For Everyman

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For the Steve Camp album, see For Every Man.
For Everyman
Studio album by Jackson Browne
Released October 1973
Recorded 1973 at Sunset Sound, Studio One
Genre Rock
Length 41:13
Label Asylum
Producer Jackson Browne
Jackson Browne chronology
Jackson Browne
(1972)
For Everyman
(1973)
Late for the Sky
(1974)

For Everyman is the second album by American singer/songwriter Jackson Browne, released in 1973 (see 1973 in music). The album peaked at number 43 on the Billboard 200 chart and the single "Redneck Friend" reached number 85 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. In 2003, the album was ranked number 457 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

History[edit]

For Everyman marks the debut of multi-instrumentalist David Lindley's long association with Browne. Guest artists included David Crosby (harmony on the title track), Glenn Frey (harmony on Redneck Friend), Elton John (credited as Rockaday Johnnie, piano on Redneck Friend), Don Henley (harmony on Colors of the Sun), Joni Mitchell and Bonnie Raitt.

The title track was written by Browne in response to the apocalyptic "Wooden Ships", a song written by Crosby, Stephen Stills and Paul Kanter. His own version of "These Days" appears here after having been previously recorded by Nico and covered by Gregg Allman. Nico was the first to record the song in 1967.[1] Browne later commented "When [Allman] did it I thought that he really unlocked a power in that song that I sort of then emulated in my version. I started playing the piano. I wasn't trying to sing it like Gregg; I couldn't possibly. I took the cue, playin' this slow walk. But it was written very sort of, kind of a little more flatpicking."[2] "Take It Easy" was written by Browne and Frey and became the Eagles' first single, released on May 1, 1972.

At two points during the album, Browne crossfades tracks into one-another. The opening track, "Take it Easy" is crossfaded into the next track, "Our Lady of the Well." The scenario repeats again at the end of the recording when the second-to-last track, "Sing My Songs to Me" is crossfaded into the title track, "For Everyman." This technique was popularized by The Beatles across the second side of the Abbey Road LP. It was later used by Lindsey Buckingham & Keith Olsen in 1973 throughout the mastering of both sides of the Buckingham Nicks album.

For Everyman was certified as a Gold record in 1975 and Platinum in 1989 by the RIAA.[3]

The cover is a depiction of Browne's childhood Highland Park, California home, "The Abbey San Encino".

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[4]
Robert Christgau (B)[5]
Rolling Stone (no rating)[1]

In her November 1973 review in Rolling Stone, Janet Maslin wrote that "for inwardly panoramic songwriting of an apocalyptic bent, Jackson Browne's second album is rivaled only by his first (the second one wins), and Jackson himself is rivaled by nobody," adding that "his work is a unique fusion of West Coast casualness and East Coast paranoia, easygoing slang and painstaking precision, child's-eye romanticizing and adult's-eye acceptance." Mostly complimentary throughout, she noted that his singing had improved since the first album, and consciously reviews the album by placing it squarely within the context of the times: "Jackson's concerns, even more than his genius for rendering them simultaneously intimate and universal, are the basis for the album's unique strengths. He stands alone as a composite of ambivalence about maturity, weariness of the race, fear that love may not be enough ... confusion over whether or not a lasting home can be found in a progressively nightmarish world. He also stands alone as someone who, resigned to all that, is still willing to seek out some quiet way of weathering his time's new trials. Brilliantly conceived, incomparably immediate, For Everyman truly earns its title."[6]

Acknowledging that Browne had a large task ahead of him in following his debut Jackson Browne in his review for Allmusic, William Ruhlmann claimed Browne "turned to some of his secondary older material, which was still better than most people's best and, ironically, more accessible..." and summarized the album as a "less consistent collection than Browne's debut album. But Browne's songwriting ability remained impressive."[4]

In a 1999 Rolling Stone review, Anthony DeCurtis claimed the album as uneven and that "Browne is still searching for his true voice on For Everyman. Is he the genial rogue of 'Red Neck Friend' or the mystical dreamer of 'Our Lady of the Well'? He will find that voice the following year on his masterpiece, Late for the Sky. But on For Everyman, he was testing his various talents with obvious joy, because, like his audience, he was just discovering them."[1]

Music critic Robert Christgau gave the album a B grade, writing "Even as he lists toward the pretentious and the vague, the reflective evenness of Browne's delivery sets up an expectation of cogency that on this album is satisfied only by such relatively unambitious songs as 'These Days,' 'Red Neck Friend,' and the charming 'Ready or Not.' Which save it for me."[5]

Track listing[edit]

All songs by Jackson Browne, except where noted

Side One[edit]

  1. "Take It Easy" (Browne, Glenn Frey) – 3:39
  2. "Our Lady of the Well" – 3:51
  3. "Colors of the Sun" – 4:26
  4. "I Thought I Was a Child" – 3:43
  5. "These Days" – 4:41

Side Two[edit]

  1. "Redneck Friend" – 3:56
  2. "The Times You've Come" – 3:39
  3. "Ready or Not" – 3:33
  4. "Sing My Songs to Me" – 3:25
  5. "For Everyman" – 6:20

Personnel[edit]

Production notes:

  • Jackson Browne – producer
  • John Haeny – engineer
  • Al Schmitt – engineer
  • Kent Nebergall – assistant engineer
  • Rick Tarantini – assistant engineer
  • Al Schmitt – mixing
  • Greg Ladanyi – mastering
  • Anthony Hudson – art direction, design

Charts[edit]

Album - Billboard (North America)

Year Chart Position
1973 Pop Albums 43

Singles - Billboard (North America)

Year Single Chart Position
1973 "Redneck Friend" Pop Singles 85

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c DeCurtis, Anthony. "Jackson Browne > Review". Rolling Stone. 
  2. ^ Interview with Jackson Browne, KGSR radio Austin, October 10, 2002. Accessed May 26, 2007.
  3. ^ RIAA Gold and Platinum award. Retrieved July 20, 2010
  4. ^ a b Ruhlmann, William. "For Everyman > Review". Allmusic. Retrieved July 9, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b Christgau, Robert. "For Everyman > Review". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved June 4, 2010. 
  6. ^ Maslin, Janet. Rolling Stone, Review of For Everyman, Nov. 22, 1973.