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John Wesley Harding Original recording remastered

63 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, June 1, 2004
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John Wesley Harding + Nashville Skyline + Highway 61 Revisited
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Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Includes FREE MP3 version of this album Here's how (restrictions apply)
  • Bob Dylan: "At last I was here, in New York City... I was there to find singers, the ones I'd heard on record--Dave Van Ronk, Peggy Seeger, Ed McCurdy, Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry, Josh White, the New Lost City Ramblers, Reverend Gary Davis... most of all to find Woody Guthrie." Read more musical excerpts from Chronicles, Vol. 1 on our Music You Should Hear page.


Editorial Reviews

In the year of psychedelia, Dylan bucked the trend with this rootsy classic. All Along the Watchtower is the highlight on an album packed with amazing tracks like I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine; Dear Landlord; The Wicked Messenger and I'll Be Your Baby Tonight .


Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 1, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00026WU5U
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,254 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 40 people found the following review helpful By CultFilmFreaksDotCom on October 9, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I like to listen to the bass on this album. Charlie McCoy. You turn up the bass and it's very relaxing. This is one of my favorite Dylan albums, and didn't used to be. It is important because when it came out, the music that he had started was peaking, and while bands he influenced like THE BEATLES, THE EXPIRIENCE, THE DOORS, you name it, were peaking out, literally, with acid-inspired deeply personal music that had flaming guitar riffs and ten things going on at once, Bob sat down in his rocking chair, and wrote twelve laidback songs, most in a distant third person perspective, all with only a guitar, a harmonica, a piano, a bass, a drummer, and a steel guitar (on two tracks). Dylan wasn't burning up the sky on purpose, instead, he was painting the earth. And NASHVILLE SKYLINE, the next album, goes against the grain he started altogether, as it is a full on country album. But this one if folky, and underrated, and one can listen to it again and again. Great, pure, fantastic Dylan album.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Peter Uys HALL OF FAME on April 7, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Dylan's move into country was wise and apt, just right for the times. The title track is a legend allegedly about a famous ancestor of the obscure singer-songwriter Tim Hardin. The awesome I Dreamt I Saw St. Augustine is spiritual and moving, All Along The Watchtower has a surreal edge to it and The Drifter's Escape is an interesting story song.

Dear Landlord fits the country style well, I Pity The Poor Immigrant is a touching protest song and I'll Be Your Baby Tonight is catchy country-pop, as proved by the many cover versions. Speaking of which, I first heard many of these classics via other artists' interpretations, e.g. Jimi Hendrix who made a psychedelic anthem of All Along The Watchtower and Joan Baez' splendid versions of St Augustine and I Pity The Poor Immigrant.

It's risky to try rating Dylan's individual albums, but John Wesley Harding is certainly amongst his five best as it is so consistently great as regards the quality of the compositions, the performance and the mastery of the country style. This memorable work with its haunting songs has stood the test of time very well.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Lindazo on April 22, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
As a 74 year old woman who loves all kinds of music, I am both proud and ashamed to admit that all those years when I laughingly wondered why the off-key, scratchy-voiced Dylan was such an icon -- those years were wasted times I might have enjoyed listening to him. This album is a delight and taking a new "tour" of his work has been an adventure. Don't look for him to explain anything and don't look for greater meanings. Just enjoy the genius a la Picasso!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Shell-Zee on December 5, 2009
Format: Audio CD
In December of 1967 Bob Dylan released his long awaited follow up to the legendary Blonde On Blonde album. For more than a year Dylan was holed up in West Saugerties, New York with a band of Canadians and a drummer/singer/mandolin player from Arkansas. They called themselves The Hawks, (later re-named The Band). Bob was recouping from a motorcycle accident and writing songs that suited the juke-joint feeling they provided as a back-up unit. But what Bob really wanted to do was to head down to Nashville and record with the great session players Charlie McCoy, Ken Buttrey and Pete Drake. The songs he had written were naratives of characters from the old West, Frankie Lee, Tom Payne and John Wesley Harding. There were also figures like Judas and St. Augustine, names familiar to the New Testament. And there were anonymous characters Landlords, Hobos, Immigrants, Gamblers and Drifters, all faceless and nondescript, but worthy of great fear, unfathomable pity and deep respect.

The audience was slow to react to this quiter, gentler Bob Dylan. Teens and young adults who were weaned on the likes of Highway 61, Subterranean Homesick Blues and Like A Rolling Stone felt betrayed. Like the "folkies" at Newport who wanted more of Blowin' In The Wind and The Times They Are A Changin'. They couldn't recognize him and didn't want their hero to change. Just who was this stranger surrounded by weird looking figures on the album cover? And what exactly was Bob saying about "plow-men digging my earth" and "Immigrants who wished that they had stayed home"? What was this "Watchtower" inhabited by princes, thieves, bare-foot servants and Jokers? And who was this "fairest damsel that ever did walk in chains"?

The following year Bob released Nashville Skyline, a more mainstream country album.
Read more ›
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Grigory's Girl on February 1, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This was Dylan's first album back after the motorcycle crash, and it's a moving, mysterious, and poignant album. The songs are shorter than his previous (and later) albums, and the instrumentation is bare to the bone. A lot of rock acts in the 1960's were trying to outdo one another (The Beach Boys put out Pet Sounds, The Beatles try to one up them with Sgt. Pepper, The Stones had Their Satanic Majesty's Request, Dylan had his Blonde on Blonde), so when Dylan made this simple (though not simplistic) album, the rock world was hugely surprised. Considering the turmoil going on in the country (Vietnam, Woodstock, hippies), this album is so far removed from that. John Wesley Harding is an album that's quite surprising in its depth and maturity. It's quickly becoming a favorite, with kudos going to the great song The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest. I saw Dylan do it in concert once (he did all the verse), and it's always been a favorite. But there isn't one wasted song on this album. This was Dylan's last great album for a while. He followed this with the cute (but slight) Nashville Skyline, the godawful Self Portrait, and the decent New Morning. All those albums had some good stuff on them, but they weren't as dynamic as JWH (and its predecessors) were. Quite a beautiful album.
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