[ ]   [ ]   [ ]                        [ ]      [ ]   [ ]
Jimi Hendrix — All Along The Watchtower
Album: Electric Ladyland
Avg rating:
9.2

Your rating:
Total ratings: 3490









Released: 1969
Length: 3:57
Plays (last 30 days): 1
There must be some kind of way out of here
Said the joker to the thief
There's too much confusion
I can't get no relief
Businessmen, they drink my wine
Plowmen dig my earth
None will level on the line
Nobody offered his word, hey!

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, uh
But you and I, we've been through that
And this is not our fate
So let us not talk falsely now
The hour's getting late, hey!

Hey

All along the watchtower
Princes kept the view
While all the women came and went
Barefoot servants too
Well, uh, outside in the cold distance
A wild cat did growl
Two riders were approaching
And the wind began to howl, hey!

All along the watchtower
All along the watchtower
Comments (533)add comment
from My Sharonna to Jimi Hendrix, I love the station!
a perfect 10.
as with Janis Joplin, a great loss...........
So let us not talk falsely now
The hour's getting late, hey!


A-men.
 unclehud wrote:
Quick!  Name one Vietnam movie that does NOT include this tune...
 
...also the opening track to "Withnail and I",  an excellent film that has attained cult status. Paul McGann, Richard E. Grant, Richard Griffiths, director Bruce Robinson. If you haven't seen it, check it out; if you have, watch it again. Set in '69 in London and Penrith. In fact I'll dig out the DVD this evening me thinks.
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Withnail_and_I
And the winner, for best cover ever, 51 years in a row, goes to...
The best version ever,simply Godlike🙏
One of my first experiences with Jimi's music was at a friends house.  His older brother had a room with black lights, strobe lights, and lots of cool posters.  there was a water bong in the room as well...I had no idea what it was at the time.  We put the music on and really enjoyed the visual aural experience.  Needless to say, It really "blew me away".  
supposed go to bed, but one good song after the other ...
Track Records' (some) Euro-Countries Album Cover:
 
Jimi Hendrix’s Banned ‘Electric Ladyland’ Album Cover
 
Ha !  Just got done playing the whole album on vinyl.
 thewiseking wrote:

agreed, but that opening riff is a huge hook{#Bananajam}
Wonder why CLASSIC ROCK chose this one over all the others? So many better offerings from Jimi yet it was this they chose to kill

 


I have this sudden urge to watch "Watchmen" all over again.

When this was a current hit, we often went to our local Boston Pizza after a night of partying.  They had a juke box with great sound and had the volume cranked – this song was always played - bliss!

Here’s something I noticed while listening to a tribute album to Hank Williams:

Williams lyrics from “Alone and Forsaken”:

The darkness is falling, the sky has turned gray
A hound in the distance is starting to bay

Dylan lyrics from this song:

Outside in the cold distance 
A wildcat did growl
Two riders were approaching
And the wind began to howl

Maybe another example of one great artist taking something very good and making it even better?


 slikr wrote:
best cover ever?
 
  yes... and godlike at that.. {#Cheers}
Wonder why CLASSIC ROCK chose this one over all the others? So many better offerings from Jimi yet it was this they chose to kill


                                         The only studio recording that Jimi played any slide guitar on.
.
                          
.
                                                                           SEATTLE'S OWN. 



goosebumps... bumping from 9 to 10
 Skydog wrote:
still the number one rated RP song 

 
Which one is in last?
best cover ever?
I think this guy would have went places.
 westslope wrote:

Yes, I believe that he was right about the 'application'.  Dylan must find that amusing.  

 
But this is the most excellent cover by far!


Ok. Enough of the silliness. Give it a 10 and move along.
 unclehud wrote:
Was at a college baseball game last week when this came on.  Turned my my grad school buddy (son of a Navy colleague who's at school in town) and asked, "Do you know this song?"

"Sure, man.  Hendrix.  All Along the Watchtower.  Always comes on in a war movie when the shit's about to come down."

Well, he's sho'nuff right about the title and artist, and he may be right about the application.

