Monday, January 7, 2019

"For America" by Jackson Browne

Song#:  2641
Date:  03/01/1986
Debut:  72
Peak:  30
Weeks:  12
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  While some of Browne's previous songs had touched on political or social issues, it wasn't until his eighth studio album, Lives in the Balance, that his tunes were more direct in commenting on the political landscape of the day, specifically Reagan-era meddling in countries south of the US border. This first single certainly gave a taste as to what the album had to offer. The anti-war track was welcomed at Rock where it ended up peaking at #3. However, Browne's politico-rock wasn't as embraced at Pop radio and it would only manage to make the Top 30. It also got to #31 at AC. While the album and its themes may have turned some listeners away, others seemed to appreciate Browne's world view and bought the album. The mixed reaction had the new LP only peaking at #23, which was his lowest result since 1973. After a string of platinum sellers, the album could only manage gold level sales.

ReduxReview:  I'm not a big fan of Browne and political songs are not necessarily my thing, yet I kind of like this rockin' tune. I also dig Browne's beefier, modern production. It sounds really good. The drawback here for pop radio is that there is no real hook. The individual sections of the song are well done, but there isn't a bold chorus to keep it in your memory after it has played on the radio. Yet I still like to tune and I don't find its message too over the top.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  While this album found Browne becoming more forward in his world views, he had been an outspoken activist for many years. He has performed concerts for various organizations (Farm Aid, Amnesty International, etc.) and has spent a lot of time promoting and doing work for environmental causes. Because of these efforts, Browne began receiving various awards for his humanitarian and charitable work. His most recent one (as of this posting date) was the 2018 Gandhi Peace Award. Given to individuals who promote worldwide peace and goodwill, the award (along with a cash prize) has been given out annually since 1960. The first recipient was Eleanor Roosevelt. Other notables to have received the award are Martin Luther King, Jr., Cesar Chavez, and Ralph Nader. Browne is the first artist/entertainer to receive the award.


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