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#368: Late for the Sky by Jackson Browne

6.06.2011


Late for the Sky by Jackson Browne (1974)

Favorite Track(s): "Fountain of Sorrow" and "Farther On" and "The Late Show" and "Before the Deluge"

Thoughts: Funny story! This album was released between the other two albums of Browne's we've heard so far: after For Everyman and before The Pretender! So is the list saying this is where he peaked?

I think we could safely say yes. This album is much, much too short at only 8 tracks.

I think my favorite one is "Farther On." I listened to a cover of this song by Denison Witmer on repeat for months. If I ever create a Best Songs for the Single Person's Experience playlist, this would be sooo near the top, if not at it. And so of course I feel I must give you the lyrics so you can understand. I have bolded my favorite bits:

In my early years I hid my tears
And passed my days alone
Adrift on an ocean of loneliness
My dreams like nets were thrown
To catch the love that I'd heard of
In books and films and songs
Now there's a world of illusion and fantasy
In the place where the real world belongs

Still I look for the beauty in songs
To fill my head and lead me on
Though my dreams have come up torn and empty
As many times as love has come and gone

To those gentle ones my memory runs
To the laughter we shared at the meals
I filled their kitchens and living rooms
With my schemes and my broken wheels
It was never clear how far or near
The gates to my citadel lay
They were cutting from stone some dreams of their own
But they listened to mine anyway

I'm not sure what I'm trying to say
It could be I've lost my way
Though I keep a watch over the distance
Heaven's no closer than it was yesterday

And the angels are older
They know not to wait up for the sun
They look over my shoulder
At the maps and the drawings of the journey I've begun

Now the distance leads me farther on
Though the reasons I once had are gone
I keep thinking I'll find what I'm looking for
In the sand beneath the dawn

But the angels are older
They can see that the sun's setting fast
They look over my shoulder
At the vision of paradise contained in the light of the past
And they lay down behind me
To sleep beside the road till the morning has come
Where they know they will find me
With my maps and my faith in the distance
Moving farther on

I mean, my dreams like nets were thrown/To catch the love that I'd heard of/In books and films and songs/Now there's a world of illusion and fantasy/In the place where the real world belongs pretty much describes my entire love life. Or at least my current one! Also, any song that uses the word 'citadel' is first class my book.

And "The Late Show", oh. my. word. Excerpt:

I saw you through the laughter and the noise
You were talking with the soldiers and the boys
While they scuffled for your weary smiles
I thought of all the empty miles
And the years that I've spent looking for your eyes
And now I'm sitting here wondering what to say
Afraid that all these words might scare you away
No one ever talks about their feelings anyway
Without dressing them in dreams and laughter
I guess it's just too painful otherwise

UNF. Also, as per usual, Don Henley does back-up vocals. Why wasn't Jackson in The Eagles already?

Brilliant, wonderful album. Loved it.

Is This Better Than A Hard Day's Night?: Yes!

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