“All Along the Watchtower” by Jimi Hendrix

Song of the Week

August 5, 2018

Written by Bob Dylan
Produced by Jimi Hendrix
Recorded at The Record Plant, New York City, Summer 1968
Released on the album Electric Ladyland in October 1968

Perhaps the quintessential Jimi Hendrix tune, “All Along the Watchtower” was originally written by Bob Dylan for his 1967 album John Wesley Harding. The song’s lyrics have roots in the Bible’s Book of Isaiah, juxtoposed by Dylan who claimed there was a “cycle of events working in a reverse order”.

Jimi Hendrix 968

Hendrix’s attempted recording his version multiple times, starting with sessions in London in early 1968 and later in New York City during the summer. The song features Dave Mason of Traffic on bass and Rolling Stone Brian Jones on percussion. Hendrix himself provided the superior sonic elements and atmosphere, providing acoustic and electric layered guitars and some of his finest vocals ever.

Listen to “All Along the Watchtower”:

Song Lyrics

There must be some kind of way outta here
Said the joker to the thief
There’s too much confusion, I can’t get no relief
Business men, they drink my wine, plowman dig my earth
None were level on the mind, nobody up at his word

No reason to get excited, the thief, he kindly spoke
There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke
But you and I, we’ve been through that and this is not our fate
So let us stop talkin’ falsely now, the hour’s getting late

All along the watchtower, princes kept the view
While all the women came and went, barefoot servants too
Outside in the cold distance a wildcat did growl
Two riders were approaching and the wind began to howl

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