5 Deep Cuts From Jackson Browne

Jackson Browne is one of the most heralded songwriters of all time. Few helped to carve out the West Coast singer-songwriter landscape better than Browne.

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Browne began his solo career with the release of his self-titled debut in 1972. Since then he has consistently churned out timeless hits, many of which have gone down as classics in a number of formats, including rock and easy listening.

[RELATED: 5 Songs You Didn’t Know Jackson Browne Wrote for Other Artists]

His songwriting catalog is so extensive, that a few of his lesser-known offerings may have escaped listeners entirely. Find five of Browne’s best deep cuts, below.

1. “Song For Adam”

Browne’s debut album is largely known for the jaunty hit “Doctor My Eyes” and the ballad “Jamaica Say You Will.” But elsewhere on the LP is “Song For Adam,” an acoustically-driven track that is equally as enticing. Browne details the story of a friend who committed suicide with painful detail in the lyrics to “Song For Adam.” Browne has tackled death a number of times in his work and this track stands as an early and stunning example of that idea.

Though Adam was a friend of mine, I did not know him long
And when I stood myself beside him, I never thought I was as strong
Still it seems he stopped his singing in the middle of his song
Well, I’m not the one to say I know, but I’m hoping he was wrong

2. “The Times You’ve Come

The follow-up to Jackson’s debut, For Everyman, didn’t reach the same heights. But in “The Times You’ve Come,” Browne proves he still was operating at the top of his game despite the album’s middling performance. Browne meditates on love and loss in the lyrics while a waterfall of guitars backs him up. Browne’s lyrics are the paradigm of stellar songwriting here and, as if that wasn’t enough, Bonnie Raitt adds a layer of lulling harmonies to the track.

Now everybody’s gonna tell you it’s not worth it
Everybody’s gotta show you their own thing
You might try to find your way up around it
But the need for love will still remain

3. “Linda Paloma

From the 1976 follow-up to Browne’s magnum opus, Late for the Sky, comes this Latin-flavored song titled “Linda Paloma.” Browne paints a picture of a love gone cold in this song and warns against the dangers of being swept away by the moment. The aptest descriptor for this song is “pretty.” Browne utilizes the twill of a harp for the song’s main melody, resulting in a hazy, dream-like retelling of a love gone wrong.

Now the music that played in your ears
Grows a little bit fainter each day
And you find yourself looking through tears
At the love you feel slipping away
Though it’s not the kind
Of love you might hope to find
If tears could release the heart
From the shadows preferred by the mind

4. “I Am A Patriot”

Though Browne has time and again proven that he is gifted at being a topical songwriter, he got perhaps his finest political piece from Steven Van Zandt: “I Am A Patriot.” Browne showcases his skills as an interpreter in this one, relaying Van Zandt’s words from deep within his chest.

I am a patriot
And I love my county
Because my country is all I know
I want to be with my family
The people who understand me
I’ve got nowhere else to go

{RELATED: Top 10 Jackson Browne Songs]

5. “Here

“Here,” released in 2014, proves Browne’s prowess behind the pen hasn’t wavered an inch. Browne opts for simple language in this one, wistfully singing about a man losing his girl from an almost omniscient viewpoint. Browne has long been considered a master at the craft and “Here” is yet another bit of evidence behind that fact.

You’re sitting there staring at the distance
Like you’re putting up some kind of resistance
But you barely see the dawn
It’s like this river that you’re on
Here where the sorrows flow
And all you will never know about her

Photo by Richard E. Aaron/Redferns

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