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4.6 out of 5 stars56
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 12 September 2014
I find it is always difficult to be objective about Jackson Browne's songs and music, simply because both have been such an important, underpinning part of my life since I was bought that first album for a birthday present and heard "Rock me on the water." In the UK there is a radio program called "Desert Island Discs" in which interviewees are asked to pick the eight tracks that they would wish to have with them if cast away alone on a desert island. My own list has never been without at least one Jackson Browne song - For a dancer? Sky blue and black? The Pretender? Call it a loan? Lives in the balance? Barricades of Heaven? So many from which to choose. But Jackson Browne has great courage alongside his musical and poetic gifts and no one has been able to stop him from saying what ever he thinks and feels - whether that be deeply personal and private or a well-targeted rant against brutality, inhumanity and government mendacity. This is a very lovely and loving ensemble of covers of some of his great songs, by admirers young and older. I guess they've done what I wish I could have done (had I any musical skills): paid tribute and saluted an artist of heart, courage, genius and compassion who has resonated with so many over the years.
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on 26 June 2014
Really like Jackson Browne and many of the artists on this album, but it fails to hit the mark on so many levels. The best covers are the ones that sound like the man himself, so why bother?

Maybe he's a bit like Joan Armatrading in that respect - never heard many, if any, covers of her songs, maybe because nobody could do them any better than the original.

Shame...
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Jackson Browne is an excellent songwriter and this double tribute album, co-produced by Tamara Saviano, Jimmy LaFave and Scott Crago, presents a selection of wonderful songs from across his career. The song "Everywhere I go" by Bonnie Raitt and David Lindley (both long-term friends and collaborators of Browne) was released a couple of weeks ago as a taster for the album and it is a terrific track that highlights the song beautifully with both artists coming together but still retaining their own sound and voices to impose their own personalities on the song. The track got me excited and made me really look forward to the release of the album.

However, unfortunately the record suffers from the classic tribute album problem that the majority of the covers sound just too much like the originals. This isn't helped by the fact that many of the artists are California-based associates of Jackson - Don Henley, Keb' Mo', J.D. Southerner etc. There aren't any bad tracks here, these are all great songs and they are all very well sung, played and produced but the majority are just too close to Jackson's own versions - Lyle Lovett sounds exactly like Jackson on his two songs. I just longed to hear a punk version, or someone like Tom Waits deconstructing one of the songs and only Lucinda Williams comes close to this with her distinctive world-weary delivery of "The Pretender" making it sound like one of her own songs rather than one of Jackson's. I did quite enjoy the covers from Marc Cohn, Bruce Hornsby and Shawn Colvin - who's solo performance at least sounded different to the majority of tracks - but in the end the Raitt/Lindley track is far and away the best cover here.
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on 2 May 2014
Don't know what the detractors were listening to. Don't pay attention to them, if you truly love Jackson Browne songs you will love this album. Yes some of them sound similar to the originals, but most artists add their own stamp while staying true to the original - in other words they bring something of value to the party.
And what a party! The tracks chosen are from the Golden Age of JB, and the list of artists is in itself a tribute, as you will have seen from the track listing they range from superstars to lesser known and all stops between. And the lesser known (or in a few cases unknown to me) most certainly are there on merit. One of the good things about tribute albums by 'Various Artists' is finding some new names and exploring their own albums, expanding ones own knowledge (and CD collection!).
The whole double CD package is very well presented, with beautiful photos of JBs grandfathers home and a booklet listing all songs, musicians/instruments, and quotes from many of the artists describing JBs influence on them.
All in all a superb addition to the collection of anyone who loves beautifully crafted lyrics brought to life by talented artists. Highly recommended!
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on 23 November 2015
I've been a big fan of Jackson Browne since the early 70s, I don't love all of his stuff - but most. I'm not a big fan of covers as they are rarely better than the original, although there are exceptions. So I was surprised by how wonderful this tribute album is. Especially, the versions of Jackson's songs sung by relative newcomers and, I have to admit, artists I've never heard of previously (may be it's a generational thing, but I will check them out now!). In particular, old favourites covered by Bob Schneider, Indigo Girls, Jimmy LaFave, Elizaq Gilkyson, Venice and Sara and Sean Watkins who bring new life and musical perspective making the songs as good as....dare I say it...... better than the original recording, even if in production values alone.
So why only fours stars? Well it's the older better known "names" that disappoint here, adding no extra value and bringing that old covers redundancy to classic songs. A part from Don Henley there really isn't anything special brought to Jackson's songs by the old guard and Lucinda William's murdering of "The Pretender" is a travesty....and I'm being kind!
But don't let that put you off of buying what has to be one of the best tribute albums, with some of the best songs by one of the best songwriters of his generation. Gorgeous, uplifting, beautiful.
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on 2 January 2015
Did Jackson Browne die and I missed it? That can be the only excuse for this collection of dirges and funereal interpretations of his work. Not only are the songs rendered slowly and mournfully, but also without much feeling. I had to keep checking the credits to see whether it was a house band with all the singers as it all blurred into the same morbidity of tone and background, especially the drums. I read that they're mostly buddies and cohorts of his though I find it hard to believe they have ever listened to his playing - mournful lyrics they may sometimes be but delivered with a rock sensibility and interpretation. Listen to Don Henley with 'These Days' for the sound of boredom; and on Bonnie Rait's 'Everywhere I go' I swear the band almost grinds to a halt...twice. It does get cracking on the second CD though, where the songs are interpreted in a truer, more lively fashion but that first side............
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on 4 July 2014
Great to hear his fine songs performed by
other artists-an excellent compilation
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on 4 August 2014
The song lyrics are all JB's with some presented as he did. Other songs have a unique sound as the artist is as expresive as the lyrics. Well worth it and deserving to be listened to by the most arden JB fan. This adds something it does not diminish message.
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on 29 April 2014
Whether you like Don Henley, The Indigo Girls, or the Bruces (Hornsby and Springsteen).... these are great performances by great artists. I love all of these...and to finish with JD Souther...just sublime !
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on 14 May 2014
I love it but I would say that, I am a fan of both Jackson Browne and Don Henley.
I don't usually like tribute albums but this is an exception in my opinion.
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