Saturday, November 1, 2014

Jackson Browne, The #69 Artist of the Seventies*

Born in Germany as his father was stationed there, Browne moved to Greenwich Village, New York in 1966.  He played in several bands, then became a staff writer for Nina Music, the publishing company for Elektra Records.  Jackson backed Tim Buckley and Nico in Greenwich Village clubs.  Browne and Nico became romantically involved, and Browne worte and played guitar on several of the songs on Nico's album Chelsea Girl.

Browne then moved to Los Angeles, where he met Glenn Frey of the Eagles.  Several of Jackson's songs were recorded by other artists, including the Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, the Byrds, Joan Baez, Gregg Allman, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and Tom Rush.

Browne had made quite an impression in a short time, and in 1971, he signed with manager David Geffen's Asylum Records.  The following year, Browne released his self-titled debut album, which was later called Saturate Before Using.  The single "Doctor My Eyes" gave Browne instant credibility, reaching #8 and carrying the album to Platinum status.

Browne toured with Ronstadt and Joni Mitchell to promote the album.  Although Rock Me On the Water" only reached #48 as a follow-up, it is a Top Track* on the album.

These Days by Jackson Browne on Grooveshark
Browne released the album For Everyman in 1973.  The album contained Jackson's version of the song he wrote with Frey that had already been a hit for the Eagles, "Take It Easy".  Like Saturate Before Using, For Everyone also sold over one million copies, and it did it without a hit song.  Browne was able to achieve this because he was gaining a reputation as a magnificent songwriter.  We feature "These Days" from the album. (Please click on the "Play" icon at the top left portion of the video...)


The following year, Jackson released one of his best career albums, Late for the Sky.  It made it to #14 on the Album chart, again without benefit of a hit song.  His insightful lyrics and one-of-a-kind melodies attracted significant attention from his peers and from his ever-growing legion of fans.  This is the great song "Before The Deluge".


Fountain of Sorrow by Jackson Browne on Grooveshark
Another amazing song on the album is "Fountain Of Sorrow".


The title song to Late for the Sky was featured in the movie Taxi Driver


"For A Dancer" helped give Browne another Platinum album.


In 1976, Browne released the album The Pretender.  The single "Here Come Those Tears Again" reached #15 on the Adult chart and #23 overall, and helped the album sell over three million copies in the U.S. alone.


Running On Empty by Jackson Browne on Grooveshark
The next year, Browne recorded his next album while on tour.  He recorded live shows for the album, and also recorded on buses, in hotel rooms, and back stage.  He called his album Running on Empty.  The title song hit #11.


"Running On Empty" helped take the album to new heights for Browne--seven million copies sold.  Another of the songs recorded live was "Load Out/Stay", a brilliant song that found its way to #10 in New Zealand and #20 in the United States. 

Browne became active in causes he believed in.  After the Three Mile Island nuclear accident in 1979, Browne and several other top artists founded the antinuclear organization Musicians United for Safe Energy.

Browne sold 13 million albums in the U.S. alone for his decade's work. 

Browne was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2007.  Browne received an honorary Doctorate of Music from Occidental College in Los Angeles for "a remarkable musical career that has successfully combined an intensely personal artistry with a broader vision of social justice".

In 2002, Jackson received the John Steinbeck Award, given to artists who exemplify the environmental and social values that Steinbeck believed in.  Browne also received the Courage of Conscience Awards from The Peace Abbey.  In 2007, Jackson received the Chapin-World Hunger Year Harry Chapin Humanitarian Award.  The next year, Browne received the NARM Harry Chapin Humanitarian Award. 

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