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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

Andzoo54.
The Pretender !
"The Pretender helped through a tragic breakup in college
Love me some Jackson Browne. So many good memories of my younger days.
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?
Jackson Browne, Bonnie Rait, Bruce Hornsby, Shawn Colving all together at Saratoga, playing and singing each others songs. Best concert I've ever seen.
On the SNL marathon on Vh1, I saw his performance from the mid 1970s. Talented to the hilt.
60's,70's,&8 0 ' s WOW!!!!! What a life. Rock& roll, Motown & disco music what a great era
Can't stay away
...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 ...
When you think of Summer, you think of Jackson!
Spring time at buckeye lake. OHIO yr. 76
Fast times at ridgemont high!!!
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.
Doctor my eyes?
Great Song
No one is perfect!!! AND fall short of the glory of GOD!!! Will all have our day.
Love his music. ..have since the 70s...but painful breakup with Darryl Hannah? I'd say his fists on her face must have been very painful. Hope he got some help with that
So, happy to have grown up in his era.
Thanks JB for expressing yourself eloquently & inspiring me to look inside myself..
Can't wait for your February 20th show in Miami..
Running on empty
Really, my bad
SOUL not sole really.
Fast Times
Listen to Jackson Browne, is good for the sole. Great song writer.
Stay
wjbrooks52
thank you for caring and sharing
So many great songs from him, can listen all.day..
A great artist whose music has been the soundtrack to most of my life!
Jackson Browne has seen me thru the happiest and hardest days and everything in between. I've loved him forever. Seen him in concert 6 or 7 times. He's an incredible song writer and I could watch him perform for forever.
"Words and music will never touch the beauty that I've seen looking into you..."
Great album great musician. Not a pretender at all. Jam on folks. :)
are there really people starving still
Jackson says when you smile, I'm the richest man I know. someone please say that to me, it's true!
I hav seen the evil and the good
Don't read this cuz it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the one you love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you will die now that you started reading this, you can't stop. This is scary. Post this on five songs in 134 minutes. When done press 6 and your lovers name will appear in big letters. This is so scary cuz it actually works.
in my opinion the greatest song writer of all time. His lyrics by far the best, truly an for everyman artist. His songs make me cry at a wipstich. Thanks Jackson Browne. i have not always agreed with his politics but never heard a bad song from this guy ever.
I'm running on empty
Awesome Artist.. I listen to him as a kid in El Salvador during Our Civil war.. I remember hearing tanks n choppers. But in the background great rock n roll like Mr.Browne.. So i understand about what mrs silvermom means..
I have been a fan since "Dr my Eyes" (all girls Catholic high school days) - have seen him in person 5 or 6 times over the years. His music has seen me through good times and bad and most of lifes big moments . .thanks Jackson Browne for being my musical soul mate, my world wouldn't be the same without you.
Saw JB in Phila 1971-72 with Joni Mitchell. the album wrongly called Saturate Before Using was just out. Although he ran out of songs he was ready to play, he was Joni's equal that night.
cruzbro21
It was an honor to have you at my wedding Jackson!.. June 21,2014. A day to remember... Thanks for being a great friend!.. We love you!
U r sooooo awesome love u Jackson Browne!!!!
Love to take your hand :) love u Jackson !!!!!
Rock on Jackson , his songs has meaning ...
Love u Jackson ;)
Oh yeah i met him and Joni Mitchell in Nola in 1972 and got to show them both around the French quarter for 3 days after there concert together. I still think about those times quite often....swe e t memories.... t h a n k you mr. Jackson brown...God bless you brother...
johnmargie6
I'm somebody's baby........
Jackson Browne is a terrific talent and has been for a long time
I sooo love Jackson Browne love all his songs !!!!
On Sept 14, 2014, I saw Jackson Browne at the Kennedy Center in DC. I believe it was the opening night of his tour. He played mostly new songs, a few older songs that I was not familiar with and about two of his popular older hits. I wish he would have played everyone's favorites, but he was promoting his new album - his new songs were good. It was great to see him play live.
bambibear64
My somebody's baby
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