Jackson Browne - C or D?

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
I was listening to 'Late For The Sky' today, which I remembered as having two good songs at the start and the rest being rubbish. Actually the rest is pretty good - kind of cheesy in a way but I can't help but like it.

Stil seems kind of a guilty pleasure though. So what do we think of the man?

Ally C, Wednesday, 20 March 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Hmmmm. I've always imagined that a Brit would react to Jackson Browne the same way some of us Yanks react to Billy Bragg. Similar mix of love songs and political songs, though in an unfamiliar context (why would someone in London care about Southern California or Iran-Contra, anymore than someone in New York would care about the Red Wedge or the northern miner's strike). Even some guilt-by- association (Bragg picked up a guitar after a Clash concert, Browne wrote songs for the Eagles). But essentially a curiosity.

I've nothing against Browne -- seems to be a nice enough guy. But his music is a little too bland, too Southern California-Seventies for my taste. So I'll just shut up now.

Tadeusz Suchodolski, Wednesday, 20 March 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

I was thinking of his love songs, I'm not so much aware of his political stuff. And I like some of Bragg's love songs but can't really stand his political ones.

Yes, the music is bland, but that somehow appealed to me today, it was easy, and sweet, and sad. Does this mean I'm getting old ?

Ally C, Wednesday, 20 March 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Early stuff definitely classic... Springsteen took the mantle from him around 77 and never looked back... i still cringe when i recollect that "lawyers in love" song and schlocky video...

Phong Wiedermeier, Wednesday, 20 March 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

What's this stuff I've been hearing about him being mean to Darryl Hannah?

"Lawyers in Love": thoroughly underrated anti-Reagan screed with absurd falsetto parts. I think only Dave Marsh takes it seriously, but don't let that put you off.

Michael Daddino, Wednesday, 20 March 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Have heard nothing of his except "running on empty" BUT deserves classic status for writing my 2nd fav song evah, Nico's "These Days".

electric sound of jim, Wednesday, 20 March 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

While we're on Jackson Browne and Nico, I think "The Fairest of the Seasons" would make a good salsa song. Something about the melody seems to be suited for such a treatment.

I'm not that familiar with Jackson Browne beyond the hits, but I think some of the hits are pretty good.

DeRayMi, Wednesday, 20 March 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Yeah, I'd forgotten all about the Jackson Browne-Nico connection. I think that he was also friendly with Lou Reed during the VU days. Not that there's even a trace of the VU in Browne's music, mind you.

Tadeusz Suchodolski, Wednesday, 20 March 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

I hadn't realized there was any connection to Nico, until I got around to buying "Chelsea Girls" last Spring. (I'm not sure it was such a good purchase, actually. I find myself laughing at Nico's singing more than I think I am probably expected to.)

DeRayMi, Wednesday, 20 March 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Allegedly he thumped Daryl more than once -- I think it must be the Orange County in him seeping out. The Neil Young for people who hated all that noise? Is Running on Empty the Rust Never Sleeps for unreconstructed cokeheads who bought everything on Asylum?

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 20 March 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

I imagine two cokeheads at the Dew Drop Inn, LAX, circa 1977 (both sweating profusely) discussing a third - "He's weird, man, he's into Warren Zevon"

dave q, Thursday, 21 March 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Noteworthy only for writing a couple of songs for Nico and for giving David Lindley a job.

Chris Barrus, Friday, 22 March 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

He always seemed awfully mild-mannered; even his more rocking stuff was very polite. But yes, his songs for Nico are lovely; "Chelsea Girl" is a gorgeous album.

Sean, Friday, 22 March 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

two months pass...
haven't heard much of Browne's early albums, and "Lawyers in Love" is unquestionably awful...

but "The Load Out/Stay" off the Running on Empty album is simply one of the best things I have ever heard, as well as the ultimate "drive home after a long night of drinking" song in my lifetime.

"A thousand miles away from here, people stay just a little bit longer..."

