Friday, August 15, 2008

1973: I Thought I Was A Child

Jackson Browne: I Thought I Was A Child


My introduction to Jackson Browne's music came when my middle brother brought home Browne's masterpiece, Late For The Sky, in 1974. Browne's follow-up was an album where somebody got him to agree to the worst excesses of 1970s production for The Pretender, and a perfectly good batch of songs was ruined by a wall of unnecessary strings and other unneeded touches. At that point, my brother gave up on Jackson Browne, and never looked back. But I didn't give up, and I was buying my own music by then, so I could do something about it.

To this day, when I discover an artist, I don't just wait around for their next release. I also check out their back catalog. In the case of Jackson Browne, this led me to 1973's For Everyman. The best known song on the album is the lead track, Take It Easy. A co-write by Browne and the Eagles' Glen Frey, technically neither version is a cover, but of course the Eagles had the hit with it.

But For Everyman is a deeper album than that. Here we find Jackson Browne experimenting, still not sure of his sound. He could have taken things in a number of directions from here, and I would have been along for the ride. So For Everyman is not the most cohesive album, but the songs are all good to great.

Obviously, I Thought I Was a Child is a favorite of mine. Listen to the interplay of the piano and the accoustic guitar. It's like watching Fred Astaire and Cyd Charise dancing together in the moonlight. Beautiful.

Side note: there was one other time Jackson Browne was the victim of bad production. The album World in Motion suffers from the worst excesses of 1980s production. If anybody has an mp3 of Pops Staples' version of the song World in Motion, with Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt helping out on vocals, please post it in the comments. Thanks.

Submitted By Darius

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