The Hayride

Cover Versions: All Along The Watchtower

Cover Versions: All Along The Watchtower
September 20
22:47 2011

We’ll do this one in a quick and dirty fashion, because the song doesn’t really need a lot of introduction.

But we’ll do a little of that. Because people think it’s a Jimi Hendrix song, and it more or less is. But he didn’t write it. Bob Dylan wrote it. Originally released in 1967 on an album called John Wesley Harding.

And then there was the version Jimi Hendrix did in 1969, which is the one everybody thinks of and likes best…

There have been a few after that. U2 did a good one in the late 1980’s…

And Eric Clapton and Lenny Kravitz did one you may not have heard. You can tell it’s Clapton with your eyes closed, and not because he’s singing (he’s not; Kravitz is)…

How about Pearl Jam? They did one, too…

Did you know there are Bob Dylan tribute bands? There’s one called Highway 61, and this is their version…

And here’s a guy who covers the song with an electric violin. Sounds interesting, though his website flashing in the middle of the screen is a little obnoxious and he thinks Hendrix wrote it (hey, like I said, people think it’s a Hendrix song)…

Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young have the maxed-out Democrat donor version, I guess…

You probably haven’t heard of Michael Hedges, but he’s a pretty good acoustic guitar player and he’s got a nice mellow version of the song (or at least as mellow as you’re going to hear on this one)…

Another guy who plays a pretty mean guitar is Eric Johnson, and here’s his version (if you’ve got to open another window while you listen so you don’t have to look at any of the God-awful shirts these guys are wearing, it’s totally understandable)…

And if you’re talking about people who could play the living hell out of a guitar, why, the late, great Jeff Healey deserves a mention…

And we can also completely switch gears on this – because a guy named Bear McCreary did a pretty interesting version of the song that the people who did the remake of Battlestar Galactica featured a few years ago…

But I’ll say this – while lots of folks would scoff at a comparison of Hendrix with Dave Matthews, and if you like you’re welcome to scoff away, Matthews does a cover of the song that captures the emotion and passion of Jimi’s version pretty well. Or at least that’s my story and you can’t stop me from keeping with it.

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3 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 21, 03:58

    Also a group called Hamilton Joe Frank and Reynolds.  One of Hendrix’ hits “Hey Joe” was also a Dylan cover.

  2. DMBFAN
    DMBFAN September 21, 04:09

    Glad to see DMB made it on your list… Dave’s rendition is only second to Hendrix

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