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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
full bio

Selected Discography


Track List: Standing In The Breach

1. The Birds Of St. Marks

2. Yeah Yeah

3. The Long Way Around

4. Leaving Winslow

5. If I Could Be Anywhere

6. You Know The Night

7. Walls And Doors

8. Which Side

9. Standing In The Breach

10. Here


Track List: Time The Conqueror

1. Time The Conqueror

2. Off Of Wonderland

3. The Drums Of War

4. The Arms Of Night

5. Where Were You

6. Going Down To Cuba

7. Giving That Heaven Away

8. Live Nude Cabaret

9. Just Say Yeah

10. Far From The Arms Of Hunger


Track List: Solo Acoustic, Vol. 2

1. Never Stop (Acoustic)

2. Intro (Acoustic)

3. The Night Inside Me (Acoustic)

4. Intro (Acoustic)

5. Enough Of The Night (Acoustic)

6. Intro (Acoustic)

7. Something Fine (Acoustic)

8. Sky Blue And Black (Acoustic)

9. In The Shape Of A Heart (Acoustic)

10. Alive In The World (Acoustic)

11. Intro (Acoustic)

12. Casino Nation (Acoustic)

13. All Good Things (Acoustic)

14. Intro (Acoustic)

15. Somebody's Baby (Acoustic)

16. Intro (Acoustic)

17. Redneck Friend (Acoustic)

18. Intro (Acoustic)

19. My Stunning Mystery Companion (Acoustic)


Track List: Solo Acoustic, Vol. 1

1. The Barricades Of Heaven (Acoustic) (Live)

2. Intro - These Days (Live)

3. These Days (Acoustic) (Live)

4. Intro - The Birds Of St. Marks (Live)

5. The Birds Of St. Marks (Acoustic) (Live)

6. Intro - Fountain Of Sorrow (Live)

7. Fountain Of Sorrow (Acoustic) (Live)

8. Your Bright Baby Blues (Acoustic) (Live)

9. For A Dancer (Acoustic) (Live)

10. Too Many Angels (Acoustic) (Live)

11. Intro - For Everyman (Live)

12. For Everyman (Acoustic) (Live)

13. Intro - Lives In The Balance (Live)

14. Lives In The Balance (Acoustic) (Live)

15. Intro - Looking East (Live)

16. Looking East (Acoustic) (Live)

17. Intro - The Pretender (Live)

18. The Pretender (Acoustic) (Live)

19. Intro - Take It Easy (Live)

20. Take It Easy (Acoustic) (Live)


Track List: The Very Best Of Jackson Browne

Disc 1

1. Doctor My Eyes

2. Jamaica Say You Will

3. Rock Me On The Water

4. Take It Easy

5. These Days

6. Redneck Friend

7. For Everyman

8. For A Dancer

9. Fountain Of Sorrow

10. Late For The Sky

11. Before The Deluge

12. Your Bright Baby Blues

13. The Pretender

14. Here Come Those Tears Again

15. The Load-Out

16. Stay (Live)

Disc 2

1. Running On Empty (Live)

2. You Love The Thunder

3. Boulevard

4. Somebody's Baby

5. Tender Is The Night

6. Lawyers In Love

7. In The Shape Of A Heart

8. Lawless Avenues

9. Lives In The Balance

10. I Am A Patriot

11. Sky Blue And Black

12. I'm Alive

13. The Barricades Of Heaven

14. Looking East

15. The Naked Ride Home

16. The Night Inside Me


Track List: The Naked Ride Home

1. The Naked Ride Home

2. The Night Inside Me

3. Casino Nation

4. For Taking The Trouble

5. Never Stop

6. Walking town

7. About My Imagination

8. Sergio Leone

9. Don't You Want To Be There

10. My Stunning Mystery Companion


Track List: Looking East

1. Looking East

2. The Barricades Of Heaven

3. Some Bridges

4. Information Wars

5. I'm The Cat

6. Culver Moon

7. Baby How Long

8. Nino

9. Alive In The World

10. It Is One


Track List: I'm Alive

1. I'm Alive

2. My Problem Is You

3. Everywhere I Go

4. I'll Do Anything

5. Miles Away

6. Too Many Angels

7. Take This Rain

8. Two Of Me, Two Of You

9. Sky Blue And Black

10. All Good Things


Track List: Lives In The Balance

1. For America

2. Soldier Of Plenty

3. In The Shape Of A Heart

4. Candy

5. Lawless Avenues

6. Lives In The Balance

7. Till I Go Down

8. Black And White


Track List: Lawyers In Love

1. Lawyers In Love

2. On The Day

3. Cut It Away

4. Downtown

5. Tender Is The Night

6. Knock On Any Door

7. Say It Isn't True

8. For A Rocker


Track List: Hold Out

1. Disco Apocalypse

2. Hold Out

3. That Girl Could Sing

4. Boulevard

5. Of Missing Persons

6. Call It A Loan

7. Hold On Hold Out


Track List: Running On Empty

1. Running On Empty (Live)

2. The Road (Live)

3. Rosie

4. You Love The Thunder (Live)

5. Cocaine (Live)

6. Shaky Town

7. Love Needs A Heart (Live)

8. Nothing But Time

9. The Load-Out (Live)

10. Stay (Live)


Track List: The Pretender

1. The Fuse

2. Your Bright Baby Blues

3. Linda Paloma

4. Here Come Those Tears Again

5. The Only Child

6. Daddy's Tune

7. Sleep's Dark And Silent Gate

8. The Pretender


Track List: Late For The Sky

1. Late For The Sky

2. Fountain Of Sorrow

3. Farther On

4. The Late Show

5. The Road And The Sky

6. For A Dancer

7. Walking Slow

8. Before The Deluge


Track List: For Everyman

1. Take It Easy

2. Our Lady Of The Well

3. Colors Of The Sun

4. I Thought I Was A Child

5. These Days

6. Red Neck Friend

7. The Times You've Come

8. Ready Or Not

9. Sing My Songs To Me

10. For Everyman


Track List: Saturate Before Using

1. Jamaica Say You Will

2. A Child In These Hills

3. Song For Adam

4. Doctor My Eyes

5. From Silver Lake

6. Something Fine

7. Under The Falling Sky

8. Looking Into You

9. Rock Me On The Water

10. My Opening Farewell


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

1. The Birds Of St. Marks


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Love, love his music....tak e s me back to my younger days filled with amazing memories!
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I say it's never too late for us ever I'm here now we need each other I will always going to be here my Mike your mimi
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Am I the only one who thinks JB should join up with the Eagles..
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Reading his bio, I see 'For Everyman' was a disappointme n t . For some time, that was my favorite album, and I fell asleep listening to it many nights during collage. I still love the album.
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justinjenny4 9 5
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timelessalte r n a t i v e s
I whole heartedly agree with you mmills7933
