There’s an old adage that truly great music is timeless, transcending the era in which it was produced. One album that’s proving that rule is Looking Into You: A Tribute to Jackson Browne.
Released on April 1st, Looking Into You features 23 fresh renditions of esteemed singer-song writer Jackson Browne’s greatest work. It immediately struck a chord with listeners, moving 8,000 copies in just its first week and debuting at #44 on Billboard’s top 200 album chart. Unlike many albums, which fade away soon after release, Looking Into You benefits from the staying power of Jackson Browne’s music. The recording has continued to sell steadily.
Classic songwriting is not the only reason Looking Into You: A Tribute to Jackson Browne resonates so well with audiences. It features a veritable all-star lineup of musicians playing Browne’s most loved songs. A number of great artists jumped at the chance to pay homage to one of America’s great performers.
One such musician is the Eagles’ Don Henley. The Eagles had their first hit, “Take It Easy” co-written by Browne and Henley’s bandmate, Glen Fry.
Reflecting on Browne’s career, Henley commented, “It is astounding to think that Jackson wrote ‘These Days’ when he was only 16 years old. But then, he was always a step ahead of the rest of us. I've learned a lot from him over the years and I am honored to be part of this album.”
Henley is not the only icon to put his own unique spin on a classic Browne tune. Some of the legendary musicians joining him on Looking Into You: A Tribute to Jackson Browne include Bruce Springsteen, Bonnie Raitt, Lyle Lovett, Joan Osborne, and Ben Harper.
Also playing on the album is folk musician Jimmy LaFave, who spoke about Jackson Browne’s influence.
"To paraphrase Bonnie Raitt, when it comes to matters of the heart, there is no better songwriter than Jackson Browne. He has been a huge musical influence of mine and is easily on my list of top five songwriters along with Dylan, Woody, Bruce, and Chuck Berry," said the Texas-based guitar player.
It’s not hard to see why so many talented performers were eager to offer tribute to Jackson Browne. Browne, whose musical career spans nearly 50 years, was responsible for some of the most soulful tunes of the 70s and 80s. His music rises beyond traditional genre classification, attracting listeners from all walks of life.
Browne has eight platinum albums to his name, and has sold more than 18 million records. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2007.
Paul Thorn, who contributed a moving version of “Doctor My Eyes” to Looking Into You: A Tribute to Jackson Browne, talked about the impact Browne’s music had on his life.
"Growing up in Mississippi, Jackson Browne's music was a big part of the soundtrack of my youth,” he said. “'Doctor My Eyes' was all over the radio and it really stuck in my head. Other songs like 'Somebody's Baby' really spoke to me when I thought about all the pretty girls in high school who wouldn't give me the time of day. Later in my life, 'I'm Alive' really helped me through some hard times when I was dealing with a broken heart. I am honored to be a part of this great project.”
Unlike many tribute album subjects, Jackson Browne is still going strong. The venerable musician is in the midst of an American tour, which will last through the fall. He’s also putting out a new studio album, titled Standing In The Breach, which is slated for release on October 6th internationally and October 7th in the States. Looking Into You: A Tribute to Jackson Browne is a fitting honor to this living legend.
Griffin House, who performed "The Barricades of Heaven" on the album, sums it up best.
“My Dad's youngest brother Eric was like a big brother to me. He introduced me to a lot of music including Bruce Springsteen and Jackson Browne. He once said, ‘There'll never be anyone better than Springsteen,’ but then he said later,‘There'll never be anyone better than Jackson Browne.’”