There’s only one way to end this week’s theme, I think: “All Along The Watchtower”.
Hendrix’ version is considered by many to be the greatest cover of all time, and you can hear why. Dylan himself said he came to incorporate some of Hendrix’ interpretation into how he played the song. But in terms of which of the two is better, that’s a much harder debate to have.
My feeling is that both are exploring the same apocalyptic theme, only from different points in time. Dylan’s perspective is at the calm just before the storm; Hendrix is right in the middle of it. Or, if you prefer, here’s how Gang of Four guitarist Andy Gill describes the difference:
“In Dylan’s version of the song, it’s the barrenness of the scenario which grips, the high haunting harmonica and simple forward motion of the riff carrying understated implications of cataclysm; as subsequently recorded by Jimi Hendrix… that cataclysm is rendered scarily palpable through the dervish whirls of guitar.”
Okay, enough from me. Bloviate away in the comments.
Hope y’all enjoyed this week’s MPC set.