Jackson Browne’s first two records: Saturate Before Using (named after the cover graphic) & For Everyman – display strong songwriting but Late For the Sky was his breakthrough. I didn’t pick these two up until much later & if Late hadn’t been such a success they would have vanished. Which is what Jackson did himself, after the live Running on Empty he took a break. Running is a great live album that reflects life on the road, drugs & loss of direction with a dynamic back-up band.
He released a few things but it wasn’t until Hold Out that he really resurfaced – this is another powerful romantic, music & image rich recording. During his ‘break’ he did some voice training & his vocals are mature & emotive without overselling anything. If you have no Jackson Browne this is a good place to start – not as emotionally overwrought at Late for the Sky or as wallowing at The Pretender it strikes a the perfect balance.
The other recordings I have are good solid work: Lives In The Balance, Lawyers in Love, which includes his unexpected hit single. Then he sort of vanished again to return in 2008 with Time The Conqueror – which I bought to revisit old memories. I’ve done this with many of my formative passions – Joan Baez, Dr. John – to see what they have aged in to. ‘Time’ is a warm reunion with an old friend. His voice is a bit rougher & the music a bit more laid back but it is a fine lp. He still looks fine too 🙂
‘Are there any more questions?’
Dyna surveyed the class. The rows of seats rose in tiers around her. She felt small in the centre of the semi-circular room. The slide projected behind her seemed so massive. She was happy to see that most of the faces she encountered were still awake. A hand fluttered in the tenth row.
‘Yes. Casey Stelle, isn’t it?’
Dyna liked to demonstrate her ability to remember names.
‘Yes. I wanted to know if … well … how could such a crime go undetected for so long.’
‘Casey, you have to put it into its proper cultural context. At that time people didn’t talk about such things. It was a closely guarded secret.’
‘Yes,’ another hand shot up. ‘but it had such a deep resonance at the time. How could it go undetected.’
‘Jeff, that isn’t so strange. The fact that it wasn’t talked about doesn’t mean it was undetected. People knew of it, but out of shame or other cultural conditioning didn’t deal with. They didn’t ignore it but at the same time they turned their back on the events. Went on as if it hadn’t happened.’
She stepped from the podium and looked over the students once more. Books were being closed and back packs being back packed. As sure a sign as any that this part of the class had come to an end. As usual a few students descended to talk to her. She turned off the projector was was glad to have the gloom of the room return. The blood brightness of the slides made her feel on display.
The first to reach her was Jeff.
‘Miss Dark. I didn’t want to get into this in front of the class. Not enough time anyway as it turns out, but I still don’t quite buy your theory.’
‘It’s not for sale Jeff. I merely presented one of several approaches to the circumstances. After all, wife beating once wasn’t a crime. Women who complained about it were shunned for being unfaithful to their husbands. Today that has reversed Women who don’t complain get shunned.’
‘But this case isn’t at that scale.’
‘Now it’s me who doesn’t buy your theory.’
‘You could at least hear it out.’
‘Okay Jeff I’m listening.’
Their eyes locked. Jeff’s face reddened. Dyna knew she had this power to silence and wasn’t unwilling to use it now.
‘Another time.’ Jeff glared back at her and started up the stairs to exit the classroom. He tripped on the first one and fell.
‘Serves him right.’ Dyna thought with a small laugh.
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