Remember When Bob Dylan Topped the ‘Billboard’ 200 for the Fifth Time & Set a Chart Record with ‘Together Through Life’

On this day (May 16) in 2009, Bob Dylan scored his fifth No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 with Together Through Life. The album, the lauded singer/songwriter’s 33rd studio effort, was unique in that Dylan collaborated on the lyrics to nine of the record’s 10 tracks with longtime Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter.

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Dylan recorded Together Through Life at Jackson Browne’s Groove Masters studio in Santa Monica, California, and produced it himself under his Jack Frost pseudonym. The album featured contributions from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers member Mike Campbell on guitar and mandolin, and Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo on accordion and guitar.

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In a 2009 Rolling Stone interview, Dylan discussed collaborating with Hunter on the album.

“Hunter is an old buddy,” he noted. “We could probably write a hundred songs together if we thought it was important or the right reasons were there. He’s got a way with words and I do too. We both write a different type of song than what passes today for songwriting.”

[RELATED: 5 Fascinating Facts About Bob Dylan’s 1969 Country Album Nashville Skyline]

Hunter and Dylan previously co-wrote a pair of songs together, “Silvio” and “The Ugliest Girl in the World,” which both appeared on Bob’s 1988 album Down in the Groove.

Dylan Set a Chart Record with Together Through Life

Dylan was 67 years, 11 months old when Together Through Life topped the Billboard 200, making him the oldest artist at the time to ever have a No. 1 album on the chart. He eclipsed Neil Diamond, who was 67 years, four months old when Home Before Dark topped the chart in 2008. Interestingly, Dylan had previously set the record before Diamond, when his album Modern Times hit No. 1 in 2006, when he was 65.

In October 2011, Tony Bennett broke Dylan’s record when, at age 85, his Duets II album hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200. An 88-year-old Bennett eclipsed his own record in October 2014, when his collaborative album with Lady Gaga, Cheek to Cheek, topped the chart.

More About the Album

Two tracks from the album were released as singles, “Beyond Here Lies Nothin’” and “I Feel a Change Comin’ On.” Neither charted.

At the 2010 Grammy Awards, Together Through Life was nominated for the Best Americana Album honor, while “Beyond Here Lies Nothin’” scored a nod in the Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance category.

Dylan’s Other Chart-Topping Albums

Together Through Life is Dylan’s last album to date to top the Billboard 200. His other four albums to hit No. 1 are Planet Waves (1974), Blood on the Tracks (1975), Desire (1976), and the aforementioned Modern Times.

Dylan’s Upcoming Tour Plans

Dylan is scheduled to perform on all the dates of Willie Nelson’s 2024 Outlaw Music Festival Tour. The trek kicks off on June 21 in Alpharetta, Georgia, and is mapped out through a September 20 show in Gilford, New Hampshire.

The lineup also includes John Mellencamp and Robert Plant & Alison Krauss on select dates.

Tickets for the Outlaw Music Festival shows are available now via various outlets, including StubHub.

Together Through Life Track List:

  1. “Beyond Here Lies Nothin’”
  2. “Life Is Hard”
  3. “My Wife’s Home Town”
  4. “If You Ever Go to Houston”
  5. “Forgetful Heart”
  6. “Jolene”
  7. “This Dream of You”
  8. “Shake Shake Mama”
  9. “I Feel a Change Comin’ On”
  10. “It’s All Good”

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