Today signifies the start of 2 things.
Winter (fucking brrr. 3 months more. Dangit.)
and, the Hottest 100 of All Time Voting at Triple J.
So this month, I dedicate myself to finding out the Top 10 songs of my life to vote for.
This is not going to be an easy task.
We all listen to thousands (probably tens of thousands) of songs in our lives. How to pick the best?
Is it your favourite to listen to? The ones that make you smile? The ones that you remember from pivotal points in your life?
The ones where you were sad? Happy? Angry?
But what about those songs that were released before you were born? Do you pick those ones that were successful? Do you have to include a Beatles track? A Nirvana track? A Michael Jackson track?
Each week I plan to dive headfirst into my musical history and pluck out a couple of worthy songs that will appear on my voting page.
This week I go old school. I go back to 1967.
I have never been a huge Bob Dylan fan, but while his voice may not be my cup of tea, his lyrics are something else, and his musicianship is outstanding.
What he did do back in 1967 is write a little song called All Along The Watchtower.
A little guitarist called Jimi Hendrix was then passed this track in 1968 and decided to give it a shot. He recorded it over and over until the Bass player gave up, so he recorded the whole thing himself.
The result? A beautifully structured, powerful but simple cover song.
Bob Dylan said it best;
“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”
Listen to the original version, as recorded by Jimi that day on Electric Ladyland as below
My first experience with this song would have been in my early teen years as I browsed through my dad’s record collection.
His Hendrix records always stood out for me, even if it was just for the cover-art originally.
In my first cover band during high school we also covered this song and it’s always been one of my favourites to play as well.
So there we go.
Song No. 1 for the Hottest 100 of All Time voting.
1. All Along The Watchtower – Jimi Hendrix
Stay tuned for more…
EDIT: News just in! Apparently Jimi Hendrix was murdered by his manager?