Ryan, Friday, 7 June 2002 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

two weeks pass...
Mostly, dud. One of my favorite movie moments is the viewing of the mall, in FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH, set to his "Someone's Baby Tonight" (is that the title?). I don't know why, it just remains in my mind. He had a few good tunes, mostly early on. Lotsa people still like him! Mostly older people!

Matt Riedl (veal), Tuesday, 25 June 2002 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

one year passes...
I'll say classic, with really obvious limitations and he only really works with those distinctive folky L.A. studio arrangements. He has a weakness for the Big Metaphor, and yet his songs do contain little truths and insights and genuinely poetic moments, and at his best he's pretty catchy. His gifts as a melodist seem to have been largely exhausted by his first two records (which largely comprised songs he'd written some years before), although Late for the Sky has probably the most impressive set of lyrics.

His taking personal offense at Punk and continuing to disparage it is very dud, however.

He dated Nico at age 17 (or thereabouts), you know.

amateurist (amateurist), Monday, 28 July 2003 18:37 (eighteen years ago) link

the "Late for the Sky" scene is my favorite scene in Taxi Driver, so classic just for that.

Justyn Dillingham (Justyn Dillingham), Monday, 28 July 2003 18:40 (eighteen years ago) link

What is that scene?

amateurist (amateurist), Monday, 28 July 2003 18:40 (eighteen years ago) link

it's toward the end, where Travis is watching "American Bandstand" by himself, idly toying with his gun, aiming it at the screen, setting it down. it's only about a minute long.

Justyn Dillingham (Justyn Dillingham), Monday, 28 July 2003 18:46 (eighteen years ago) link

I don't think I've heard one single from Jackson Browne that wasn't pure gold. I really, really like this guy, much more than most of the 70's singer/songwriters, and almost as much as Carole King.

My name is Kenny (My name is Kenny), Monday, 28 July 2003 19:56 (eighteen years ago) link

dudes, "these days" was written for the nitty gritty dirtband and predated nico's version by a good year (?).

gygax! (gygax!), Monday, 28 July 2003 20:26 (eighteen years ago) link

Tony Danza stole his hair.

Kris (aqueduct), Monday, 28 July 2003 21:33 (eighteen years ago) link

"Somebody's Baby" is cool. Punk sucks anyway!

dave q, Tuesday, 29 July 2003 07:35 (eighteen years ago) link

five months pass...
Listened last night to his 1st LP. Most of it begs to be used as soundtrack. Under the Falling Sky is pretty classic.

Baaderist (Fabfunk), Wednesday, 7 January 2004 15:25 (eighteen years ago) link

With all my talk about Nico above, I forgot to confess that I like "Doctor My Eyes" a whole lot.

Rockist Scientist, Wednesday, 7 January 2004 15:38 (eighteen years ago) link

I'll give him props for producing David Lindley's awesome El Rayo-X and providing good back-ups thereon.

Huckleberry Mann (Horace Mann), Wednesday, 7 January 2004 15:39 (eighteen years ago) link

i really do like that first LP a lot, when i'm in the mood for it

amateur!st (amateurist), Wednesday, 7 January 2004 16:09 (eighteen years ago) link

ten months pass...
Can there be a better coke album than 'running on empty'? Or even a better album so shamelessly devoted to a single narcotic?

fancybill, Thursday, 25 November 2004 21:12 (seventeen years ago) link

Haha I looked at this and thought 'hmm I wonder who started this thread' and then it was me! Unbelievable! I should listen to more JB.

Ally C (Ally C), Friday, 26 November 2004 00:47 (seventeen years ago) link

The Best of Boney M: shamelessly devoted to triptophan. My mom's had it on repeat all day.

giboyeux (skowly), Friday, 26 November 2004 01:23 (seventeen years ago) link

i was thinking about jackson browne today. actually i was thinking about one of his lines (i forget which) and it made me cringe. but i like him.

ok wait i think the lines were "you've heard that hollow sound/of your own steps in flight." what a precious-precious line.

amateur!!st, Friday, 26 November 2004 06:13 (seventeen years ago) link

i also like "somebody's baby" even though it makes me sad for some reason.

amateur!!st, Friday, 26 November 2004 06:20 (seventeen years ago) link

i guess in part because the song is superficially jaunty but the sentiment expressed in it is such a self-defeating, pathetic one. the point of view of a stranger and all that.

amateur!!st, Friday, 26 November 2004 06:22 (seventeen years ago) link

amateurist, are you drunk?

my mom has a lot of jackson browne records.. guessing by this thread, i should steal "running on empty." which others are worthwhile?

