Writer: Bob Dylan
Producer: Tom Wilson
Recorded: January 1965 in New York City
Released: March 1965
|Players:||Bob Dylan — vocals, guitar
Al Gorgoni — guitar
Jeff Boone — bass
Paul Griffin — keyboards
Bobby Gregg — drums
|Album:||Bringing It All Back Home (Columbia, 1965)|
Bob Dylan based “Maggie's Farm” on an earlier song called “Sharecropper's Lament,” which was recorded in 1929 by the Bently Boys and is featured on Harry Smith's Anthology Of American Folk Music.
The song is one of Dylan's strongest and most strident, declaring defiance against persecuting employers in general and, in its original form, slavery in particular.
A number of the song's lyrics have become part of Dylan's lexicon, particularly the line “Everybody wants you to be just like them.”
Bringing It All Back Home, the album home of “Maggie's Farm,” was one of the most revolutionary in the singer-songwriter's career. Half of it was his more traditional, folk-styled performances, while the other half was electric rock designed to compete with British Invasion bands such as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.
The album was recorded during a three-day session in New York.
Not surprisingly, the album was greeted with ambivalence and some harsh criticism from Dylan's fans, although it soared to Number Six on the Billboard 200–his highest showing up to that point–and earned him a gold record.
“Maggie's Farm” was the first song Dylan performed during his controversial appearance at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, where he played electric guitar on stage for the first time.