“Dear landlord, please don’t put a price on my soul.”
Today until April 28th, when Bob Dylan’s Together Through Life drops, we’ll be counting down the Top 30 Bob Dylan songs of all time.
In judging Dylan’s incredibly vast of body of work, we’re weighing cultural impact, lyrical acumen, indelible melodies, and shame-facedly personal biases.
In order for a song to qualify, Dylan didn’t necessarily have to write it (“Moonshiner,” anyone?) but he did have to make it his own. Don’t worry, we won’t screw around too much.
And so, without further adieu, the 30th greatest Bob Dylan song of all time: “Dear Landlord.”
It’s track no. 7 on the 1967 back-to-basics album John Wesley Harding, and features a restless melody and wandering chord progression unique to Dylan’s work. You can read the musicologist’s breakdown of the song here.
Some have speculated that the “landlord” in question is Dylan’s original manager, the infamous Albert Grossman, Dylan’s co-star of sorts in Don’t Look Back. The two parted ways in 1970.
Whatever’s going on, it’s definitely a song about emotional real estate, as opposed to the less interesting kind.