Discography

Running On Empty

This time, Browne has consciously created a documentary, as brightly prosaic as it is darkly poetic, with a keen eye for the mundane as well as the magical. Running on Empty is a live album of new material about life on the road as conceived and recorded by a band of touring musicians in the places they spend most of their time (onstage, backstage, in hotel rooms, even on the bus). Since there are two separate concepts here, the audience gets an unprecedented double feature: ten songs they've never heard Browne sing, and a behind-the-scenes look at "the show they didn't see." As impressed as I am with Jackson Browne's art, I'm even more impressed with the humanity that shines through it. Maybe they're inseparable, but I doubt it. (RS 258-260)

Paul Nelson, Rolling Stone, 1978

  • 1. RUNNING ON EMPTY
    Looking out at the road rushing under my wheels
    Looking back at the years gone by like so many summer fields
    In 65 I was seventeen and running up 101
    I dont know where Im running now, Im just running on

    Running onrunning on empty
    Running onrunning blind
    Running onrunning into the sun
    But Im running behind

    Gotta do what you can just to keep your love alive
    Trying not to confuse it with what you do to survive
    In 69 I was twenty-one and I called the road my own
    I dont know when that road turned onto the road Im on

    Running onrunning on empty
    Running onrunning blind
    Running onrunning into the sun
    But Im running behind

    Everyone I know, everywhere I go
    People need some reason to believe
    I dont know about anyone but me
    If it takes all night, thatll be all right
    If I can get you to smile before I leave

    Looking out at the road rushing under my wheels
    I dont know how to tell you all just how crazy this life feels
    I look around for the friends that I used to turn to pull me through
    Looking into their eyes I see them running too

    Running onrunning on empty
    Running onrunning blind
    Running onrunning into the sun
    But Im running behind

    Honey, you really tempt me
    You know the way you look so kind
    Id love to stick around but Im running behind
    You know I dont even know what Im hoping to find
    Running into the sun but Im running behind

    Words and Music by Jackson Browne
    1977 Swallow Turn Music ASCAP
    All Rights Reserved
  • 2. THE ROAD
    Highways and dance halls
    A good song takes you far
    You write about the moon
    And you dream about the stars

    Blues in old motel rooms
    Girls in daddy's cars
    You sing about the nights
    And you laugh about the scars

    Coffee in the mornin'
    Cocaine afternoon
    You talk about the weather
    And you grin about the room

    Phone calls long distance
    To tell you how you've been
    You forget about the losses
    You exaggerate the wins

    But when you stop to let 'em know
    You got it down
    It's just another town
    Along the road

    Ladies come to see you
    If your name still rings a bell
    They give you damn near nothin
    And they'll say they knew you well

    So you tell 'em you'll remember
    But they know it's just a game
    And a long the way their faces
    All begin to look the same

    But when you stop to let 'em know
    You got it down
    It's just another town
    Along the road

    Well it isn't for the money
    And it's only for awhile
    You stalk about the rooms
    And you roll away the miles

    Gamblers in the neon
    Clinging to guitars
    You're right about the moon
    But you're wrong about the stars

    By Danny O'Keefe
    1977 Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp and Road Canon Music BMI
    All Rights Reserved
  • 3. ROSIE
    She was standing at the load-in
    When the trucks rolled up
    She was sniffling all around
    Like a half grown female pup
    She wasn't hard to talk to
    Looked like she had nowhere to go
    So I gave her my pass
    So she could get in and see the show

    Well I sat her down right next to me
    And I got her a beer
    While I mixed that sound on stage
    So the band could hear
    The more I watched her watch them play
    The less I could think of to say
    And when they walked off stage
    The drummer swept that girl away

    But Rosie you're all right you wear my ring
    When you hold me tight Rosie that's my thing
    When you turn out the lightI've got to hand it to me
    Looks like it s me and you again tonight Rosie

    Well I guess I might have known from the start
    She'd come for a star
    Might have told my imagination not to run too far
    Of all the times that l I've been burned
    By now you'd think I'd have learned
    That it's who you look like
    Not who you are

    But Rosie you're all right you wear my ring
    When you hold me tight Rosie that's my thing
    When you turn out the light I've got to hand it to me
    Looks like it's me and you again tonight Rosie

    By Jackson Browne and Donald Miller
    1977 Swallow Turn Music 1977 ASCAP
    All Rights Reserved
  • 4. YOU LOVE THE THUNDER
    When you look over your shoulder
    And you see the life that youve left behind
    When you think it over, do you ever wonder
    What it is that holds your life so close to mine

    You love the thunder and you love the rain
    What you see revealed within the anger is worth the pain
    And before the lightning fades and you surrender
    Youve got a second to look at the dark side of the man

    You love the thunder and you love the rain
    You know your hunger like you know your name
    I know you wonder how you ever came
    To be a woman in love with a man in search of the flame

    Draw the shade and light the fire
    For the night that holds you and calls your name
    And just like your lover knows your desire
    And the crazy longing that time will never tame

    You love the thunder and you love the rain
    You know your hunger like you know your name
    I got your number if its still the same
    And you can dream but you can never go back the way you came

    Words and Music by Jackson Browne
    1977 Swallow Turn Music ASCAP
    All Rights Reserved
  • 5. COCAINE
    You take Sally and I'll take Sue
    There ain't no diff'rence between the two
    Cocaine, runnin' all around my brain

    Headin' down Scott
    Turnin' up Main
    Looking for that girl who sells cocaine
    Cocaine, runnin' all around my brain

    Mm, mama, come here quick
    That old cocaine 'bout to make me sick
    Cocaine, runnin' all around my brain

