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Lives In the Balance

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Album Review

Usually among the most introspective of songwriters, Jackson Browne cast his gaze on the world outside on Lives in the Balance and did not like what he saw. Beginning with "For America," he lamented his previous indifference to social issues — "I went on speaking of the future/While other people fought and bled" — but immediately tried to make up for lost time. The album's context, of course, was five years of Ronald Reagan's presidency, with what the Left saw as an indifference to the plight of the poor at home and a dangerously aggressive policy against insurgent movements in the Central American countries of El Salvador and Nicaragua that they feared would lead to a Vietnam-like war. Without naming those places, Browne wrote and sang passionately against poverty in the songs "Soldier of Plenty" and "Lawless Avenues" and against war in "For America," "Lives in the Balance," and "Till I Go Down." Elsewhere, his more familiar themes of romantic ("In the Shape of a Heart") and philosophical ("Black and White") disillusionment also made appearances.

Biography

Born: 09 October 1948 in Heidelberg, Germany

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

In many ways, Jackson Browne was the quintessential sensitive California singer/songwriter of the early '70s. Only Joni Mitchell and James Taylor ranked alongside him in terms of influence, but neither artist tapped into the post-'60s Zeitgeist like Browne. While the majority of his classic '70s work was unflinchingly personal, it nevertheless provided a touchstone for a generation of maturing baby boomers coming to terms with adulthood. Not only did his introspective, literate lyrics strike a nerve,...
Full bio
Lives In the Balance, Jackson Browne
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  • £4.99
  • Genres: Pop, Music, Rock, Singer/Songwriter, Pop/Rock
  • Released: 01 January 1970

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