Jackson Browne’s Best Song From Each Of His Studio Albums

Jackson Browne Songs

Feature Photo: Bill Ragen Shutterstock

Our Jackson Browne’s Best Song From Each Of His Studio Albums presents a list of songs representing the best ones from each Jackson Browne Album. This is the first of a brand new series that we just started here at classicrockhistory.com. We’ve done so many top 10 song lists over the years for all our favorite artists that we thought creating an alternate series to these lists would be fun. What we love about this series is that every album will be represented from an artist’s catalog. What will be more challenging is that many artists will have albums filled with many of the best songs of their careers on one individual album. Nonetheless, rules are rules, and we will stick to them. We picked Jackson Browne as the artist to open up our series.

Jackson Browne (1972) – “Doctor, My Eyes”

Jackson Browne’s debut album was released in 1972. It contained two  hits: “Doctor My Eyes” and, of course, a song Linda Ronstadt would later record, “Rock Me on the Water.” It was tough to pick between these two, and of course, there are so many other great songs on the record, but in the end, we decided to go with “Doctor My Eyes.”

For Everyman (1973) “Take It Easy”

It was hard not to choose “Take It Easy: from this record because it was such a big hit for the Eagles, and so many people are unaware of Jackson Browne’s version. The song was written by Jackson Browne and Glenn Frey.

Read More: Top 10 Glenn Frey Eagles Songs

Late for the Sky (1974) “For A Dancer”

“For A Dancer” has always been one of my favorite Jackson Browne songs. Late for the Sky is considered by many to be one of Jackson Browne’s finest albums. Although it didn’t have any big hits, every song was just fabulous.

The Pretender (1976) “The Pretender”

It was tough to pick only one from this album. This is my favorite Jackson Browne album. I have listened to these songs hundreds of times. Songs like “Here Come Those Tears Again,” “The Fuse,” and “Linda Paloma” are all classic Jackson Browne songs. In the end, we went with the one that ends the album and also serves as the title track. On our Top 10 Jackson Browne Songs list, “The Pretender” came in at number one. Yeah, this is a big one.

Running on Empty (1977) – “The Load Out”

This was another tough call, especially with the title track. Everyone loved the song “Running on Empty.” However, there was just something exceptional about “The Load Out.” Especially how he tacked on the Frankie Valli and Four Seasons song “Stay” at the end.

Hold Out (1980) – “Hold On Hold Out”

Jackson Browne had a great run at the end of the ’70s and into the early 80s. This is just before he released the song “Somebody’s Baby,” which was featured in the movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Every song on this album is brilliant “Disco Apocalypse”  “Hold Out,” “That Girl Could Sing,” “Boulevard,” “Of Missing Persons,” “Call It a Loan,” and, of course, the album’s closer, “Hold On Hold Out” which turns out to be our favorite track from this wonderful album.

Lawyers in Love (1983) “Tender Is The Night”

I always felt that Jackson Browne began a new phase in his music with the Lawyers In Love album. It’s not one of my favorite Jackson Browne albums, but I still enjoyed it over time. The pick here is “Tender Is the Night” the opening song on side two.

Lives in the Balance (1986) “In The Shape Of A Heart”

On the Lives in the Balance album, Jackson Browne started digging deeper into politics. It was always there with him, but not as out front in his music as it was on this album. The pick here is I”n The Shape Of A Heart,” which tilted a little more toward his older style.

World in Motion (1989) “How Long”

This is probably my least favorite Jackson Browne album. I almost went with “I Am a Patriot” by Steven Van Zandt, but I wanted to choose a Jackson Browne composition instead. “How Long” is the pick!

I’m Alive (1993) – “My Problem Is You”

On the I’m Alive album, Jackson Browne returns to his romantic side. However, it was for reasons he probably wished he didn’t have to. The breakup between Daryl Hannah and Jackson Browne seemed to really mess this dude up. I mean, you can’t blame him; if Daryl Hannah had broken up with you, wouldn’t you be pretty messed up? Sometimes it is hard to listen to because you feel for him. This song, though, seems to be his revenge song. That’s why it gets the pick in my book.

Looking East (1996) – The Barricades of Heaven

It’s tough not to enjoy an album that includes such spectacular musical guests such as Bonnie Raitt, Benmont Tench, David Crosby, Vonda Shepard, Waddy Wachtel, Ry Cooder, Phil Perry and so many more.  Many choices here, but we went with the cool track “The Barricades Of Heaven.”

The Naked Ride Home (2002) – “For Taking The Trouble”

This is truly a Jackson Browne David Lindley album. The late David Lindley was such a big part of Jackson Browne’s music. This one is simply breathtaking!

Time the Conqueror (2008) – “Where Were You”

As with most artists who started out in the early 1970s, once they got into the 2000s, more time passed between albums. I loved the groove on this one.

Read More: Complete List Of Jackson Browne Albums And Discography

Standing in the Breach (2014) -“The Birds Of St. Marks”

“The Birds Of St. Marks” was the opening track on this album. The song reminds me of his late 1970s material. This is one of his most overlooked songs.

Read More: Top 10 Jackson Browne Songs 

Downhill from Everywhere (2021) – “Minutes To Downtown”

Two grooving songs in a row end this list. Although this one is a little darker at times. I really enjoyed the last two Jackson Browne albums that he has released. Make sure you take a listen to this song “Minutes To Downtown,” it’s really good.

Jackson Browne’s Best Song From Each Of His Studio Albums article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2024

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