ^ UK Parlophone R 5958[1]
  6. ^ US Geffen 7-29855[6]
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Blaney, John (2005). John Lennon: Listen to This Book (illustrated ed.). [S.l.]: Paper Jukebox. p. 207.  
  2. ^ Blaney 2005, p. 143
  3. ^ Q, January 1990
  4. ^ The John Lennon Collection at AllMusic
  5. ^ Gary Graff & Daniel Durcholz (eds), MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide, Visible Ink Press (Farmington Hills, MI, 1999; ISBN 1-57859-061-2), p. 667.
  6. ^ a b Blaney 2005, p. 96
  7. ^ a b  
  8. ^ "Top Albums/CDs – Volume 37, No. 19, December 25, 1982".  
  9. ^ "The John Lennon Collection" John Lennon – . Hung Medien, (in Dutch).  
  10. ^ a b "Hit Parade Italia – Gli album più venduti del 1983" (in Italian). Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  11. ^ a b Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005.  
  12. ^ "The John Lennon Collection" – John Lennon – . Hung Medien, Recording Industry Association of New Zea Land. Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  13. ^ "The John Lennon Collection" John Lennon – . Hung Medien,  
  14. ^ "The John Lennon Collection" John Lennon – . Hung Medien, (in Swedish).  
  15. ^ "John Lennon > Artist > Official Chart". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 3 August 2013. 
  16. ^ "allmusic ((( The John Lennon Collection > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  17. ^ "The John Lennon Collection"Album Search: John Lennon: (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  18. ^ a b "Complete UK Year-End Album Charts". Retrieved 4 October 2011. 
  19. ^ "Discos de oro y platino" (in Spanish).  
  20. ^ "Austrian album certifications – John Lennon – Collection" (in German).   Enter John Lennon in the field Interpret. Enter Collection in the field Titel. Select album in the field Format. Click Suchen
  21. ^ "Canadian album certifications – John Lennon – John Lennon Collection".  
  22. ^ "French album certifications – John Lennon – John Lennon Collection" (in French). InfoDisc.  Select JOHN LENNON and click OK
  23. ^ "Les Albums Platine".  
  24. ^ "Norwegian album certifications – John Lennon – Lennon Collection" (in Norwegian).  
  25. ^ "Solo Exitos 1959–2002 Ano A Ano: Certificados > 1995–1999". Iberautor Promociones Culturales.  
  26. ^ "British album certifications – John Lennon – The John Lennon Collection".   Enter The John Lennon Collection in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
  27. ^ "American album certifications – John Lennon – The John Lennon Collection".   If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
Preceded by
The Singles: The First Ten Years by ABBA
UK Albums Chart number one album
4 December 1982 – 14 January 1983
Succeeded by
Raiders of the Pop Charts by Various artists
Preceded by
Love over Gold by Dire Straits
Australian Kent Music Report number-one album
17 January – 20 February 1983
Succeeded by
Very Best of the Carpenters
by The Carpenters
Preceded by
L'arca di Noè by Franco Battiato
Italian Chart number-one album
12 – 19 February 1983
Succeeded by
Tutto Sanremo '83 by Various artists
Preceded by
HIStory by Michael Jackson
Norwegian VG-lista number-one album
Succeeded by
Pan Pipe Moods by Free the Spirit
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