 
Yes, I believe that he was right about the 'application'.  Dylan must find that amusing.  
Was at a college baseball game last week when this came on.  Turned my my grad school buddy (son of a Navy colleague who's at school in town) and asked, "Do you know this song?"

"Sure, man.  Hendrix.  All Along the Watchtower.  Always comes on in a war movie when the shit's about to come down."

Well, he's sho'nuff right about the title and artist, and he may be right about the application.
Nothing better!
Filmore East, New Years Eve 1969, pitch black and at the stroke of midnight, Jimi starts this song. Burned in my memory. I had a mind before then.
 SuperWeh wrote:

no amount of radio play will ever be able to kill the genius of this piece.

 
Right! And there are not many other songs in that league.
pure pleasure!
Immaculate.
 thewiseking wrote:
another one killed by overplay
give us Bold As Love
give us Rainy Day Dream Away
give us 1983
give us One Rainy Wish
leave this one to the CLASSIC ROCK schlockpile 

 
no amount of radio play will ever be able to kill the genius of this piece.
another one killed by overplay
give us Bold As Love
give us Rainy Day Dream Away
give us 1983
give us One Rainy Wish
leave this one to the CLASSIC ROCK schlockpile 
It took a while to warm up to Hendrix. More a combination of posthumous reviews, Belly Button Window (likely, the Cry of Love album) and general progression of rock (noise) into the 70's.
Favorite recording of the entire rock era.
 On_The_Beach wrote:

{#Yes}  {#Cheers}

 
Could not agree more.  It is absolute performance perfection. I only wish we could go back and capture this performance with today's technology.  It is both electrifying and an old friend whenever I hear it.
       You'd know If you reflect  more than usual on some house of cards.
My kiss. uhm keys was in the bowl, spring time wasted no time and kissed fish.
There's a version by Bear McCreary, that I also quite like. It was done for a Soundtrack and was so, so perfectly fitted to the scenes. So this is no "i like the cover better" but rather, "if you like the song, maybe check out the other. Sounds quite different, though."

nice btw - stevie, ye good ol ludwig van, hendrix and flogging molly. much wow.

and sixstringsamurai is such an awesome movie - too bad you didnt like the order of songs. 
 Highlowsel wrote:
The Apex.  The Pinnacle.  The very top of the highest mountain.  To my mind without question the very definition of ROCK AND ROLL..  Sublime and caustic, noisy yet harmonious.  It grabs your ears and pulls you in whether you want to go along or not.  You know it the moment you heard the first opening riff, and it stays with you in ephemeral fashion when it leaves.  As done by Hendrix it may be the ultimate cover tune but if this man had an opus moment this, this must be it. 
 
{#Yes}  {#Cheers}
 SixStringSamurai wrote:
Jimi Hendrix after Beethoven. "Our specialty is taking a diverse assortment of songs and making them flow together in a way that makes sense harmonically, rhythmically, and lyrically." I must have missed something ...

 
maybe it was just the seamless ooze of awesomeness that you missed.. shall I get my banjo? That might rectify things.
 Skydog wrote:
still the number one rated RP song 

 

quite rightly!
Bob Dylan out of step with the times releases this great song in December 1967 and somewhere over the next few months Jimi Hendrix hears it in some other magnificent way. To call this arrangement historic and transcendental at the same time does not seem an understatement. 
Jimi Hendrix after Beethoven. "Our specialty is taking a diverse assortment of songs and making them flow together in a way that makes sense harmonically, rhythmically, and lyrically." I must have missed something ...
Beethoven then this?
WOW

Superb{#Clap} 
The Apex.  The Pinnacle.  The very top of the highest mountain.  To my mind without question the very definition of ROCK AND ROLL..  Sublime and caustic, noisy yet harmonious.  It grabs your ears and pulls you in whether you want to go along or not.  You know it the moment you heard the first opening riff, and it stays with you in ephemeral fashion when it leaves.  As done by Hendrix it may be the ultimate cover tune but if this man had an opus moment this, this must be it. 

