Suggest a Songfact / Artistfact
Album: Blonde On BlondeReleased: 1966
Dylan (from Rolling Stone magazine): "It's easier to be disconnected than connected. I've got a huge hallelujah for all the people who're connected, that's great, but I can't do that."
Al Kooper, who was a prolific session musician, played the Hammond B3 organ. Kooper went on to become a successful producer and worked on some of Lynyrd Skynyrd's most famous tracks.
Dylan wrote this song while he was dating folk singer Joan Baez, but was falling in love with his first wife Sara.
In her 1975 song "Winds of the Old Days," Joan Baez seems to be making the case that she is Johanna. Sample lyrics: "A decade flew past her and there on the page, she read that the prince had returned to the stage," "Most of the sour grapes are gone from the bough, ghosts of Johanna will visit you there."
In their June 1997 issue, Mojo magazine named this one of their 100 Greatest Psychedelic Classics. Jon Savage wrote of the song: "As early as 1963's 'Lay Down Your Weary Tune,' Dylan was exploring the egoless surrender to the universe that would characterise the first, benign phase of psychedelia. From 1965 on, his gnomic, gnostic utterances laid down the parameters for what would follow, as The Beatles, The Byrds and The Rolling Stones fell under his spell. Dylan issued disclaimers - "I never have and never will write a drug song... It's just vulgar," he exclaimed on the last night of his 1966 world tour - but this 'Visions Of Johanna,' taken from the night before, has the infinitesimal focus of acid-time compression."