Jimi Hendrix was an exceptional musician, a rock’n’roll pioneer, innovator, and experimentalist, and his music has left a huge impact and lasting influence on music and musicians over the last 50 years or so. He was also an excellent songwriter, so you may be wondering why I’d highlight “All Along the Watchtower,” which was written by Bob Dylan. Simply put, it’s one of my favorite, or what I’d consider one of the best cover songs of all time.
Hendrix’s interpretation truly sets a standard for the cover, at least for me, and even for Bob Dylan. In fact, when asked by John Dolen in a 1995 interview for the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel about what he felt upon hearing Hendrix’s version for the first time, Dylan said, “It overwhelmed me, really. 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. I took license with the song from his version, actually, and continue to do it to this day.”
You can learn more about Jimi Hendrix here:
About the Curator - Jane Asylum
When my mother wasn’t walking around the house belting out early 60s’ girl-band lyrics, she was collecting compilation albums, specifically from K-Tel. She may not have had the most refined taste, but she enjoyed variety, or at least that’s what I recall. I poured over them all, preferring some sounds to others. And when I found the perfect song, I’d play it over and over until ready to perform my latest theatrical dance incarnation.
With my family all gathered on floral grey sofas in our basement apartment, I’d set the vinyl on the turntable of a brown fibreboard stereo and not-so-carefully lower the needle. It would pop, screech, and crackle before any music spilled from the weaved-wheat speakers. My toes would press, lift, and sweep through the blue-green shag carpet, my arms would flail, and the music would bass and treble through my soul.
I’m no longer that 6-year-old doing private-audience interpretive dance routines, but my passion remains just as intense. I have no special superpowers as a curator — just my love of sounds and lyrics that transport, transform, move, and make your body groove.