Highlow
American Net'Zen
 coloradojohn wrote:
The very voice of stoned guitar your mind thinks should be telling this and what a timeless verve this cat put into every little riff and, dig

 
upvote
 RiverOfLife wrote:
Beethoven 5 followed by Jimi - PERFECT!!!

Simply awesome programming ....

 
AND Stevie Ray's Pipeline before Ludwig Van.  Thanks Bill and Rebecca.  Now that's what I call eclectic! {#Clap}{#Notworthy}
still the number one rated RP song 
Beethoven 5 followed by Jimi - PERFECT!!!

Simply awesome programming ....
You wowed  with that seg
I was wondering what could follow a 9.2 Beethoven, I agree this makes sense!
 
The very voice of stoned guitar your mind thinks should be telling this and what a timeless verve this cat put into every little riff and, dig
 springof63 wrote:
i know what you mean, but I think you mean Bob Dylan, don't you? (except, as far as i know, he is still with us...)
 
Hmm, of course Dylan wrote the song, so maybe he needed to sign off on the deal as well?
I'm sure someone out there knows the answer? . . .
 On_The_Beach wrote:
My heart sank when I saw this was being used to sell Men's perfume . . . groan.
Jimi is no doubt rolling over in his grave.

At least when Pete Townshend and the rest sell their songs, it's their own decision.
Although I'm not sure who has the rights to the Beatles catalogue.
Michael Jackson's estate, or did Sir Paul buy 'em back?

 
i know what you mean, but I think you mean Bob Dylan, don't you? (except, as far as i know, he is still with us...)
My heart sank when I saw this was being used to sell Men's perfume . . . groan.
Jimi is no doubt rolling over in his grave.

At least when Pete Townshend and the rest sell their songs, it's their own decision.
Although I'm not sure who has the rights to the Beatles catalogue.
Michael Jackson's estate, or did Sir Paul buy 'em back?
A "9." At least. 
You know it's his vocals that are superb apart from maestro guitar
 phlattop wrote:

Jimi's version heavily influenced Dylan's live version for years according to Bob himself. The best cover of a Dylan tune and there's been some pretty damn good ones.

 
Dave Mason's version is better than this one.
Beethoven followed by Hendrix. One of the best composers followed by one of the best performers in music ever.
 alan278 wrote:
Outstanding segue from Beethoven.  Terrific Bill, Rebecca.

 
Agreed! Bravissimo!!
 alan278 wrote:
Outstanding segue from Beethoven.  Terrific Bill, Rebecca.

 
Ditto!
 kcar wrote:

I can see why Bob thought so. Even when you take the lyrics into account, this sounds a lot more like a Hendrix song than a Dylan song. Slightly surreal words suggesting fragments of worlds...and weaving through them you have Jimi's swirling sound rising up like a dust storm. Still amazing. 

 
Jimi's version heavily influenced Dylan's live version for years according to Bob himself. The best cover of a Dylan tune and there's been some pretty damn good ones.
From the best double album of all time the best cover of a Dylan tune ever. Still get tingly from this record. Used to play the 8-track and alternate with Beggars Banquet and a Moody Blues. Yeah, good times kids!             {#Yes}
Outstanding segue from Beethoven.  Terrific Bill, Rebecca.
Jimmy on a Sunday morning!  {#Sunny}
 justin4kick wrote:
Probably the best piece of music ever made and certainly the best cover ever.
 
Does that include "Muskrat Love" by The Captain & Tennille?
Probably the best piece of music ever made and certainly the best cover ever.
Hendrix and Dylan should have formed a band, just imagine...
{#Guitarist}
 Highlowsel wrote:
One of my few TENS!{#Guitarist} 

Highlow
American Net'Zen

 
I'm with you on that!
 mitykc wrote:

Dylan preferred this version over his own.

  

Rotterdam wrote:

Gosh, what a compliment. I agree with Dylan, by the way, and have always loved this version. Powerful.