Ian John50n (orion), Friday, 26 November 2004 06:26 (seventeen years ago) link

no, that's not such a good one. you want to get the first, self-titled record.

i am not drunk, unless one can get drunk on turkey and peach cobbler.

amateur!!st, Friday, 26 November 2004 06:28 (seventeen years ago) link

there's a hilariously bitchy melzer bit about browne and nico, but I can't find it online anymore. i think it's the same piece where he bitches about a teenage cameron crowe taking a shit at his place and not flushing.

g--ff (gcannon), Friday, 26 November 2004 07:22 (seventeen years ago) link

wow, sounds great [/deep sarcasm]

amateur!!st, Friday, 26 November 2004 07:22 (seventeen years ago) link

haha ok i'm totally misremembering everything, stop presses, it WAS NOT c crowe who did not flush. here it is: http://condor.depaul.edu/~dweinste/rock/meltzer-afrev.html

Ah, the gang: I knew it well. I'd had an encounter with one of its thugs, see, and in the process got tossed by said mag for telling what was it?, oh yes, the truth. This was '72. After several false starts, Jackson Browne finally had an album out, which seemed a good occasion to bring to light some interesting hokum from his past--I'd known the mutha since '67. So I did the first feature on him for Rolling Stone or anywhere else--a rave, for crying out loud, and he freaking hated it, thought it made him look "too punk." And what might be so wrong with that? Before twelve people knew who the fuck he was, he was like some weird-isn't-the-word cross between the Young Marble Giants, say--or from a later universe: Cat Power--and Byron or Shelley. On his first visit to New York, he backed up (and horizontal-danced with) the fabulous NICO, had a connection to Lou Reed and the Warhol crowd, blah blah blooey. So I talked all this stuff up--what the hey--it was what I thought would make him MOST APPEALING. And he's so upset he gets Asylum Records prez David Geffen to call the Stone and have me booted, good riddance, don't come back.

Four years later, I was eating at South Town Soul Food in L.A. when Jackson walked in with gang-sister number one Linda Ronstadt. Not wanting her exposed to my cooties, he motions for her to stay put, struts over, sits down, and in less than a minute explains to me how it is. "We singer-songwriters"--he always relished being part of something (but imagine calling yourself such hogwipe)--"feel we get a better shake from this Cameron kid...he never challenges us...accepts our side of the story...we don't have to worry what he'll say...no offense, but..." I.e., writers exist to write-about-musicians, bub...so go wash dishes or something.

poor thing.

g--ff (gcannon), Friday, 26 November 2004 07:34 (seventeen years ago) link

Ahh, just put on 'Late for the Sky' so classic in a mildly boring kinda way.

Baaderonixxx le Jeune (Fabfunk), Friday, 26 November 2004 09:28 (seventeen years ago) link

Steal 'Late For The Sky' & 'The Pretender'

Mooro (Mooro), Friday, 26 November 2004 17:34 (seventeen years ago) link

i like somebody's baby too - always reminds me of "fast times at ridgemont high"

Fritz Wollner (Fritz), Friday, 26 November 2004 17:38 (seventeen years ago) link

(a) i don't believe that story
(b) meltzer must be the most annoying writer i've encountered in months
(c) he uses the phrase "horizontal dance" which means he no longer exists to me

amateur!!st, Friday, 26 November 2004 20:04 (seventeen years ago) link

I think 'horizontal dance' was shelved at last sec as the title for JB's Hits...
None of em are completely NOT boring. Running on Empty is mostly(?) live and therefore a little more world-weary/leery -probably too punk in this sense.
'Late' is slick!

fancybill, Friday, 26 November 2004 23:12 (seventeen years ago) link

two months pass...
Revive.

