Five John Lennon Covers by Ozzy Osbourne, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young and More

December 8th, 2012

By Damian Fanelli

Over the decades, John Lennon’s songs have been covered by thousands of artists. Just think of all the people — from unknown Lithuanian bar bands to Lada Gaga — who have had a crack at “Imagine.”

Today, on the 32nd anniversary of his death on December 8, 1980, I’m paying tribute to Lennon by rounding up five of what I feel are the best performances of his solo songs by other artists.

Video-wise, my favorite of this bunch is “How?” by Ozzy Osbourne, in which he hits the streets of New York City — old-school Lennon-style — en route to pay his respects to the man himself.

You’ll also notice Paul Weller on this list; Weller, the former frontman of UK hitmakers The Jam, is a huge Lennon disciple who has covered several of his songs as B-sides.

And the only flaw in Pearl Jam’s version of “Gimme Some Truth” is that it lacks anything even close to George Harrison’s goosebump-inducing slide solo on the original Lennon version.

Enjoy these five covers — and power to the people!

How? (Originally from Imagine, 1971)

Gimme Some Truth (Originally from Imagine, 1971)

I Found Out (Originally from John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, 1970)

Instant Karma (Originally released as a single in early 1970)

Imagine (Originally from Imagine, 1971)

Damian Fanelli is the online managing editor at Guitar World.