20th Century Album of the Week

50 years ago this week the UK No 1 Album was John Wesley Harding by Bob Dylan

Listen on Spotify

John Wesley Harding is the eighth studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. The album marked Dylan’s return to semi-acoustic instrumentation and folk-influenced songwriting after three albums of lyrically abstract, blues-indebted rock music. John Wesley Harding shares many stylistic threads with, and was recorded around the same time as, the prolific series of home recording sessions with the Band.

John Wesley Harding was exceptionally well received by critics and sold well, topping the UK charts for three weeks, and was eventually certified Gold by the BPI. “All Along the Watchtower” (side 1, track 4) became one of his most popular songs after Jimi Hendrix‘s rendition was released in the autumn of 1968.

The album is named after Texas outlaw John Wesley Hardin, whose name was misspelled.


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