Lots of comments here on the Jackson songs recorded by Nico on Chelsea Girls, plus Meltzer's comments on Jackson's early songs. There was a double LP acetate album produced in '67 as a songwriting demo album. Jackson has never released the stuff, but it has been bootlegged as the Nina Demos. I think Meltzer's comments are a little over the top--there's a saccharine element to some of these songs--but I swear there are like fifteen or more songs on the thing that are as good as those three songs on Chelsea Girls.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Monday, 31 January 2005 19:15 (seventeen years ago) link

how does that material compare to the nitty gritty dirt band's first record?

gygax! (gygax!), Monday, 31 January 2005 19:20 (seventeen years ago) link

Well, the NGDB had their old-timey music material and then they had those kind of baroque pop versions of Jackson songs and Steve Noonan/Greg Copeland songs. The Nina Demos are just Jackson on acoustic guitar.

Steve Noonan's Elektra album is worth hearing. Meltzer has some things about it in Aesthetics of Rock.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Monday, 31 January 2005 19:25 (seventeen years ago) link

Cover photo by Linda Eastman.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Monday, 31 January 2005 19:25 (seventeen years ago) link

three months pass...
i recently rediscovered the first (and best) jackson browne lp, and it is really good.

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Wednesday, 4 May 2005 05:23 (seventeen years ago) link

ahh... Saturate When Using... There are some cool tunes on that one. I think it's time for me to revive my obsession with 70s California Asylum/Geffen rock...
Or I might pull out the last Wilson Philips album

Baaderonixxxorzh (Fabfunk), Wednesday, 4 May 2005 07:55 (seventeen years ago) link

I don't get the hate towards "Lawyers in Love." Great pastiche of doo-wop, good guitar work, and Jackson shows that he's got a sense of humor!

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Wednesday, 4 May 2005 12:36 (seventeen years ago) link

Cover model Michael J. Pollard!

The Ballad of Mel Cooley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 7 February 2021 00:47 (one year ago) link

Second two-page spread of that piece eerily foreshadows Yacht Rock

baelien (Ye Mad Puffin), Sunday, 7 February 2021 00:56 (one year ago) link

birdistheword, I do find that attribute (that I might call plain-spokenness) in some of Browne's work, like The Only Child on The Pretender.

I've wanted to read the Paul Nelson compilation/biography, but haven't encountered it yet.

Halfway there but for you, Sunday, 7 February 2021 01:23 (one year ago) link

XP ...and the final paragraphs provide a harbinger of Browne's asshole friends.

"what are you DOING to fleetwood mac??" (C. Grisso/McCain), Sunday, 7 February 2021 01:26 (one year ago) link

Ah, okay, here's Noonan, and some stuff about the "Three"'s origins, in Unterberger's liner notes for reissue of s/t debut: he and their high school buddy Greg Copeland wrote "Buy For Me The Rain," Top 40 Nitty Gritty Dirt Band hit. also, Noonan, very extensively quoted here, says that he and Browne wrote things first recorded by Tom Rush etc., attributed to JB only, and he mentions "The Fairest of the Seasons," which I know is on the Nico LP and I think is the one w typo, "Browne-Copland,"confusing me until I heard of Greg Copeland: with all them strings and the melodee, it had me wondering if based on something by Aaron C. Noonan mentions seeing boy Browne as accompanist for Nico and El Cohen (singing together, I hope): http://www.richieunterberger.com/noonan.html

dow, Sunday, 7 February 2021 01:29 (one year ago) link

Here is Xgau writeup on Paul Nelson- and Ellen Willis! https://www.robertchristgau.com/xg/bn/2011-11.php

The Ballad of Mel Cooley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 8 February 2021 16:08 (one year ago) link

Jackson Browne gets a back-handed swipe.

