A little over a year after a motorcycle accident removed Bob Dylan from the public eye, the singer-songwriter headed down to Nashville to record his long-awaited follow-up to Blonde on Blonde. It was 1967, the year of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, the Summer of Love and the Monterey Pop Festival. Psychedelic music was everywhere and many expected Dylan to further stretch his boundaries with his next release.
As usual, Dylan completely defied expectations. John Wesley Harding is a low-key folk-rock album cut with a tiny crew of Nashville pros. It was recorded during the course of three relatively quick sessions spread over a month. Dylan did virtually nothing to promote the disc and it didn't spawn any hits, though the following year, Jimi Hendrix released a cover of "All Along the Watchtower" that became a smash all over the world. It's since been covered by countless artists, and Dylan himself has performed it over 2,000 times – more than any other song in his catalog.