 
I can see why Bob thought so. Even when you take the lyrics into account, this sounds a lot more like a Hendrix song than a Dylan song. Slightly surreal words suggesting fragments of worlds...and weaving through them you have Jimi's swirling sound rising up like a dust storm. Still amazing. 
 SuperWeh wrote:
The guitar work is absolutely transcendental on this, gets me every time no matter how often I've heard it. Sloppy playing, but the phrasing, timing, urgency and sheer creativity are otherworldly.

 
SuperWeh: 

Sloppy playing it may be to those better informed in the mechanics of the guitar than me....but I'll say this....I'll bet it's one of the very few pieces that brings out the air guitarist in everyone who hears it?  Indeed, it's arguably up there with the likes of Beethoven's 5th and others in that with the opening riff you know instantly what's coming.....and it never, ever, seems to get old does it?

As for transcendental....yah, I'm right there with you on the transcendental aspect.  Yes indeed.  To wax metaphorically this piece is like.....Mt Everest.....everyone can recognize its magnificence from a distance....many aspire to ascend to its heights but few dare it; and fewer are those who dare and actually make it to the summit.  At least...before our modern age made a consumeristic conveyor belt of the process.  Hmmm....and having said that....one could say that statement is a somewhat cynical critique on the quality of everything in our age?  Everything reduced to consumer voyeurism?  Heh!

So it goes....

Highlow
American Net'Zen
One of my few TENS!{#Guitarist} 

Highlow
American Net'Zen
The guitar work is absolutely transcendental on this, gets me every time no matter how often I've heard it. Sloppy playing, but the phrasing, timing, urgency and sheer creativity are otherworldly.
 mitykc wrote:

Dylan preferred this version over his own.

 
Gosh, what a compliment. I agree with Dylan, by the way, and have always loved this version. Powerful.
What's not to like?  Just brill.
oh my god
opened up new vistas for me 
smile smile smile
hot damn
flying again 
This would be an eleven, if Bill would allow it.
 
 thewiseking wrote:

much prefer Bob's version

Classic Rock Radio has rendered this unlistenable.



 
Dylan preferred this version over his own.
 Dosequis wrote:

I also like the original. Dylan. Hendrix?.....meh.

 
much prefer Bob's version

Classic Rock Radio has rendered this unlistenable.


A master guitarist exhibiting his artistic expression !
 Tippster wrote:

...most likely better than Dylan.  Great songwriter.  Performer... meh.

 
I also like the original. Dylan. Hendrix?.....meh.
 WonderLizard wrote:
When in doubt, do Dylan.

 
...most likely better than Dylan.  Great songwriter.  Performer... meh.
 rdo wrote:

Wouldn't all songs potentially be rated 1 by that logic?  If you cannot find some formula in your head to rate it besides as a function of how many times you've heard it, then why even rate?  

 
How about a land speed record, fastest to hit the "10" button?
 Dosequis wrote:
 Just the opposite here. Love Dylan but this never did it for me. 



 
 LPCity wrote:I know that I'm in a very tiny minority one this one, but I never liked this song.

Despite Jimi's great playing and nuance, I think it's just the song itself that I don't like.




= ----->

"Wah, Wah, Wah"
You Guys are Both Crazy.... En Fuego!




Really made the song his own.  Love his rhythm/lead thing going on during the solo.  Would have no idea how to figure that out. 
On this, the occasion of my millionth listen to this song: Still a 10!!! 
 LPCity wrote:
I know that I'm in a very tiny minority one this one, but I never liked this song.

Despite Jimi's great playing and nuance, I think it's just the song itself that I don't like. 

  Just the opposite here. Love Dylan but this never did it for me. 


When in doubt, do Dylan.
 unclehud wrote:
Quick!  Name one Vietnam movie that does NOT include this tune...

 
"The Green Berets", maybe some others, but you specified "quick!".
{#Roflol}I love all versions of this song and this is one of my favs.
{#Fire} Jimi on fire - at least 10 I thinks {#Fire}
 pinto wrote:
Very much overplayed

 
...and I never tire of it. 
 rdo wrote:

Wouldn't all songs potentially be rated 1 by that logic?

