Jackson Browne's first three LPs alone, which source half this illuminating double-CD covers set, are singer-songwriter urtexts. Don Henley offers a no-frills take on "These Days," Lucinda Williams does a raggedly existential "The Pretender" and Bruce Springsteen turns in a handsome three-tequilas-in "Linda Paloma" with Patti Scialfa. Not every performance is memorable, and the absence of younger fans is a missed opportunity – where's Conor Oberst? But the way that Browne's songs braid verbose emotions with melody remains magical.
From The Archives Issue 1206: April 10, 2014