Jackson Browne presented himself to the German audience on the occasion of the appearance of Lives in the Balance at one of the Rockpalast nights in Essen in 1986.
The Essen concert is one of Browne’s few recorded appearances in Germany and has been broadcast several times on the WDR over the years.
The focus of this concert was on the newly released songs, but he also played old classics such as The Pretender and Running On Empty.
In today’s article, we are going to learn more about his life, career and everything else that you would like to learn about this talented musician.
Clyde Jackson Browne was born on October 9th 1948 in Heidelberg, and he is an American rock musician and singer-songwriter.
Born in Germany as the son of a US Army civilian stationed there, he has been living in Los Angeles since he was three years old.
As a teenager, Browne learned to play the guitar and was a member of several bands, including the country band Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. He wrote his first songs in the 1960s.
In the early 1970s, he was one of the most important American songwriters alongside Joni Mitchell and James Taylor.
His greatest success to date was in the 1970s and early 1980s, when each of his albums reached the American top ten.
In the 1990s, only two new studio albums appeared. Browne has been involved in environmental issues since the late 1970s.
He is a co-founder of the Musicians United for Safe Energy association and performed in so-called no-nukes concerts, which, among other things, fought against nuclear energy generation.
During this time, musical appearances often took the form of guest appearances (for example with Bonnie Raitt) and at various fundraisers.
David Crosby of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young once referred to Browne in the 1980s as “damn best songwriter in America today, whose songs get you goose bumps”.
Although Browne wasn’t particularly keen on producing hits, he had several chart successes.
He had his most lasting single hit with the song Running On Empty, which was later heard on the soundtrack of the movie Forrest Gump when Tom Hanks aka Forrest Gump undertook his months-long run across the USA.
Already four years before this US hit, he wrote the first hit of the Eagles Take It Easy together with Glenn Frey.
Right from the start, Jackson Browne placed great value on the coherent overall concept of his albums. He received top marks for this from recognized critics. The “imposing grandeur” (Rolling Stone) of his 1970s albums earned him a leading position among US singer-songwriters.
The debut album Jackson Browne (Saturate Before Using) was followed by For Everyman with the personal version of the hit Take It Easy.
The title song The third album Late for the Sky can be heard in the multi-award-winning movie Taxi Driver and is still a must at many of his concerts. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame counts it among the 500 songs that have shaped rock and roll.
In 1977, Browne’s exceptional album Running On Empty was released. All songs were recorded on tour, partly in the rooms of hotels where Browne stayed or on the bus (notin ‘but time) and at the concerts themselves.
The album is a mixture of piano-heavy emotional songs like Love Needs a Heart and Rosie and rock’n’roll pieces like You Love the Thunder.
The following album Hold Out conquered – favored by the previous album Running On Empty, which brought it to number 3 in the American top lists in a total of 65 weeks – immediately after the release in September 1980 the US album number 1 – Charts, although there wasn’t a single top 10 hits on them.
For the first time Browne moved clearly audibly away from his usual folk and country ballads. The opener Disco Apocalypse was a swan song for the outgoing “Saturday Night Fever” in the late 1970s.
In addition, there were pieces in the category of classic US guitar rock and emotionally charged pieces such as Call It a Loan and Of Missing Persons, which he dedicated to the daughter of his music colleague and friend Lowell George, who died so early.
With his subsequent album Lawyers in Love, he had a success in his native Germany, among other things, through the single tender Is the Night.
Contrary to the previous albums there was also a lot of criticism. The pieces are mostly slick rock, wrote a critic of the German edition of Rolling Stone (see review archive).
Browne described the title song Lawyers in Love, which has a vision of the future relationship between the USA and Russia, at the concert in Essen in 1986 with a wink as “his least understood song”. Even in the United States, no one would understand the meaning of the text.
The album Lives in the Balance with melodies spiced with Caribbean, South American and Spanish elements was counted among the best 100 albums in the year of release.
This album had only average success among fans in the USA, as Browne criticized some of the LP’s songs for the then reigning government and took a clear political position for the first time.
