Jimi Hendrix – All Along The Watchtower – The Best Dylan Covers

Jimi Hendrix – All Along The Watchtower – The Best Dylan Covers

 

“I liked Jimi Hendrix’s record of this and ever since he died I’ve been doing it that way. Strange how when I sing it, I always feel it’s a tribute to him in some kind of way.”
– Bob Dylan (Biograph liner notes)

“It overwhelmed me, really. He had such talent, he could find things inside a song and vigorously develop them. He found things that other people wouldn’t think of finding in there. He probably improved upon it by the spaces he was using. I took license with the song from his version, actually, and continue to do it to this day.”
– Bob Dylan (Fort Lauderdale Sentinel Sun, 1995)

“All Along the Watchtower” is a song written and recorded by Bob Dylan. The song initially appeared on his 1967 album John Wesley Harding, and it has been included on most of Dylan’s subsequent greatest hits compilations. Since the late 1970s, he has performed it in concert more than any of his other songs. Different versions appear on four of Dylan’s live albums.

Covered by numerous artists in various genres, “All Along the Watchtower” is strongly identified with the interpretation Jimi Hendrix recorded for Electric Ladyland with the Jimi Hendrix Experience. The Hendrix version, released six months after Dylan’s original recording, became a Top 20 single in 1968 and was ranked 47th in Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

It is almost too obvious, but it has to be included in this series of the best Dylan covers. It is after all, maybe THE best Dylan cover ever done!

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November 6: Bob Dylan – 6 great live versions of “All Along The Watchtower”

There must be some way out of here
Said the joker to the thief
There’s too much confusion, I can’t get no relief

Recorded November 6, 1967 @ Columbia Studio A, Nashville, Tennessee. The song initially appeared on his 1967 album, John Wesley Harding, and it has been included on most of Dylan’s subsequent greatest hits compilations. Since the late 1970s, he has performed it in concert more than any of his other songs. Different versions appear on four of Dylan’s live albums.

Chicago Stadium
Chicago, Illinois
3 January 1974

  • Bob Dylan (vocal, guitar, harmonica)
  • Robbie Robertson (guitar)
  • Garth Hudson (organ, piano and clavinette)
  • Richard Manual (keyboards)
  • Rick Danko (bass)
  • Levon Helm (drums)

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Bruce Springsteen Sings 8 Bob Dylan Songs – Happy Birthday Boss

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame benefit concert in Cleveland, Ohio on September 2nd, 1995. – Photo by Kevin Mazur

PG: Recently here, Bruce Springsteen’s gone down very well. Do you like him?
Bob Dylan: Yeah, Bruce is a very, very talented guy.
PG: Did you know that Bruce has included This Land Is Your Land in his concert program?
Bob Dylan: Oh he has? That’s amazing! That’s good. Well maybe he’ll start doing Blowin’ In The Wind! Maybe he’ll do an album with Bob Dylan songs!
– Paul Gambaccini Interview (June 1981)

Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen (born September 23, 1949) is an American singer, songwriter, and musician who is both a solo artist and the leader of the E Street Band. He received critical acclaim for his early 1970s albums and attained worldwide fame upon the release of Born to Run in 1975. During a career that has spanned five decades, Springsteen has become known for his poetic and socially conscious lyrics and lengthy, energetic stage performances, earning the nickname “The Boss”. He has recorded both rock albums and folk-oriented works, and his lyrics often address the experiences and struggles of working-class Americans.

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January 21: The Jimi Hendrix Experience recorded All Along The Watchtower in 1968

“It overwhelmed me, really. He had such talent, he could find things inside a song and vigorously develop them. He found things that other people wouldn’t think of finding in there. He probably improved upon it by the spaces he was using. I took license with the song from his version, actually, and continue to do it to this day.”
– Bob Dylan (1995)

“I liked Jimi Hendrix’s record of this and ever since he died I’ve been doing it that way… Strange how when I sing it, I always feel it’s a tribute to him in some kind of way.”
– Bob Dylan (booklet Biograph)

The Jimi Hendrix Experience began to record their cover version of Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower” on January 21, 1968, at Olympic Studios in London. According to engineer Andy Johns, Jimi Hendrix had been given a tape of Dylan’s recording by publicist Michael Goldstein, who worked for Dylan’s manager Albert Grossman.

“(Hendrix) came in with these Dylan tapes and we all heard them for the first time in the studio”
– Andy Johns

For me it is the only cover version of a Bob Dylan song that is arguably as good or better than Dylan’s own version.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience – All Along The Watchtower (audio):

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