Hit the road with Jackson Browne! Load Out ; the title track, and more!
Recorded onstage, backstage, in three different hotel rooms, and on a Continental Silver Eagle tour bus during a cross-country 1977 tour, Running on Empty
is a paean to life on the road. Jackson Browne's sense of camaraderie extended to the road crew, if "The Load Out," a love song to his roadies, is to be believed. Browne is much more blithe here than in his earlier outings. But Empty
also represents a fleeting lighthearted moment for the singer-cum-poet whose concerns became more political than personal after its appearance. Beneath its flippant surface, this disc is a look at the lengths Browne and his friends went to avoid facing the demands of the touring life. What with the frequent drug references, misogynistic references to on-the-fly pairings with women, and the sobering line in the title track--"I look around for the friends I used to pull me through / Looking into their eyes, I see them running, too"--one realizes that Browne was much more comfortable on the road than off. --Jaan Uhelszki