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Jackson Browne

In many ways, Jackson Browne was the quintessential sensitive Californian singer/songwriter of the early '70s. Only Joni Mitchell and James Taylor ranked alongside him in terms of influence, but neither artist tapped into the post-'60s Zeitgeist like Browne. While the majority of his classic '70s work was unflinchingly personal, it nevertheless provided a touchstone for a generation of maturing baby boomers coming to terms with adulthood. Not only did his introspective, literate lyrics strike a nerve, but his laid-back folk-rock set the template for much of the music to come out of California during the '70s. With his first four albums, Browne built a loyal following that helped him break into the mainstream with 1976's The Pretender. During the late '70s and early '80s, he was at the height of his popularity, as each of his albums charted in the Top Ten. Midway through the '80s, Browne made a series of political protest records that caused his audience to gradually shrink, but when he returned to introspective songwriting with 1993's I'm Alive, he made a modest comeback.

Born in Heidelberg, West Germany, Jackson Browne and his family moved to Los Angeles when he was three years old, and by the time he was a teenager, Browne had developed an interest in folk music. He began playing guitar and writing songs, which he sang at local folk clubs. Early in 1966, he was invited to join the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, whom he had met through the L.A. folk circuit. While he was only with the band for a few months, the group recorded a handful of his songs on its first two records. By the beginning of 1967, he had signed a publishing deal with Nina Music, a division of Elektra Records; Nina helped Browne secure songs on albums by Tom Rush and Steve Noonan in 1968. During 1967 and 1968, he lived in New York's Greenwich Village, where he played in Tim Buckley's backing band. Browne also began working with Nico, who recorded three of his songs on her Chelsea Girl album. When their relationship disintegrated in 1968, he returned to Los Angeles, where he unsuccessfully tried to record a solo album and form a folk group with Ned Doheney and Jack Wilce. Browne continued to play local clubs and his reputation as a songwriter continued to grow, with Linda Ronstadt and the Byrds recording his songs. By the end of 1971, he had signed with David Geffen's fledgling Asylum Records on the strength of his widely circulated demo tape.

Jackson Browne was released in the spring of 1972, spawning the Top Ten hit single "Doctor My Eyes." Shortly after "Doctor My Eyes" reached its peak position, "Take It Easy," a song Browne co-wrote with Glenn Frey, became the Eagles' breakthrough hit. Many songs from his debut, including "Rock Me on the Water" and "Jamaica Say You Will," became singer/songwriter standards, but the album itself didn't establish Browne as a pop star, despite its hit single. On his second album, 1973's For Everyman, he began a long-term collaboration with instrumentalist David Lindley. For Everyman was a commercial disappointment, yet it consolidated his cult following.

Released in the fall of 1974, Late for the Sky expanded Browne's audience significantly, peaking at number 14 on the charts and going gold by the beginning of the following year. Browne's first wife, Phyllis, committed suicide in the spring of 1976, but in the wake of the tragedy he recorded his commercial breakthrough album, The Pretender. The record climbed into the Top Ten upon its fall 1976 release, going platinum in the spring of 1977. In the summer, Browne launched an extensive tour, recording a new album while he was on the road. The resulting record, Running on Empty (1977), was a bigger success than its predecessor, peaking at number three and launching the hit singles "Running on Empty" and "Stay/The Load-Out." With his career riding high, Browne began to pursue political and social causes, most notably protesting the use of nuclear energy.

The success of Hold Out, the 1980 follow-up to Running on Empty, was evidence of Jackson Browne's popularity. Though the album wasn't as well crafted as its predecessors, it became his only number one album upon its summer release. In the summer of 1982, "Somebody's Baby," from the soundtrack of Fast Times at Ridgemont High, became Browne's biggest hit, climbing to number seven on the U.S. charts. Divided between love songs and political protests, Lawyers in Love was another hit due to success of the hit singles "Lawyers in Love," "Tender Is the Night," and "For a Rocker." Nevertheless, the album also showcased a newly found social consciousness, which dominated 1986's Lives in the Balance. The album lacked any hit singles, yet its fiery condemnation of the Reagan era won an audience -- the album stayed on the charts for over six months and went gold.

Jackson Browne continued to write primarily political songs on 1989's World in Motion, but the record became his first album to not go gold. Browne was quiet for the next four years, working on a variety of social causes and suffering a painful public breakup with his girlfriend, actress Daryl Hannah. He finally returned with a comeback effort in the fall of 1993 entitled I'm Alive. Comprised of personal songs, I'm Alive received his best reviews since the late '70s and the record went gold without producing any major hits. In the spring of 1996, Browne released Looking East, which failed to gain the same attention as I'm Alive. In 2002, he released The Naked Ride Home. Two years later the two-disc The Very Best of Jackson Browne hit the shelves as Browne was being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by fellow Hall of Famer Bruce Springsteen. Around this time Browne took to the road and played intimate acoustic shows around the globe. The 2005 release Solo Acoustic, Vol. 1 was compiled from these concerts and appeared on Inside Recordings, an independent label founded by Browne. Solo Acoustic, Vol. 2 appeared in 2008, while an album of new material, Time the Conqueror, followed later in the year. Spring 2010 saw the release of Love Is Strange. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