 
Ha. Ha. Ha.  Good one!  {#Whipit}
 sirdroseph wrote:

I wonder if there were any quantative analysis to figure out the most played songs in history. This one would surely come in the top 10. I will be most pleased to never hear this song again and have done quite well to avoid it seeing how I do not listen to commercial radio and the few times I actually listen to this station, I make sure and run to the mute when this is played. It has kept me safe; eternal vigilance is the price of non repetition.  Is the song good? I guess so, I just don't know anymore.{#Sad}



 
Wouldn't all songs potentially be rated 1 by that logic?  If you cannot find some formula in your head to rate it besides as a function of how many times you've heard it, then why even rate?  
 JIan wrote:

Hasan, this is FABULOUS!  Thanks for writing and posting this response!

 
Glad you like it!

{#Propeller}


 pi31415 wrote:
Thanks Jimi!

 

Thanks Jimi!
It's interesting to read how Jimi worked to get this song just right. The number of times he redid the basic track, the solos, the drums. This song was never released by Hendrix, it escaped.

Still today, some 40+ years later, it still leaves a smoking mess...
I know that I'm in a very tiny minority one this one, but I never liked this song.

Despite Jimi's great playing and nuance, I think it's just the song itself that I don't like. 
 Hasan wrote:

Could it be you don't appreciate the magic of what Bill does?

Starting in the 1980s, NASA had the service of Bob Farquar; "Farquhar is a genius with celestial pinball," says a colleague who's known him for 30 years, "and he'd be the first to admit it."

He specialized in the arcane mathematical art of using planets and moons as slingshots to accelerate and decelerate probes to get them to their target in the shortest time . . .  but he had a knack for showmanship that had him make the positioning of probes at critical junctures coincide with important family dates; sort of, "Today's your 29th birthday - so to celebrate I had probe XYZ use Titan to cut it's velocity by 29% today."  I exaggerate, to give you the idea, but his habit of planning such "coincidences" years in advance drove his colleagues nuts when they learned why things happened when they did.  It drove them even more nuts to try to find more "sensible" trajectories — and never could.  Safely landing the NEAR probe on the asteroid Eros, is as wildly brilliant as anything I can think of.

Why am I telling you this?  Well you can look at the solar system and get bored to death if you focus on the major planets, ignoring the pirouettes playing around them.

When I hear Bill play a musical Jupiter like Hendrix, I salivate with anticipation at the segue slingshot he's preparing.  Today he used All Along the Watchtower to slingshot towards us a little duo that I had liked but would never have expected to be able to follow Hendrix without coming across as pallid as a comet trail.  Previously, I'd ranked First Aid Kit's  "Wolf"  at 6, but immediately boosted it to 8 today, so well did it stand up.

I'd call Bill a genius with musical pinball.



 
Hasan, this is FABULOUS!  Thanks for writing and posting this response!
Quick!  Name one Vietnam movie that does NOT include this tune...
Seriously, Bill?  I have places to be.  Keep up a set like this and I'll never be able to leave.
 Biscobret wrote:

I so totally agree!  I don't need to hear this song EVER again even if it is "perfect" and amazing, which it certainly is.  I could turn on any classic rock station and be sure to hear this in an hour - so WHY here?
 
Could it be you don't appreciate the magic of what Bill does?

Starting in the 1980s, NASA had the service of Bob Farquar; "Farquhar is a genius with celestial pinball," says a colleague who's known him for 30 years, "and he'd be the first to admit it."

He specialized in the arcane mathematical art of using planets and moons as slingshots to accelerate and decelerate probes to get them to their target in the shortest time . . .  but he had a knack for showmanship that had him make the positioning of probes at critical junctures coincide with important family dates; sort of, "Today's your 29th birthday - so to celebrate I had probe XYZ use Titan to cut it's velocity by 29% today."  I exaggerate, to give you the idea, but his habit of planning such "coincidences" years in advance drove his colleagues nuts when they learned why things happened when they did.  It drove them even more nuts to try to find more "sensible" trajectories — and never could.  Safely landing the NEAR probe on the asteroid Eros, is as wildly brilliant as anything I can think of.

