“All Along the Watchtower” Bob Dylan Version- Song Facts And Info
The year is 1968. It was a terrible time for America. Vietnam was at an all time high, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated, and it was just a bad time. Three men saved the year, The Apollo 8 mission in December. However, other than the astronauts music came to the rescue too. Bob Dylan released an all time classic in November of 1968, “All Along The Watchtower”. It’s our spotlight today with the Guitar Pic At Six.
“All Along the Watchtower” initially appeared on his 1967 album John Wesley Harding, and it has been included on most of Dylan’s subsequent greatest hits albums. Over the past 35 years, he has performed it in concert more than any of his other songs. The song has had a couple different covers, most famously by Jimi Hendrix. The Hendrix version was released only six months after Dylan’s original recording, and became a Top 20 single. Dylan is actually quoted as saying he loves Jimi’s version over his own.
“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.”
When did recording take place?
Dylan recorded “All Along the Watchtower” on November 5, 1967, at Columbia Studio A in Nashville, Tennessee, the same studio where he had completed Blonde on Blonde in the spring of the previous year. 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. The final version of “All Along the Watchtower” resulted from two different takes during the second of three John Wesley Harding sessions. The session opened with five takes of the song, the third and fifth of which were spliced to create the album track.