It seems being hidden away within a press release for his new Solo Acoustic tour, has hindered the news of Jackson Browne’s new studio album coming later this year. If you too missed that news, then look back at one of my previous blog posts for all the information.
However, this hasn’t stopped fans questioning what they will find on this latest offering from the legendary singer-songwriter and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer. Since his last studio album, Time the Conqueror back in 2008, Jackson Browne has been anything but quiet with the release of Love Is Strange, a two CD live album based around concerts he performed across Spain, as well as a live DVD named I’ll Do Anything which highlighted one of Jackson’s concerts. That is no to mention the many tours of America he did during this time.
But in amongst all of this was a new song, one without fanfare and release but quietly and simply performed at gigs. However the brilliance of social media and the power of sites like YouTube meant before long, the song became common knowledge amongst his die hard fans.
In an interview with a U.S. radio show, Jackson spoke about instead of releasing a new album, doing just this and releasing songs via YouTube but it seems he has changed his mind. Standing In The Breach is the aforementioned song that was inspired around the events of the Haitian earthquake of 2010. I am sure that this song will be one included on this new record and is an inkling that Jackson is still writing new material.
The wonderful uniqueness of a Jackson Browne solo acoustic show is its unpredictability. Anything can happen as fan shout outs and requests dictate the concert’s path, meaning one show is never the same as the next, but this tradition has also spilled over into his full band performances. This means that not only could you be hearing the songs that spent weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100, but you could also be hearing relics from Jackson’s songwriter days that have never been released by him for an album.
When Browne was younger and before he received his big break at the hands of David Geffin, Browne was a staff songwriter who would write songs to be performed by well-establish bands. His most famous partnership was with the female solo artist Nico, who after success with the Velvet Underground, was releasing her own solo album. This was where Jackson’s now legendary song These Days was first recorded as well a less known song The Fairest of the Seasons. Although Browne later recorded These Days and brought him international fame and recognition, the other song was just an album filler and never went anywhere, a shame for a song so rich in imagery.
But fans have asked for the song and never one to disappoint, Browne has begun performing this at concerts. Therefore it is a long shot as Jackson has only done this for his first two albums but we could see him bringing these archived songs out and giving them a new dimension as he looks back at how he was feeling almost 50 years ago. I personally hope this happens because as a fan myself, I found these amazing songs online and they have become some of my favourite songs not just by Browne. The depth is unparalleled as the introspective style that Jackson Browne helped usher in is well and true highlighted perfectly.
It is not impossible that this can happen and be a success, friend of Jackson, Bruce Springsteen has found great success with his latest offering, High Hopes, which brings unreleased songs from old recordings that never made an album to the spotlight.
Unfortunately a new version of The Fairest of the Seasons, Jackson did recently has been deleted from YouTube but this is the original demo from 1966-67: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqTHs-mjvU8 (dirazzainestinzione)
Just Like Forever more than likely recorded for an album but never used – only briefly mentioned in a interview and performed live sparingly in the 70’s: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzeXU22EYLg (TheMusicFan34)
No matter what direction Jackson does choose to go in with his latest offering, there are a fews thing we can be sure of when it is released this autumn. It will still continue to offer songs that resemble short stories and level of depth unexplored by some albums currently available today.