In the following album, he accuses the futility of war: “You (the government) measure peace with weapons and progress in megatons, A-E-I-O, you speak as if you knew what everyone is good, but what is good about what you did, what is good in a world where war is raging and people are dying for the little things, a little corn and a few beans?
Who is left behind when your war is won? The soldier of misfortune, with a bad reputation and the soldier on foreign soil. ”
In the title song Lives in the Balance, he further states: “A government is lying to its people and a country is drifting to war. We are sold to war in the same way that cars and clothes are sold to us.
But also social hotspots were the subject of this album, which was recognized in the songs Black and White and Lawless Avenues. The latter title tells the fate of some gang members in the streets of Los Angeles in the style of a modern West Side Story.
Browne managed to draw pictures in a few sentences and sections that outlined the problems of the youngsters in a street gang who do not have a happy ending. This song was used on the Internet as a teaching piece for internet-based English lessons, where it is analyzed in terms of content.
In the following 12 years only three more studio albums appeared, in which he devoted himself again to more private, emotional themes and only occasionally criticized society and politics.
His album I’m Alive was released in 1993 after a four-year hiatus. Lyrically and musically it was a return to the albums of the 1970s, which was expressed by pieces such as Too Many Angels, Two of Me, Two of You and in particular by the classic piano piece Sky Blue and Black.
The record is characterized by an endured life crisis, which Browne suffered due to the separation from his long-time partner, the actress Daryl Hannah. In the defiant theme song I’m Alive, he concludes with this topic (“… but those dreams are dead and I’m alive”) and looks back (Everywhere I go). The title song received attention on the later best-of and solo acoustic albums.
With the song Information Wars, Browne laments the “information wars” that the media are waging by beating and manipulating people with a flood of information. “The more news you watch, the less you know what’s really going on outside in the world,” he warns.
The song Culver Moon is dedicated to his hometown of Culver City, one of the suburbs of Los Angeles, and in Nino, which is shaped by samba rhythms, it tells the story of a little boy who is facing a great future in Los Angeles.
In 2000 he received the Native American Music Award for Best Producer and for the Song of the Year for Blue Indians with John Trudell.
In 2003 and 2004 Jackson Browne was on a world tour almost continuously, in spring 2003 and autumn 2004 also in Germany.
He went on a solo acoustic tour, during which he spontaneously performed songs from his extensive repertoire on acoustic guitar, keyboard and piano at the request of the fans.
Two CDs were created from this tour, the first part was released in autumn 2005, the second part only in March 2008. In Germany he was a guest in Germany in August 2006 with David Lindley, but only for a concert in Hamburg.
On the occasion of this album, a large USA and Europe tour took place until summer 2009. In Germany Jackson Browne performed in April 2009 a. a. in Munich, Berlin, Cologne and Stuttgart.
Jackson Browne has released a total of 18 albums between 1972 and 2010, including twelve studio albums, two best-of albums and four live albums.
In the summer of 2013, Jackson Browne was on tour in the United States with singer / songwriter Jimmy Buffett, who is based in Key West / Florida.
In 2014 Browne released another studio album titled Standing in the Breach, which hit the charts in the US, England and Germany.
Jackson Browne lives in Culver City in California. Between 2000 and 2002 he lived in Barcelona, Spain, which is briefly hinted at in his song The Night Inside Me from 2002 (“Maybe I should go back to Spain”).
His presence in the music business for over 30 years, during which he influenced folk and country rock in America, was recognized in spring 2004.
In 2007 she was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Browne prefers to play western guitars from Gibson Guitar Corporation, and again mainly J-45 models.
In honor of him, Gibson released a Jackson Browne signature guitar in 2011.
The following of his followers has grown with every album since his debut album Jackson Browne (Saturate Before Using), which includes his first top ten hit Doctor and the Rock Me on the Water, and his “metaphysical Graffiti” received more and more recognition.
Full name: Clyde Jackson Browne
Date of birth: October 9th 1948
Birthplace: Heidelberg, Germany
Profession: Musician, Singer, Political activist
Height: 1.7 m
Weight: 80 kg
Net Worth: 50$ million