"Watchtower" is one of the all time most played encore songs. The band is thought to have been covering this song since at least their third show
ever. Dave was known to have been covering it solo since before the band came together. The song became an early favorite; at many older shows, the crowd would scream "Watchtower" throughout the entire show. Watchtower is one of the most guested songs and features many popular jams. It sounds hardly anything like Bob Dylan's original or the Jimi Hendrix cover. The song even has evolved over the years, dropping a verse, gaining a Stefan Solo feature intro, and a high note during "the wind began to howl." Due to the chord progression's similarity to the ending section of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven," DMB's performances of this song have occasionally featured lyrical and/or musical references to Stairway, most notably on 12.1.98
and on the majority of its 2008, 2009, 2018, and 2019 performances.
"All Along the Watchtower" originally appears on Bob Dylan's 1968 album John Wesley Harding
. Jimi Hendrix's well-known cover appears on the Jimi Hendrix Experience's 1968 album Electric Ladyland
, as well as on just about every Hendrix compilation.