The John Lennon Collection
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The John Lennon Collection

The John Lennon Collection
Compilation album by
Released1 November 1982 (UK)
8 November 1982 (US)
RecordedJune 1969 - October 1980
LabelParlophone (UK)
Geffen (US)
ProducerJohn 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 posthumous compilation album of music from John Lennon's solo career.

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 compositions (track 3 - "Cleanup Time"), 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
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[4]
MusicHound4/5 stars[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,[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 cover photographs for The John Lennon Collection were taken by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz on 8 December 1980; Lennon was murdered later that evening.[7]

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 the US vinyl version of this compilation, included on cassette and 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 the US vinyl version of this compilation, included on cassette and 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 Certified units/sales
Argentina (CAPIF)[20] Gold 30,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[21] Gold 25,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[22] Platinum 100,000^
France (SNEP)[24] Platinum 203,600[23]
Japan (Oricon Charts) -- 205,000[12]
New Zealand (RMNZ)[25] Platinum 15,000^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[26] Gold 25,000*
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[27] Platinum 100,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[28] 3× Platinum 900,000^
United States (RIAA)[29] 3× Platinum 3,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments 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. ISBN 978-0-9544528-1-0.
  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. ^ "Yoko Ono; John Lennon". National Portrait Gallery. Retrieved 2019.
  8. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970-1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  9. ^ "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 37, No. 19, December 25, 1982". RPM. Retrieved 2011.
  10. ^ " John Lennon - The John Lennon Collection". Hung Medien, (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved 2011.
  11. ^ a b "Hit Parade Italia - Gli album più venduti del 1983" (in Italian). Retrieved 2011.
  12. ^ a b Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
  13. ^ " - John Lennon - The John Lennon Collection". Recording Industry Association of New Zea Land. Retrieved 2011.
  14. ^ " John Lennon - The John Lennon Collection". Hung Medien, VG-lista. Retrieved 2011.
  15. ^ " John Lennon - The John Lennon Collection". Hung Medien, (in Swedish). Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 2011.
  16. ^ "John Lennon > Artist > Official Chart". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2013.
  17. ^ "allmusic ((( The John Lennon Collection > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". Retrieved 2011.
  18. ^ "Album Search: John Lennon: The John Lennon Collection" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 2011.
  19. ^ a b "Complete UK Year-End Album Charts". Archived from the original on 19 May 2012. Retrieved 2011.
  20. ^ "Discos de oro y platino" (in Spanish). Cámara Argentina de Productores de Fonogramas y Videogramas. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 2012.
  21. ^ "Austrian album certifications - John Lennon - Collection" (in German). IFPI Austria.
  22. ^ "Canadian album certifications - John Lennon - John Lennon Collection". Music Canada.
  23. ^ "Les Albums Platine". SNEP. Archived from the original on 1 July 2015. Retrieved 2011.
  24. ^ "French album certifications - John Lennon - John Lennon Collection" (in French). InfoDisc.Select JOHN LENNON and click OK.
  25. ^ "New Zealand album certifications - John Lennon - Lennon Collection". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 2019.
  26. ^ "IFPI Norsk platebransje Trofeer 1993-2011" (in Norwegian). IFPI Norway.
  27. ^ "Solo Exitos 1959-2002 Ano A Ano: Certificados > 1995-1999". Iberautor Promociones Culturales. ISBN 8480486392.
  28. ^ "British album certifications - John Lennon - The John Lennon Collection". British Phonographic Industry.Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type The John Lennon Collection in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  29. ^ "American album certifications - John Lennon - The John Lennon Collection". Recording Industry Association of America.If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.

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