The Ballad of Mel Cooley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 8 February 2021 16:10 (one year ago) link

He was always kinda-sorta on Browne, going by his Consumer Guide takes over the decades. Would still kinda like to hear this, speaking again of Greg Copeland:
Revenge Will Come [Geffen, 1982]
Producer Jackson Browne has gone after absolutely predictable midtempo studio rock, but with a tough edge that's augmented by Copeland, who sounds like (of all things) Jackson Browne with a tough edge. Propitious--if Copeland can move his mentor's personalist millenarianism far enough left to write protest lyrics that surrender neither psychological dimension nor American mythos, I bet other young rock mainstreamers are thinking the same way. B-
He also liked some of Browne's 80s protest lyrics, so Copeland did turn out to be a good influence maybe.

dow, Monday, 8 February 2021 18:27 (one year ago) link

Maybe they wrote together again? When Browne eventually did get back into a lot of co-writing.

dow, Monday, 8 February 2021 18:29 (one year ago) link

“Together Again”? Buck Owens?

The Ballad of Mel Cooley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 8 February 2021 18:40 (one year ago) link

I had to double check because I was pretty sure Christgau wasn't much of a fan of any Jackson Browne album (except maybe Running on Empty), but it looks like he does have some nice things to say about the '80s political albums. I have a lot of admiration for Browne's activism, but I don't think he's recorded a whole lot of good protest music. Off the top of my head, the best ones I've heard him do were covers, the multi-artist "Sun City" single and the "Lawyers in Love" single which feels a bit like an outlier for being a satire. Maybe it's not something that clicks with him musically, who knows.

birdistheword, Monday, 8 February 2021 19:57 (one year ago) link

Also, while looking him up in CG, I forgot about his great guitarist David Lindley. He actually put out an acclaimed album in 1981 called El Rayo-X (Christgau gave it a B+, Marcus put it on his top ten of the year.) Looks like a Ry Cooder-type project, with some interesting, humorous covers. Will have to check it out, but regardless Lindley is probably the most essential component of Browne's best recordings.

(I see Horace Mann mentioned this upthread way back in 2004: I'll give him props for producing David Lindley's awesome El Rayo-X and providing good back-ups thereon.)

birdistheword, Monday, 8 February 2021 20:01 (one year ago) link

O yeah mad love for David Lindley, the eclectic multi-instrumentalist sideman with the ridiculous hair and sideburns who plays with Jackson Browne.

Also for Mark Stewart, the eclectic multi-instrumentalist sideman with ridiculous hair and sideburns who plays with Paul Simon.

For a while I thought there was only one eclectic multi-instrumentalist sideman with ridiculous hair and sideburns who plays live with various well-known folk-rock singer-songwriters. Turns out there were, and are, at least two.

baelien (Ye Mad Puffin), Monday, 8 February 2021 20:10 (one year ago) link

Also for Mark Stewart, the eclectic multi-instrumentalist sideman with ridiculous hair and sideburns who plays with Paul Simon.

LOL, I do not know the name, but I caught Simon's last show and know exactly who you're talking about.

birdistheword, Monday, 8 February 2021 20:41 (one year ago) link

(last tour stop that is)

birdistheword, Monday, 8 February 2021 20:42 (one year ago) link

This was kind of the hit or "hit" off that David Lindley album iirc:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URm7Ze9a56o

The Ballad of Mel Cooley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 8 February 2021 21:51 (one year ago) link

Here is an almost ten minute long live version:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAbbgSKUZB4

The Ballad of Mel Cooley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 8 February 2021 21:52 (one year ago) link

Lindley was also in the great (American vs. the British or Mexican) psyche band Kaleidoscope pre-Browne and solo.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbRcURfROJY

bulb after bulb, Monday, 8 February 2021 22:06 (one year ago) link

Oh yeah, almost forgot about that.

The Ballad of Mel Cooley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 8 February 2021 22:08 (one year ago) link

Yeahhh Kaleidoscope (US) vs Kaleidoscope (UK) vs Kaleidoscope (MX)

dow, Monday, 8 February 2021 22:33 (one year ago) link

...and he's Linda Ronstadt's cousin!