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Everytime I hear Jackson singing, the music takes me to a calmer place. A place where in the 70's everything was right with my world. Jackson will always be part of my life.
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The guy was awesome in the 70's and still is til today. I sit back and reminencing my youth and relating
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Love love love Mr. Jackson Brown!
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Browns's stuff never gets old, just appreciated all the more with time!
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Very heartfelt song
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jennifer jason lee reminds me...
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the best
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Listening to Jackson sing is like being at home. His voice is so familiar like someone I know and love. Been following you since the 70's and hope to the rest of my life.....lov e your music Jackson.
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One of my favorite all time artists. Brings back great memories! Thank you��
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He never disappoints
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Love this guy , amazing voice ... ❤️
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1973 at University of Alabama. Great show.
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Love you Jackson....I grew up with your wonderful music. I know Glenn is feeling the love we all had for him......I just know it.
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Just saw JB in Turlock CA 4/27/16 - 3rd time seeing him solo in the last 5 or 6 yrs. . .another great show. I have seen him more than any other artist and I've never been disappointed . . .I do hope he comes to this area with his band (D Lindley too) sometime soon though.
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sandymcleod1 7 5
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The Pretender is my favorite Jackson Browne. Great memories.... . p a r t of my wonderful memories of the 70's.
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JB, is a great singer & songwriter!! Just listening, u know!!

This song was played at my friends funnel.
R. I. P. Doug Holt!!

Hopefully ur brother or sister, plays on Pandora. Remember when family packed up& moved to Colorado. We were in the 7th grade. Never forget u, bro. ✌️
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Jackson Browne, California's gift to the world.
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Jackson has been within arms reach,in every media I've had since the 70s. Lps,45s,STIL L have working 8 tracks,casse t t e s and cds. Always have &always will!! Pretender is the song.
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rayjr.adamsp o o l s
Great show in Carmel Ca on 4/20/16
Solo just Jackson and his piano, oh yeah and the 20 guitar's. Sound was great.
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If people only knew what Rosie means? B surprised. Remember that drummer boy swipe that girl away. Kinda left him alone for the night.
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His just him on guitar concert in Evansville Victory theater was wonderful. Loved his music and point of view of the world forever.
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Jesus, this is a beautiful song.
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Lives In The Balance as poignant today as it was in 1986 and By far his best song
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Jackson Brown is a singer you don't think of as a great artist but he is
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Jackson and the Eagles paid a great tribute to Glen Frey at the Grammys. The only reason I tuned in... In typical grammys fashion it was framed between commercials, without even a moment for the band to say a few words.
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Fast Times!!!!!
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Drive semi trucks in 80'0s Jackson was Always on my tape deck lol
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I've seen more Jackson Browne concerts than any other artist. He is my favorite. I got to see him in England once, as well in CA many times, and just saw the entire band in Spokane in August. What a great show!
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I think Jackson Browne is the greatest writer of all time (along with Bob Dylan). The lyrics of The Pretender says everything. Jackson Browne seems to be beautiful inside and out., from his wise lyrics set to glorious melodies. What a great world it would be if everyone could understand & take a lesson from this great musician. May he live long & affect the next generation in the same way he affected millions of boomers & also their children.
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Keep kicking them out Jackson ... If only I had paid attention to the lyrics closer .....:..
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California born and raised thank you for the memories.... :
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Lost a good friend today so I went to Jackson Browne. I lived in CA in late 60s and thru mid 70s. He is so poetic even in his politics which I still agree with for the most part. Thanks for making me remember what good people there are out there.
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I saw him r s t time during his 2002 tour....he threw away his set list and took requests from the audience.... . i t was him...his guitar and his piano.....he was and is a just beautiful... . w h e n I got clean 14 years ago... I had nothing in my head but These Days I walked the halls of a detox singing that song over and d my sanity....In my estimation he has paid for his sins by helping people he does not even know.....
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77 I became a paraplegic. 18 my best memories back then
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