“All Along the Watchtower”


Wikipedia – “‘All Along the Watchtower’ is a song written and recorded by American singer-songwriter 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. … 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. … According to Clinton Heylin, all the songs for John Wesley Harding were written and recorded during a six-week period at the end of 1967. With one child born in early 1966 and another in mid-1967, Dylan had settled into family life. … Accompanying Dylan, who played acoustic guitar and harmonica, were two Nashville veterans from the Blonde on Blonde sessions, Charlie McCoy on bass guitar and Kenneth Buttrey on drums. … Several reviewers have pointed out that the lyrics in ‘All Along the Watchtower’ echo lines in the Book of Isaiah, Chapter 21, verses 5-9:

Prepare the table, watch in the watchtower, eat, drink: arise ye princes, and prepare the shield./For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Go set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth./And he saw a chariot with a couple of horsemen, a chariot of asses, and a chariot of camels; and he hearkened diligently with much heed./…And, behold, here cometh a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground.

Critics have described Dylan’s version as a masterpiece of understatement. Andy Gill said ‘In Dylan’s version of the song, it’s the barrenness of the scenario which grips, the high haunting harmonica and simple forward motion of the riff carrying understated implications of cataclysm; as subsequently recorded by Jimi Hendrix, … that cataclysm is rendered scarily palpable through the dervish whirls of guitar.’ … The Jimi Hendrix Experience began to record their 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’, recalled Johns. According to Hendrix’s regular engineer Eddie Kramer, the guitarist cut a large number of takes on the first day, shouting chord changes at Dave Mason who had appeared at the session and played guitar. Halfway through the session, bass player Noel Redding became dissatisfied with the proceedings and left. Mason then took over on bass. According to Kramer, the final bass part was played by Hendrix himself. Hendrix’s friend and Rolling Stones multi-instrumentalist Brian Jones played the various percussion instruments on the track. …”
Wikipedia
Reason to Rock (Audio)
The Story Behind Jimi Hendrix’s “All Along the Watchtower”
YouTube: Why Bob Dylan Won The Nobel Prize
YouTube: … Bob Dylan – #8
YouTube: The Jimi Hendrix Experience – All Along The Watchtower (Official Audio)

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