"what are you DOING to fleetwood mac??" (C. Grisso/McCain), Monday, 8 February 2021 22:39 (one year ago) link

Lindley is great, he put out some “official bootlegs” of live acoustic shows in the 90s that were fun

https://www.discogs.com/master/view/549049

https://www.discogs.com/master/view/549044

brimstead, Monday, 8 February 2021 23:02 (one year ago) link

& Kaleidoscope were longtime uncredited backing band on Leonard Cohen's debut lp.
Think that only came out over last few years.

Stevolende, Tuesday, 9 February 2021 07:21 (one year ago) link

Oh yeah there's some pretty great footage of Lindley backing Terry Reid on the Glastonbury Fayre film.
Can't link to it while typing on my phone.

Stevolende, Tuesday, 9 February 2021 07:24 (one year ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElzhsMCVlkQ
is the footage I'm familiar with from the Nicholas Roeg film

Stevolende, Tuesday, 9 February 2021 10:09 (one year ago) link

Chunks (maybe adding up to most/all) of Browne's Newport Folk 2012 set are on YouTube, and his Tiny Desk Concert is on npr.org.

dow, Tuesday, 9 February 2021 19:59 (one year ago) link

eight months pass...

What got me into him, killer cover

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HzeX_kh9lU

dow, Sunday, 17 October 2021 20:45 (eight months ago) link

Also!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mx5NkGZr1iQ

dow, Sunday, 17 October 2021 20:46 (eight months ago) link

not bad
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JfWYHAIp-g

dow, Sunday, 17 October 2021 20:48 (eight months ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qlPrrVnPbs

dow, Sunday, 17 October 2021 20:49 (eight months ago) link

Bonnie Raitt's covers are usually great. (FWIW, her "My Opening Farewell" on the 1995 Road Tested is better sung than the studio version she did almost 20 years earlier.) But generally she's a much better interpreter than Linda Ronstadt. I love Heart Like a Wheel but a lot of times her covers seem completely misguided - even when arranged tastefully, she oversings them like a popped balloon that's been inflated too much.

birdistheword, Monday, 18 October 2021 02:22 (eight months ago) link

Nico's "These Days" the earliest release and still my fave rave version:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhr2MlQd7i0

dow, Sunday, 24 October 2021 19:31 (eight months ago) link

Elton John getting his inner-Jerry Lee Lewis on in the background of "Red Neck Friend" is hitting all the spots this evening.

Precious, Grace, Hill & Beard LTD. (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 5 November 2021 23:23 (seven months ago) link

Oh yeah, used to hear that on Collegetown radio quite a bit, thanks.

Bonnie Raitt's covers are usually great. (FWIW, her "My Opening Farewell" on the 1995 Road Tested is better sung than the studio version she did almost 20 years earlier.)
Thanx 4 tip, birdistheword!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6AgpzsnHo8

dow, Thursday, 11 November 2021 18:14 (seven months ago) link

seven months pass...

Man, I just don't get this guy. Yeah, there are a handful of songs I enjoy, and Late for the Sky is a good mood piece. But he doesn't have the teeth of Warren Zevon, or the grand ambition of Springsteen, or even the gross cynicism/careerism of the Eagles. More than anything else, he just always sounds so bored of himself.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 17 June 2022 18:06 (two weeks ago) link

Like, this song was reportedly written for James Honeyman-Scott, but it's such a shameless Springsteen rip that gloms onto his most generic qualities (let alone as lazy tribute a guitarist as special as James Honeyman-Scott). In fact, at first I thought it was a parody, a la "Tweeter and the Monkey Man."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGxZplDXhQU

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 17 June 2022 18:17 (two weeks ago) link

FWIW, when I think about what I like best about his work, it's rarely something I'd equate with any of those three. In fact, as you've pointed out with "For a Rocker," I'd say his work became much less distinctive when it seemed like he was under Springsteen's influence. (Also when I compare his version of "Take It Easy" with the Eagles', the subtle differences really emphasize what I don't like about the band and what I do like about Browne.)

Late for the Sky may be the only album I genuinely love (and without qualification), but there's probably 20, maybe even 30 tracks beyond that album that I do enjoy, mostly from the '70s.

