From the recording Knockin' On Heaven's Door
Solo performance by JB Clark on 12 string guitar.
"Knockin' on Heaven's Door" is a song written and performed by Bof Dylan for the soundtrack of the 1973 film Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid. It reached #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.
The song describes the feelings and impressions of a dying deputy, who can no longer continue his role as a law enforcer. Over the years Dylan has changed the lyrics, as have others who have performed this song.
Arthur Louis recorded a version of the song in a reggae crossover style. Louis's arrangement was released as a single in July 1975, a week before Eric Clapton released his own interpretation of Louis's arrangement, of the same song.
Eric Clapton recorded a reggae influenced version of the song produced by Albhy Galuten in August 1975 and released it as a single later that year, almost two years after Dylan's original track was released, using Louis' arrangement.
The song was performed by Bob Dylan & The Grateful Dead, during a joint tour in July 1987. Between August 1987 and July 1994 the Grateful Dead often closed their shows with a performance of this song.
In 1987, Guns N' Roses started including the song in their live sets. A live version of the track was initially released on the Maxi-Single of "Welcome to the Jungle". They recorded a studio version in 1990 for Days of Thunder's soundtrack, which was later slightly modified for the 1991 album Use Your Illusion II (basically discarding the responses in the second verse). Released as the fourth single from the album, it reached #2 on the UK Singles Chart.