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John Wesley Harding is the eighth studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on December 27, 1967, by Columbia Records. Produced by Bob Johnston, 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, partly released in 1975 as The Basement Tapes, and released in complete form in 2014 as The Bootleg Series Vol. 11: The Basement Tapes Complete.
John Wesley Harding was well received by critics and sold well, reaching No. 2 on the U.S. charts and topping the UK charts. The commercial performance was considered remarkable considering that Dylan had kept Columbia from releasing the album with much promotion or publicity. Less than three months after its release, John Wesley Harding was certified gold by the RIAA. "All Along the Watchtower" became one of his most popular songs after Jimi Hendrix's rendition was released in the autumn of 1968.
The album was included in Robert Christgau's "Basic Record Library" of 1950s and 1960s recordings, published in Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981). In 2003, it was ranked number 301 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, moving to 303 in the 2012 version of that list, then to 337 in the 2020 version. It was voted number 203 in the third edition of Colin Larkin's book All Time Top 1000 Albums (2000).
The album is named after Texas outlaw John Wesley Hardin, whose name was misspelled.
- 1. John Wesley Harding
- 2. As I Went Out One Morning
- 3. I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine
- 4. All Along The Watchtower
- 5. The Ballad Of Frankie Lee And Judas Priest
- 6. Drifter's Escape
- 1. Dear Landlord
- 2. I Am A Lonesome Hobo
- 3. I Pity The Poor Immigrant
- 4. The Wicked Messenger
- 5. Down Along The Cove
- 6. I'll Be Your Baby Tonight