The only two tracks I like from Lawyers in Love is the title track (at least I find it amusing) and "Tender Is the Night."

birdistheword, Friday, 17 June 2022 18:21 (two weeks ago) link

Actually, here's a homemade comp I have on the shelf (lots of overlap with his official The Very Best of but tweaked a bit for my own purposes) - I basically listen to this or Late for the Sky:

This Side Of Paradise • The Best Of Jackson Browne (1972-1989)

Disc One
1 Jamaica Say You Will 03:24
2 Song For Adam 05:23
3 Doctor My Eyes 03:15
4 Under The Falling Sky 04:09
5 Rock Me On The Water 04:13
6 My Opening Farewell 04:44
7 Take It Easy 03:35
8 I Thought I Was A Child 03:45
9 These Days 04:47
10 Redneck Friend 03:59
11 Ready Or Not 03:35
12 For Everyman 05:58
13 Late For The Sky 05:44
14 Fountain Of Sorrow 06:54
15 The Late Show 05:14
16 For A Dancer 04:49
17 Before The Deluge 06:21

Disc Two
1 Your Bright Baby Blues 06:06
2 Here Come Those Tears Again 03:40
3 The Pretender 05:53
4 Running On Empty 05:03
5 Rosie 03:41
6 You Love The Thunder 03:55
7 Cocaine 04:56
8 The Load Out 05:35
9 Stay 03:22
10 That Girl Could Sing 04:37
11 Boulevard 03:22
12 Call It A Loan 04:50
13 Somebody's Baby 04:23
14 Lawyers In Love 04:21
15 Tender Is The Night 04:55
16 In The Shape Of A Heart 05:40
17 I Am A Patriot 04:04

birdistheword, Friday, 17 June 2022 18:25 (two weeks ago) link

I'll have to check some of those songs out. Many of them I bet I've heard, but Jackson Browne just evaporates out of my brain.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 17 June 2022 18:35 (two weeks ago) link

I should add, if you like Bonnie Raitt, her covers are usually better than Browne's originals. Raitt's "Under the Falling Sky" completely smokes Browne's.

birdistheword, Friday, 17 June 2022 18:51 (two weeks ago) link

i don’t fw jackson browne much but late for the sky is so much more than a mood piece. the duet between browne’s vocal and lindley’s guitar is straight-up sublime.

those notes aren’t hard to play but I’ve been chasing the vibe for years, and not to get all TGP but if I could cop just one recorded gtr tone, that would be it.

poster of sparks (rogermexico.), Friday, 17 June 2022 20:52 (two weeks ago) link

Lindley is awesome in any context.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 17 June 2022 20:58 (two weeks ago) link

Lindley's El Rayo-X from 1981 is a good listen.

birdistheword, Friday, 17 June 2022 21:14 (two weeks ago) link

Yeah mang & "Taxim"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBaYJr_ux4g

dow, Friday, 17 June 2022 22:52 (two weeks ago) link

It's interesting that you all say Browne is influenced by Springsteen, because as someone who has only heard Late for the Sky, I had assumed the influence was the other way around. "Thunder Road" in particular seems like it started out as Springsteen trying to do Late for the Sky lyrically, between the setting that's basically the last verse of "The Late Show" and the line about trading in wings that comes from "Before the Deluge" and doesn't really make much sense in TR. And that's not even a throwaway line, because the original title of the song was "Wings for Wheels."

I'm not doubting that Browne ended up being influenced by Springsteen, it's just odd that he ended up imitating someone who started out fairly blatantly imitating him.

Lily Dale, Sunday, 19 June 2022 01:48 (one week ago) link

Oho, interesting--dunno if there was that kind of back and forth with them, but it can happen. On The Million Dollar Quartet, Elvis keeps trying to tell his hopped-up friends about being struck by something in Vegas: how the fella with "Ward and The Dominos" (he means Billy Ward's lead singer, Jackie Wilson) did a takeoff on Elvis's version of "Don't Be Cruel," just slightly exaggerating or emphasizing certain thangs,like "telly-phone"--and I notice on some of Elvis's own live performances, a little later, he makes sure to sing "telly-phone" and so on (screws around likewise on a number of studio outtakes, like a long-ass vamp on "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright," which the cats are playing fine, but he never lets go of the wasted first verse).

