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Music / Jackson Browne

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"Doctor, my eyes
Cannot see the sky
Is this the prize
For having learned how not to cry."
—"Doctor, My Eyes"

Jackson Browne (born October 9, 1948) is an American singer-songwriter in the pop genre. He broke into the Los Angeles music scene shortly after his high school graduation in 1966. After gaining a strong reputation as a songwriter he released his debut album as a performer in 1972. He's still active today.

His specialties include epic ballads, Silly Love Songs, Anti Love Songs that were mistaken for Silly Love Songs, protest songs and syncopation.

His first hit single at least the first one the Classic Rock stations are likely to play is "Doctor My Eyes." "Take It Easy" was written and recorded by him with the help of The Eagles' Glen Frey, and recorded by them with his permission, but his version was Covered Up by theirs'.

In 1982 he contributed the song "Somebody's Baby" to the soundtrack of Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and it quickly became his highest-charting single ever, peaking at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and staying on said chart for 19 weeks. Following this was the 1983 classic album Lawyers in Love, containing the title song. Lives in the Balance followed three years later with the track "In the Shape of a Heart."

His career suffered in the late 1980s and early 1990s, partly because the musical climate was changing, as well as allegations of domestic abuse towards his then-girlfriend, actress Daryl Hannah. The allegations were never proven, but they still hurt his rep. He still has a fanbase out there, though.


  • Concept Album: Running on Empty, about life as a musician on tour. Included a few live songs and one recorded literally on the road you can hear the engine of his tour bus under the song, and the drum kit was packed away so the bass drum you hear is actually a cardboard box.
  • Darker and Edgier: "Lives In the Balance" featured a number of quite cynical political numbers, including the title track and "For America".
  • Fan Flattering: "The Load Out/Stay," his 1978 magnus opus about life on the road and the experiences of his entire entourage. The end of "The Load Out" portion is a thank you to the fans who come to his concerts; "Stay" a slightly reworded version of an old rock song by Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs takes in the concert experience and how he wishes the experience could go on longer and how performing for his fans is his greatest thrill.
  • Grief Song: "Song For Adam", "For A Dancer", "Of Missing Persons", "In the Shape of a Heart". The Pretender, written and recorded in the wake of his first wife's death, probably qualifies as a grief album.
  • Jesus Was Way Cool: "The Rebel Jesus" is a Christmas Song that commends Jesus's teachings as subversive, although chiding His followers a bit for not always following the example of generosity and goodwill the rest of the year. (The song's lyrics self-identify Browne as "a heathen and a pagan / On the side of the rebel Jesus.")
  • Rock Star Song: Running on Empty was basically a "rock star album," but the last two songs, "The Load-out" and "Stay," which are meant be played as one song, most exemplify the main point of the album, which is that underneath all the fame, traveling, and Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll, what the rock star really lives for is playing on stage in front of a loving audience.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Has a significant role in "Linda and the Mockingbirds" even though the film gives all it's billing to Linda Ronstadt.