Under Covers

Each person feels and perceives music in a different way. Among many other factors, this tends to be determined by our socio-historical context, which influences and transforms us. This can be reflected in those covers in which the same song changes, depending on the artist who interprets it.

All along the watchtower” is one of the best known songs by Bob Dylan. It was publishes in 1967 as part of the album entitled “John Wesley Harding”. Its lyrics, containing  biblical references, are quite complex. Let´s remember that the biblical topic was one of the most important topics for Dylan at the time, but this song was gloomier than the other ones he composed in that time.

Dylan´s version, the original one, in pure deep folk style with his classical and unmistakable harmonic, is enriched with bright sounds at the guitar, which gives the song a melancholic cadence. That is changed in their covers. In the case of Dylan, it is lyrics what takes the leading role, leaving melody in the background. In Hendrix´s cover, it is instrumentation what takes more importance.

I will focus on Jimi Hendrix’s cover. He made this song really successful one year after the original recording, Hendrix, best guitarist ever, included not a version, but also a new song and in a certain way, it was better than the original. This cover was included in his album “The Jimi Hendrix Experience” Hendrix turned out to be a good rock filter with his great and catchy guitar, his riffs and solos that replace Dylan´s harmonic. With his broken rocky voice, he turns this slow song into a rhythmic one. Dylan´s theme has several references from “Watchmen” the Alan Moore´s comic, but it was Hendrix´s cover what was added in the movie.

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