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The Very Best of Jackson Browne ()


Jackson Browne long displayed an aversion to hits collections, releasing his first one 25 years after his debut album. That 1997 disc, entitled Next Voice You Hear: The Best of Jackson Browne, had many hits, yet it was also missing many essential songs, leaving an opening for a collection that had all of Browne's hits and signature songs in one place. Released seven years later, Rhino/Elektra's double-disc The Very Best of Jackson Browne is more or less that collection. Produced by Jackson Browne and featuring 32 songs, this set has all the major songs -- "Doctor My Eyes," "These Days," "Late for the Sky," "The Pretender," "Fountain of Sorrow," "Redneck Friend," "Running on Empty," "Somebody's Baby" -- including songs missing on Next Voice You Hear, such as "Jamaica Say You Will," "Rock Me on the Water," "Take It Easy," "Before the Deluge," "The Load-Out," "Stay," and "Boulevard." However, there are a handful of smaller hits missing -- including "That Girl Could Sing," "Cut It Away," "For a Rocker," "For America," "Chasing You Into the Night," "World in Motion," and "Call It a Loan," the latter of which was on the previous compilation -- which may frustrate some listeners. Nevertheless, this is not a major problem since the collection does contain the great majority of Browne's best and best-known material in an attractive, engaging fashion (although the cardboard packaging may be a bit too flimsy to weather heavy, repeated listening), and for listeners who want a comprehensive overview without purchasing individual albums, this suits the bill nicely. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi Hide synopsis

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