"If I could just get you to smile before I leave..." Is one of the greatest lines ever recorded. Good stuff jackson good stuff
Lol ges gay like juvenile Berber but he is a beber
I've always liked his music, back in my twenty's and now in my sixty's. His lyric's are stick to your
ribs and uplifting as well as being very cool. As a native Californian his music seams like my own, I'm sure if anyone is a pretender, I make the list. His tribute to the working man connected with me at a early age and I made it my own song. In the shape of a heart, those lyrics are one of my favorite songs.. Writer, guitar player, just one of the very best!
Glad to see he's still alive.... Rock on !!!
pmagaihe
2 words Im Alive
fastcar3829
WHAT LYRICS! Jackson Browne ain't no pretender!
the truth will wake us up. The world we live in will be so different when a majority of the people wake up. Change starts from within. It would be a shame if people don't start taking this wonderful opportunity. Please go to www.truthcon t e s t . c o m and read "The Present."
jkelley318
I love Jackson music. It feel speaks to you and is up lifting.
djaresh
tremendous musician/sin g e r . . . . b u t once he fell victim to his own hubris in the mid/late 80's with his version of the truth politically i tuned him out with most of America. oh what coulda been....
djaresh
love listening to most of his music, but like other artists who become too self absorbed and begin to believe they're Midas no matter the activity, once we fell victim to his own hubris of the mid/late 80's i tuned him out like most of America. it was his loss....neve r fully recovered. shame.
Well said If6708. JB is the most powerfully emotional singer/songw r i t e r of the early 70s and one of the best of all time. There is so much angst in his work that it very often brings me to tears -- not, as often happens with something I relate to personally like Best of Our Love, but because HE feels so very much and is not afraid in the least to show it. Yes, we are MORE than lucky to have him and you are lucky to be remembered for loving him.
lf6708
I have loved Jackson Brown since his very first album in 1971. I love the fact that when I see old dear friends, (even people that were just acquaintance s ) , tell me that whenever they hear Jackson Brown, they think of me. What a wonderful thing to be remembered for. JB's music made many memories for many people. We are so lucky to have him.
rlane023
Look
dodea48
There was a guy at Hofstra in 1979 who looked exactly like JB,
wmcgeorgia
really? Sir, Did you write such a real no matter to her song. How?
In my veins, those paint by number dreams
claricentp91 7
I've been making over $350 a week from home using this site called BLUDOS.COM basically you take surveys for cash. You can do this for free as well.
pleasing and kind to the soul
shawnnavuz71 1
If you wanna make some extra cash from home you can go to BLUDOS.COM and Click on Start Today then go from there. You don't need to pay to start.
garrytroxell
Met him a few years back. Told him his music got me through some of the toughest times.
AWESOME!

MOONSHADOW
HOWEVER, this is just not one of his good songs
Jackson's voice and lyrics - simply put - they shine.
Have loved him since the first time heard him. I feel like he wrote my thoughts
least we forget; he could be funny too: red neck friend and ready or not! wish he had explored more of that as well as taking himself soooo seriuously!
jones.728
Don't read this because it actually works.You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life.Tomorro w will be the best day of your life.However if you don't post this you will die in2 days.Now that you started reading this so don't stop.This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in the next 143 minutes.When done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on your screen in big letters this is so scary because it actually works.
quiet voice: It would be nice if you would reference the song, since, you know, THIS IS THE ARTIST'S PAGE! He has made several albums over the years, which, I would assume, would encompass several DOZEN songs.
Horrible song...super f i c i a l crap
HE SPEAKS FOR ALL BABY BOOMERS!

MARK
Jackson is possibly the best writer...
mikepascarel l o
Shaky Town is not the most commercially successful song from Runnin On Empty but that is what makes it the best.
robertsteinm e t z
I have adored him since my 20's 40 years ago. Some interesting footage about him on the Eagles HBO special
c.strandoo
Love
Politics is sometimes in the greatest need for the thoughtfulne s s of a poet, you think?
Maybe the greatest poet of our generationn
Shaky town, great tune. As are every single from the terrific late for the sky thru runnin on empty. Them for some reason he started focusing on politics instead of human feelings and the heart. Big mistake jackson big mistake. From 1973 they 1977 u were the Walt Whitman of our time.
Dont know much about him but I love runnin on empty!
kburk285
We fell in love to the words, Next thing I remember she was all moved in & I was buyin her a washin machine. Been Happily married 34 years. How about that. Music has power, JB makes you feel it.
I love Jackson. Definitely one of America's top 5 singer songwriters.
He was amazing at Tanglewood 2013!
dgillim3
Iconic
Love his music.
Jackson Browne is looking and sounding as good as ever. Saw him live with Sarah Watkins the other night at an outdoor summer concert and he was absolutely awesome! His song writing is genius.
emarshall329
and gotten me through some really rough times as well.
emarshall329
agree with you mak270. A song to remember all by. PROUFOUND - who can do that but Jackson Browne. Truly amazing. And his life's experiences have taught me sooooo much
Jackson has a song for every person in my life - it's like he can read my mind - no matter how fast I run - I can never seem to get away from me -
emarshall329
have seen him over 200 time and met him 7 times. One of his best shows was with Bruce Hornsby, Bonnie Raitt and Shawn Colvin - all together. They helped each other and sang with each other on each one's song. Sometimes in pairs of two, but mostly all together. The collaboratio n of those four was sooooooo powerful. But I'll take Jackson solo any day, especially these acousticshow s . I've now got my kids attending with me!
emarshall329
there is no other like Jackson Brown and his music. the Bird's of St. Mark's is one the greatest pieces of music ever witten, as is all his music. Such talent. Can't wait for the show July 09!!!!
"need you more than want you" for me always the most romantic words my ears and heart could hear. 30 years later, a man, a man I met in India who never heard Jimmy Webb's beautiful words, said those words to me. I've been lost in his love ever since. Great station. Thanks.
Wrote these days at age 16 the greatest song writer ever got the headphones on and a tear in my eye rite now
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