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Jackson Browne

In many ways, Jackson Browne was the quintessential sensitive California 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 newlfound 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.

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, followed by 2011's Live In Milan. Standing in the Breach, issued in October of 2014, was the first release of new studio material from the artist in six years. It appeared on his Inside Recordings label. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: The Birds Of St. Marks (Single)

Comments

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i knew NOTHING about Jackson Browne, not even his name. I just loved the song. However, I always thought it was TALK TO MY EYES. His bio was very interesting and I am going to buy his latest album.
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Doctor My Ears !! Yeah !!!!
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Tender is the night☆ Jay¿¿¿¿¿¿
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dragonlady60 8 8
Alabaster. U sir are a Jerk
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which album is better Time the Conquerer or Standing in the Breach?
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Jackson is great. How about Mason Proffit/Buff a l o
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eganboogie80 8
Don't hate...I think of Phoebe Cates when I hear this song ��
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joypaw9
0
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Kris 19th
Going through worse times of my life trying to get out of my own head l though that I would back to the time I danced to this music and it would be a good time to dance again. Tks for those who sent the kind of comments that makes you know that good people still exist ������
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Love carla
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For A Dancer..... My favorite song
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dpmaem
Fell in love with Linda Ronstat at Jackson Brown show thanks for a great watm up band
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dpmaem
Without Jackson Brown no Warren Zevon also without David Crosby no Jackson Brown southern california small place
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Love Needs a Heart is one of the greatest poems ever written. Pure perfection
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sweendog678
Best Ever
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songsforsimp l e r t i m e s , . . . s l o w s y o u d o w n . . . t h a n k y o u j a c k s o n b r o w n e
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cutting off the load out in the middle sucks!!!!!!! ! !
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alabastervil l i s 0
comin to a county fair near you soon
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brucegangnat h
Though Adam was a friend of mine I did not know him well!
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phillip_tiem a n
The Load-Out is one of the best ever.
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I saw Jackson Brown in 1988 and 1989 at Mud Island in Memphis, Tennessee. I saw James Taylor in 1988. These two, in my opinion, belong with Bob Dylan as far as creative folk rock. Great words and great instrumental music. We were blessed to be a part of this generation of great musicians.
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Love this song Late for the Sky, Jackson Brown is one the best songwriters ever.
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Saw Jackson Browne on the Hold Out tour 1980 in Cincinnati. Great show.
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The I catered this concert
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beautyofnatu r e . l g
Sky Blue and Black, best truest love song ever. I heard this was a bit of an apology to Daryl Hannah, who broke up with him after abuse. I'm glad there is some redemption and learning.
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one of the best songwriters of the late 60's -into 70's , awesome !
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Ever
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My first concert! !!
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shelly2585
Carolyn B. All hype. Do you really think such a sensitive singrr/songw r i t e r could have actually done something so out of character.
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Running on empty- back then in my running days I wore that t-shirt to death! Thanks for the music Home Boy.
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jaxsonbrowne 1 2 4
I can define certain moments in my life by Jackson Browne's music. Thank you for your mastery and words that tremble the soul and lift the heart, often in equal measure.
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Who play lead slide guitar for jackson brown? My all time favortite lead guitarist!
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Age of innocence, Tender Is The Night!
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One of my all-time favorite artists. I have everything he has put out. Even the less popular political themed albums.
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Jackson Browne has written some if the most brilliant lyrics ever recorded. Intelligent, poignant and personal. Man, his music immediately takes me back to the 70s.
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Makes you think back to some fun times! Kinda sad in away too.
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beautyofnatu r e . l g
Sky Blue and Black is poetry...so true...choke s me up every time
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Andzoo54.
The Pretender !
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"The Pretender helped through a tragic breakup in college
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Love me some Jackson Browne. So many good memories of my younger days.
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Pandora needs to make sure they are putting in the right info when presenting music info. Was listening to Doctor My Eyes and noticed that they had put Saturate Before Using as the album it is off of. This is a huge misconceptio n and the truth is that the album is just called Jackson Browne. How does one contact Pandora to correct this mistake?
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Jackson Browne, Bonnie Rait, Bruce Hornsby, Shawn Colving all together at Saratoga, playing and singing each others songs. Best concert I've ever seen.
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On the SNL marathon on Vh1, I saw his performance from the mid 1970s. Talented to the hilt.
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60's,70's,&8 0 ' s WOW!!!!! What a life. Rock& roll, Motown & disco music what a great era
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Can't stay away
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...and we'll put our dark glasses on,
and we'll make love until our strength is gone,
and when the mornin' light comes streaming it,
we'll get up and do it again ...

I was in a parking lot in college, listening to that song in my car, when I looked up and saw a dark haired, blue eyed beauty that I later fell in love with. Everytime I hear that song I think of her ...
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When you think of Summer, you think of Jackson!
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Spring time at buckeye lake. OHIO yr. 76
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Fast times at ridgemont high!!!
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Hey, this goes out. To the HOLT family. Doug Holt was a buddy as a young boy. Was killed by a pipe hanging over on back of truck. THIS WAS THE SONG. His MOM& DAD played in there house. The family moved to Colorado. Still remember my buddy, Doug. I lived behind them on Jenkins.
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