Browne, (Clyde) Jackson
- Stephen Holden
- , revised by Olivia Carter Mather
(b Heidelberg, Germany, Oct 9, 1949). American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and pianist. He was a key figure in the emergence of singer-songwriters and the confessional, laid-back sound of California soft rock in the 1970s. Born to American parents stationed in Germany, he grew up in Orange County, California, but began his career in New York in the late 1960s. After returning to the West Coast in the early 1970s he quickly became known as a songwriter. In 1972 he signed with David Geffen’s label Asylum Records and released his critically acclaimed self-titled album and his first hit, “Doctor my Eyes” (Asylum, 1972). That year he also co-wrote the Eagles’ first hit “Take it Easy” (Asylum, 1972) with Glenn Frey. His early music was characterized by a long-lined ballad style that featured acoustic guitar and piano. While the main preoccupation of the Los Angeles songwriting scene was the social ethos of Los Angeles itself, Browne’s early songs were more personal and romantic, concerned with the psychological nuances of erotic relationships and the search for transcendent love in the face of loneliness, self-protection, and disguise; their frequent hymn-like cadences give many of them a devotional flavor. Other themes include that of an earthly paradise imperiled by pollution and corruption, apocalyptic imagery, and death, especially in such albums as ...