When the Random iTunes Fairy first served up ‘Shaky Town,’ from Jackson Browne’s 1977 classic Running On Empty, I had no idea what it was. I figured it was a track on that album that I’d somehow always skipped, because the title seemed completely new to me.
Once the first verse started, though, I knew it very well. Guess I just never looked at the tracklist.
Another week, another batch of smooth soft rock to soothe your weary soul. Yes, my yacht rock series continues.
Not every yacht rock song is by an artist entirely confined by the genre. While it’s hard to think of a Christopher Cross or Michael McDonald outside of this genre, others have spent some time in this world and lived to see another day.
Jackson Browne’s Lawyers in Love, released in 1983, was his seventh studio album and his fourth straight to reach the top ten.
I don’t know this album very well, though it produced four singles. The only Jackson Browne albums I do know well are Running On Empty and I’m Alive. But I really like his voice and his overall sound so I should probably give albums like this one a shot.
January of 1972 saw the release of Jackson Browne’s self-titled debut album.
The album’s cover depicts a canvas water bag decorated with Browne’s face and the words “saturate before using” across the top. Many fans, as well as DJs and the record label itself, mistakenly referred to ‘Saturate Before Using’ as the album’s title.
Browne had kicked around for 6 years as a songwriter and band member for others so he was pretty seasoned by the time he cut this debut, and critics praised its confidence and polish.
Every year or two, the Random iTunes Fairy serves up a cut from Jackson Browne’s 1993 album, I’m Alive.
And every year or two I’m reminded what a beautiful and lasting piece of work it is.
Today’s song is particularly lovely, and further proof (like the whole album) that break-ups make for the some of the most emotionally resonant music.
Today’s Random Weekend track is a cut from Jackson Browne’s 1993 album I’m Alive. There isn’t a bad song on that album.
Two things about this song have always struck me as funny. One is the background vocals, which include a man whose voice is so deep he sounds like a holdover from the Oak Ridge Boys.
Best Albums of the 70s – #14
Running On Empty – Jackson Browne (1977)
An interesting sub-genre is the album of new material that’s recorded live. Joe Jackson’s Big World is an example, as well as Stew’s The Naked Dutch Painter and Other Songs. These recordings lend an intimacy to the material that can be diminished in the studio.
The best example of this sort of album that I know of is Jackson Browne’s Running On Empty. This is an album about life as a musician recorded in a way that puts you in that musician’s shoes. It’s a beautiful marriage of form and content.