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Number 248

Bob Dylan - John Wesley Harding (CBS 63252)

Recorded in October and November 1967 and released just after Christmas in the same year, Dylan's eighth studio album saw the singer-songwriter return to his acoustic roots, with an album of new songs presumably written during the Basement Tapes sessions. After recuperating from a motorbike accident, which effectively put him out of the public gaze for a period of time, Dylan found himself holed up in a basement with his touring band, which in turn prompted a rethink in his musical direction. Dylan and the group of musicians who would later be known simply as The Band, worked on a series of songs which would bridge the gap between his last album Blonde on Blonde and his next studio album. Having recorded several songs with The Band, most of which wouldn't be officially released until the mid-1970s, Dylan took an unexpected move and relocated to Nashville with a just a handful of musicians, Charlie McCoy on bass, Lenny Buttrey on drums and Pete Drake on steel guitar on just a couple of tracks, and with Bob Johnson producing, recorded a collection of sparsely arranged new songs, such as I'll Be Your baby Tonight, I Pity the Poor Immigrant and All Along the Watchtower.