Bob Dylan’s Opinion of Jimi Hendrix’s cover of “All Along The Watchtower”

Few musicians are covered more than the legendary Bob Dylan. One of the most acclaimed covers of a Bob Dylan song is Jimi Hendrix’s iconic rendition of “All Along The Watchtower”. Many even consider Hendrix’s rendition the greatest cover of all time. Over the years, Bob Dylan has shared his thoughts on Hendrix’s legendary cover.

“It overwhelmed me, really”, Dylan told Fort-Lauderdale Sun Sentinel in 1995. “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.”

Bob Dylan is obviously talking about Hendrix’s legendary guitar playing, which replaced his harmonica parts on “All Along The Watchtower”. But Dylan’s praise didn’t end there, as he admitted Hendrix changed his approach to playing the song. “I took license with the song from his version, actually, and continue to do it to this day.”

Dylan gave that statement more power in the booklet of his Biograph compilation album. “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.”

Jimi Hendrix, in his turn, admired Bob Dylan. He listened to Highway 61 Revisited repeatedly and covered multiple Dylan songs including “Like A Rolling Stone”.

“I really dig him”, Hendrix said in an interview with Steve Barker. “I like that Highway 61 Revisited album and especially “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues”! He doesn’t inspire me actually, because I could never write the kind of words he does. But he’s helped me out in trying to write about two or three words ’cause I got a thousand songs that will never be finished.”

Jimi Hendrix released “All Along The Watchtower” as a single in September 1968. A month later the song was included on Hendrix’s final studio album Electric Ladyland. The song reached number 20 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and was a top 5 hit in the UK.

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