Why am I telling you this?  Well you can look at the solar system and get bored to death if you focus on the major planets, ignoring the pirouettes playing around them.

When I hear Bill play a musical Jupiter like Hendrix, I salivate with anticipation at the segue slingshot he's preparing.  Today he used All Along the Watchtower to slingshot towards us a little duo that I had liked but would never have expected to be able to follow Hendrix without coming across as pallid as a comet trail.  Previously, I'd ranked First Aid Kit's  "Wolf"  at 6, but immediately boosted it to 8 today, so well did it stand up.

I'd call Bill a genius with musical pinball.


 phlattop wrote:

Dylan himslef loves this version and acknowledged in Biograph that for years (and maybe still) he modeled his live performances of Watchtower after Jimi's version.
 
..still. i see bobby every chance i get. most if not everything played in his sets is unrecognizable.. except watchtower. there's added color here and there but mostly it's jimi's version. 'hellava nod from a living legend
Still get goosebumps every time I hear it!
 Biscobret wrote:

I so totally agree!  I don't need to hear this song EVER again even if it is "perfect" and amazing, which it certainly is.  I could turn on any classic rock station and be sure to hear this in an hour - so WHY here?
 

I just don't see it this way - if you walked through the Louvre every day, would you stop looking at the Mona Lisa?

You are right in that it is perfect and amazing - and probably once a theme song for countless of (now) middle aged folk; I hear it and am reminded of what a talent Jimi was and sometimes ponder what the music scene might be if he was still alive... so, "Why here?" you say? Because it's here and that's what's here - I for one celebrate that, even though I too have heard it so many times.
Speaking of God-like!!  It don't git no better'n this.  Except maybe "Voodoo Child".  That's an 11.
Nice... Pearl Jam and now JH.. {#Sunny}
 Pharlap wrote:
lots of people had "hits" covering Dylan , and some people actually liked them better because of Dylan's "voice issues". Almost none of them could hold a candle to his originals though, This one certainly does
 
Dylan himslef loves this version and acknowledged in Biograph that for years (and maybe still) he modeled his live performances of Watchtower after Jimi's version.
oh, what a song. from the best you can never get enough. Play it again, right now! Yes.
 sirdroseph wrote:

I wonder if there were any quantative analysis to figure out the most played songs in history. This one would surely come in the top 10. I will be most pleased to never hear this song again and have done quite well to avoid it seeing how I do not listen to commercial radio and the few times I actually listen to this station, I make sure and run to the mute when this is played. It has kept me safe; eternal vigilance is the price of non repetition.  Is the song good? I guess so, I just don't know anymore.{#Sad}

 
I so totally agree!  I don't need to hear this song EVER again even if it is "perfect" and amazing, which it certainly is.  I could turn on any classic rock station and be sure to hear this in an hour - so WHY here?
Obviously deserves a 9 or 10 - BUT I can't rate it, 'cause I just don't need to hear this anymore - come on now, really?  This can be heard 10 times a day on just about every commercial radio station - how about some Jimi that's not so so so bloody overdone!
one of my faves for Jimi.  the end guitar riff is wonderful
 onelittlemoose wrote:
Wow, nice mix. Following Arcade Fire Sprawl II. Totally works in a really strange way. 
 
Yes it does !
Wow, nice mix. Following Arcade Fire Sprawl II. Totally works in a really strange way. 
Yeahh  !!  the     {#Bananajam} B      {#Dancingbanana} E   {#Guitarist}   S    {#Bananapiano}   T    {#Drummer}   

10² !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!{#Bananajam}{#Dancingbanana}{#Clap}{#Bananapiano}

The best by the best !!!!!!!!!!!

The most impressive/incredible/astonishing and beautiful guitar solo on entire pop music history!!!!!! {#Notworthy}

lots of people had "hits" covering Dylan , and some people actually liked them better because of Dylan's "voice issues". Almost none of them could hold a candle to his originals though, This one certainly does