The Three Most Influential Jackson Browne Songs - And Why

Jackson Browne stands as one of the premier singer/songwriters in recent times. The most influential Jackson Browne songs are hard to name, but careful scrutiny showed me the top three such songs.
They are:
1. "Take It Easy" co-written with Glenn Frey of the Eagles, is a song that has influenced many many singers and groups. It was the hit song that really launched the Eagles into fame, and it has been a primary cover song for many Country artists over the years and has continued to be on the music charts into the 2000's even though the song was written in the 1970s. The song itself isn't heavy with meaning as many of the Jackson Browne songs have been, but it became sort of a theme for a casual, light-hearted type of life style that is predominant in many areas of America today. So "Take It Easy" has yes, been most influential.
2. "Running on Empty" has been very influential in the lives of many musical touring groups and solo singers. The album Running on Empty was the only album of Jackson Browne to reach Number 1 on the Billboard charts - so the influence there is obvious. But the song is instantly recognizable from it's beginning chords - if you didn't grow up under a rock, you'll easily identify the song immediately. The lyrics of the song detail life on the road of a touring musician, and it typifies what life on the touring road is all about - and the title says a lot about what that's like. Touring musicians commonly spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars going to play at locations where they perform for an audience of only 6 - 10 people and yet have to finance equipment, motels, gasoline, etc - so they can pretty much be "running on empty" most of the time while on the road.
3. "The Pretender" has to go on the list, as it has influenced many people (including myself) to examine their lives of the 9-to-5 type of grind in life that becomes its own kind of trap because of the economic bind that the society puts us into. It has started people looking at their lives and determining to opt out of that life style ("Pack my lunch in the morning, go to work each day. And when the evening comes around, I'll go on home and lay my body down. And when the morning light comes streaming in, I'll get up and do it again. Amen."). The influence of that song may not be documented, but I'm sure the influence has been and is still being felt.
While you may not agree on my choice of the three most influential Jackson Browne songs, I think you will agree that as a songwriter and performer, he is one of the best and that he has definitely influenced our society.

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