Thoughts and music of double J x

Tender Is The Night: Jackson Browne

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Acclaimed US singer-songwriter Jackson Browne is set to play Liverpool this summer and it’s difficult to imagine but with a near half century career behind him, he’s been at the centre of the lot of the music which we’ve grown to love. Jackson has written and performed some of the most literate and moving songs in popular music and has defined a genre of songwriting charged with honesty, emotion and personal politics. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 2007.

He was a staff writer for Elektra Records’ publishing company before his eighteenth birthday, backed both Tim Buckley and Nico in their early careers, his debut album, came out on David Geffen’s Asylum Records in 1972. Rolling Stone wrote in its original review that, “Jackson Browne’s sensibility is romantic in the best sense of the term: his songs are capable of generating a highly charged, compelling atmosphere throughout, and – just as important – of sustaining that pitch in the listener’s mind long after they’ve ended.” The now-classic LP introduced ten original songs, including “Rock Me On The Water” and “Jamaica Say You Will,” featuring David Crosby on harmony vocals. Crosby and Graham Nash sang on “Doctor My Eyes,” the album’s first single, which became a #8 hit on Billboard’s pop singles chart.

1927762_54897632086_5161645_nHis massive selling 1976 album, The Pretender, was produced by Bruce Springsteen’s long-time producer, Jon Landau.

The most striking songs on The Pretender are concerned with death and parenthood, subjects not necessarily unrelated. Often, his apocalyptic imagery is merely a way of getting at his feelings of mortality-the crumbling towers of Babylon in “The Fuse” are as much about the inevitable erosion of time as anything else. And parenthood is seen as a symbol of the middle-class life he has experienced: it’s both a joy and a trap. In “Daddy’s Tune,” he reaches out to his father, long ago alienated, in order to share with him the turmoil of advising his son in “The Only Child.” In a way, this is his ultimate dilemma-to be a father, or to be a son. And his ultimate triumph is to realize and reconcile the parent and the child in each of us. “The Pretender” is a breakthrough. Browne has always had traces of cynicism in his writing, but about romance he has remained firm. Love can make a difference, all of his songs say. But “The Pretender” is a song about why even that won’t work, in the long run. In its most shattering moment, the hero imagines what he and his dream-lover will do, if ever they manage to meet. Dave Marsh, Rolling Stone

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Not only a gifted songwriter and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member, Browne is equally well known for his political and environmental activism, being one of the co-founders of Musicians United for Safe Energy following the Three Mile Island nuclear accident in 1979 and played many concerts in support of Amnesty International.

His last Lp Standing in the Breach Was One of Rolling Stone’s 50 Best Albums of 2014.. Browne confirmed his place as an essential voice in the wilds of the 21st century with this powerful set of songs about love and progressive ideals forces that a corrupt world can never truly defeat. Songs like “The Long Way Around” are the most eloquent protests against apathy you’ll hear this year.

CzKKA5GUkAIbtO4He plays Liverpool Philharmonic Hall on June 29 as part of a short UK tour!

Jackson Browne plays:
◾June 18: Festival Theatre, Edinburgh
◾June 19: Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow
◾June 21: Sage, Gateshead
◾June 24 & June 25: Royal Albert Hall, London
◾June 27: Symphony Hall, Birmingham
◾June 29: Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool
◾June 30: Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

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