    Late last night about a quarter past four
    Ladanyi come knockin' down my hotel room door
    Where's the cocaine? It's runnin' all around my brain

    I was talking to my doctor down at the hospital
    He said, "Son, it says here you're twenty-seven, but that's impossible
    Cocaine, you look like you could be forty-five"

    Now I'm losing touch with reality and I'm almost out of blow
    It's such a fine line, I hate to see it go
    Cocaine, runnin' all around my brain

    By Rev. Gary Davis, with additional lyrics by Jackson Browne and Glenn Frey
    1977 Chandos Music ASCAP
  • 6. SHAKY TOWN
    I've witnessed those one-night stands
    Must have played in a thousand bands
    But I'm just here tonight; tomorrow I'll be gone

    Seen folks show their blacker side
    Seen them die just for foolish pride
    And those drivers always ask to hear the same old song
    That's a big ten-four from your back door
    Just put that hammer down

    This young man feels those eighteen wheels
    That keep turnin' 'round to take me down to
    Shaky Town

    I've heard all those hard luck tales
    From all of you U. S. males
    I've heard you tell those lies about the love you've known
    And I've followed those highway signs
    And I've run down those thin white lines

    Like those drivers, this old road is all I call my own
    That's a big ten four from your back door
    Just put that hammer down
    This young man feels those eighteen wheels
    That keep turnin' 'round to take me down to
    Shaky Town
    All the way down to Shaky Town

    By Daniel Kortchmar
    1977 Kortchmar Music ASCAP
    All Rights Reserved
  • 7. LOVE NEEDS A HEART
    Maybe the hardest thing I've ever done
    Was to walk away from you
    Leaving behind the life that we'd begun
    I split myself in two

    Proud and alone, cold as a stone
    Rolling down that hill into the night
    I could see the surprise and the hurt in your eyes
    From behind each flashing city light

    Love needs a heart and I need to find
    If love needs a heart like mine

    Love won't come near me, she don't even hear me
    She walks past my vacancy sign
    Love needs a heart, trusting and blind
    I wish that heart was mine

    Proud and alone, cold as a stone
    I'm afraid to believe the things I fed
    I can cry with the best I can laugh with the rest
    But I'm never sure when it's real
    And it may be the hardest thing I've ever done
    But apart from all that I hope to find
    Where's the heart that's been looking for mine?
    I hope it finds me in time

    Love needs a heart and I need to find
    If love needs a heart like mine

    By Lowell George, Valerie Carter and Jackson Browne
    1977 Swallow Turn Music ASCAP Naked Snake Music BMI & Vanilla Grits Music BMI
    All Rights Reserved
  • 8. NOTHING BUT TIME
    Rolling down 295 out of Portland, Maine
    Still high from the people up there and feeling no pain
    Gonna make it to New Jersey, gonna set it up and do it again

    I got a bottle of wine (pass it over)
    I got a broken white line (I'm still sober)
    There ain't nothin' but time between this Silver Eagle
    And that New Jersey line

    Well it's a rock and roll band or a movie you can take your pick
    And it ain't bad work if you can get it
    But you gotta make it stick
    But getting any kind of sleep on this rolling motel that's the trick

    It s just a bottle of wine (pass it over)
    It's just a broken white line (I'm still sober)
    It's just a whole lot of time in the twilight zone
    Between me and these friends of mine

    By Jackson Browne and Howard Burke
    1977 Swallow Turn Music ASCAP
    All Rights Reserved
  • 9. THE LOAD OUT
    Now the seats are all empty
    Let the roadies take the stage
    Pack it up and tear it down
    Theyre the first to come and last to leave
    Working for that minimum wage
    Theyll set it up in another town

    Tonight the people were so fine
    They waited there in line
    And when they got up on their feet
    They made the show
    And that was sweet
    But I can hear the sound
    Of slamming doors and folding chairs
    And thats a sound theyll never know

    Now roll them cases out and lift them amps
    Haul them trusses down and get em up them ramps
    Cause when it comes to moving me
    You know you guys are the champs
    But when that last guitars been packed away

    You know that I still want to play
    So just make sure you got it all set to go
    Before you come for my piano

    But the bands on the bus
    And theyre waiting to go
    Weve got to drive all night
    And do a show in Chicago
    Or Detroit, I dont know
    We do so many shows in a row
    And these towns all look the same
    We just pass the time in our hotel rooms
    And wander round backstage
    Till those lights come up and we hear that crowd
    And we remember why we came

    Now we got country n western on the bus R&B
    We got disco in eight tracks, cassettes in stereo
    We got rural scenes and magazines
    And we got truckers on the CB
    And we got Richard Pryor on the video
    We got time to think of the ones we love
    While the miles roll away
    But the only time that seems too short
    Is the time that we get to play

    People youve got the power over what we do
    You can sit there and wait
    Or you can pull us through
    Come along, sing the song
    You know you cant go wrong
    Cause when that morning sun comes beating down
    Youre going to wake up in your town
    But well be scheduled to appear
    A thousand miles away from here

    By Jackson Browne, Bryan Garofalo
    1977 Swallow Turn Music ASCAP & Gianni Music BMI
    All Rights Reserved
  • 10. STAY
    Stay
    Just a little bit longer.
    We wanna play
    Just a little bit longer.

    Now the promoter don't mind.
    And the union don't mind
    If we take a little time
    And we leave it all behind
    And sing one more song.

    Oh won't you stay
    Just a little bit longer.
    Please, please, please
    Say you will.
    Say you will.

    By Maurice Williams, additional lyrics by Jackson Browne
    Cherio Corp. BMI
    All Rights Reserved