"Quintessential California singer-songwriter and 2004 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Jackson Browne has created some of the most literate and emotionally resonant compositions in popular music. Rhino's new version of Running on Empty is an incredible sonic reinvention, visually augmented with the brilliant photography of Joel Bernstein, shot during the historic tour on which the album is based.
On 1976's The Pretender, Jackson Browne confessed to enough distractions from his craft and disenchantment with the world around him to make a candid and contemporary rock album that set an optimistic stage for what was lying on-deck. And though Running On Empty would become Browne's quarter-century meal ticket, it was no favorite to the hard cores who found commercial contrivance in its "rock-star-on-the-road" concept. Yet nearly three decades after its release, the remastered and repackaged live album sounds as innovative and unsullied as ever (complete with a DVD that includes audio of two previously unreleased songs from the era). Recorded on stage, on motel room furniture, and aboard the tour bus, the songs served as Browne's diary of a mad musician, including womanizing in Danny O'Keefe's "The Road," drugs in the Rev. Gary Davis' sermonette "Cocaine" and the enduring anthem of roadies and crowd adoration (and a Top 10 hit), "The Load-Out." Though Browne's commercial appeal would never again rise to this level, his legacy in his generation of popular music was sewn, and the record that put him there is still running on endurance."
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