Ed Sheeran Attempts ‘All Along the Watchtower’ in New ‘Jack Ryan’ Super Bowl Ad
Pop star Ed Sheeran and rapper Devlin’s cover of “All Along the Watchtower” is used in a new Super Bowl commercial that doubles as a trailer for the upcoming Amazon spy series Jack Ryan.
The track, which includes samples from Bob Dylan’s original version and Jimi Hendrix’s classic cover, can be heard above. It was originally released as a single called “Watchtower” in 2012 and became Devlin’s first U.K. Top 10 hit and Sheeran’s fifth.
Dylan’s version was released in December 1967 on his album John Wesley Harding, which redefined the public perception of his art. It came after an 18-month layup that he blamed on a motorcycle crash. The dozen songs for the album are believed to have been written in a relatively short period and were recorded over a whirlwind 12 hours of studio sessions.
The subject and structure of “All Along the Watchtower” have been hotly debated over the years, with Dylan’s increased interest in painting thought to have contributed to the darkness and imagery he projected into the work. Hendrix, who’d been given an early acetate of the song, recorded his version less than two months after Dylan's original session. Dylan was reportedly so impressed that he later adjusted his own performance to take account of the changes Hendrix had made. Over the years, the song has been covered by artists including Pearl Jam, the Grateful Dead, U2, Neil Young and many others.
The Jack Ryan series, starring The Office's John Krasinski, was first announced two years ago and premieres on Amazon on Aug. 31. Producers said that the latest take on Tom Clancy’s character finds him embroiled in “a dangerous gambit with a new breed of terrorism that threatens destruction on a global scale.” The trailer is scheduled to air after the Super Bowl LII halftime show on Feb. 4.
Listen to a Live Version of Bob Dylan's 'All Along the Watchtower'
Listen to the Jimi Hendrix Experience's Version of 'All Along the Watchtower'