Also, Bobby Darin's hit version of "Mack The Knife" seemed
like an imitation of Frank Sinatra, who later recorded it in much the same manner, and Darin's Tim Hardiny original,
"Simple Song of Freedom," was covered by Hardin.

David Crosby based "Guinevere" on a bit of Sketches From Spain, and Miles covered The Croz song.

I thought Love and Theft sounded like the best Tom Waits album ever, and said it in the Voice, so if you think of Waits as influenced by Dylan(who sounded like Waits for quite a while after that, though smoother on My Rough and Rowdy Ways)---

dow, Sunday, 19 June 2022 02:27 (one week ago) link

I think Springsteen definitely was influenced by Browne, in some way, though I don't hear any musical similarities. They're peers, almost the same age, both released debut albums at 23 (and Jon Landau later produced "The Pretender"), and I think they met one another before Springsteen released his first album, but the two have pretty different backgrounds. Saw this:

https://estreetshuffle.com/index.php/2021/03/24/matr-jackson-browne-and-bruce-springsteen-running-on-empty/

And of course Bruce later inducted Browne in the rock and roll hall of fame.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YFyC6pnz-k

Bruce had a relationship with Zevon, too, of course. That's surely why he kept crossing paths with them both, showing up on stage/albums, etc, to pay his respects. But I don't hear any of that strain of LA singer/songwriter in Bruce at all, whereas for sure Brown and Zevon (and others) at times tried to recast themselves in Bruce's more (musically) muscular image. Iirc Springsteen is what made Zevon shift from piano to more guitar, and his live shows reportedly (in the oral history, I believe) tried to emulate the more energetic side of Springsteen as well.

Always loved this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACSeVC6umzg

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 19 June 2022 14:11 (one week ago) link

(Gotta admit that Bruce's speech makes me want to give Browne yet another shot.)

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 19 June 2022 14:18 (one week ago) link

I thought Springsteen's influence on Browne really manifested itself with The Pretender. (Probably helps that Jon Landau produced it.) I don't know Browne's history that well, but I got the impression he started off more as an aspiring songwriter whereas being a musician (specifically a guitarist) and a performer was always there from the very start with Springsteen. Years before Browne got the chance to record an album proper, he already had songs recorded by Nico and the Byrds, and of course the Eagles famously laid claim to one before it was even finished (and before they even made an official record of their own).

So with that in mind, it's no surprise that Browne's first three albums seemed to grow out of the Laurel Canyon sound. I wouldn't call them anonymous sounding records - Lindley alone made them distinctive - but they sounded pretty organic to that scene and Browne was very much a part of that. Then comes The Pretender and there's a tougher and lusher sound, more muscular and more polished, and more importantly his singing follows suit as well. Then he makes a bigger leap with Running on Empty where he's singing with more authority than he's ever had, and the band is tighter and more rocking too. With those two albums and the next one, I got the feeling he knew how Springsteen's records sounded and how great the E Street Band were, and he basically used them as a model to update his sound. When he became inspired by the way Springsteen made his sociopolitical conscience work in his music, that set him in another direction with his next three albums (starting with Lawyers in Love) - at least that's how it seems to me, I'm not sure if that's actual fact.

Truth be told, I think his songwriting was at its best on the first three albums. The Pretender was the best sounding record he made at that point, but it came with a weaker batch of songs. Running on Empty is his best work in terms of performance, but it's a much less interesting and original work than any of his first three albums, and I think it says a lot that it's heavy on co-writes with a few covers thrown in - it's as if he was shifting more focus to other things besides the songwriting. The politically-oriented albums are admirable, but what he makes of the subject matter is much less compelling than what he's done before. Except for "Lawyers in Love" (which may be helped by its humor), and two love songs picked as singles, the only other cut I enjoy from those albums is actually a cover, and it gets over more for performance than the lyrics.

birdistheword, Sunday, 19 June 2022 18:19 (one week ago) link


You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.