Jackson Browne – Running On Empty

More Jackson Browne

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  • A STUNNING Running on Empty, with two Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sides
  • Forget whatever dead-as-a-doornail Heavy Vinyl pressing they’re making these days – the Tubey Magic, size and performance energy of this vintage pressing simply cannot be beat
  • This Grammy nominated release is packed with previously unreleased songs
  • A hard record to find with audiophile quality sound – not many copies have ever hit the site
  • “Audio verité—one of the most conceptually fascinating recordings in the history of rock & roll.” — Bill Shapiro

Sometimes the copy with the best sound is not the copy with the quietest vinyl. The best sounding copy is always going to win the shootout, the condition of its vinyl notwithstanding. If you can tolerate the problems on this pressing you are in for some amazing Jackson Browne music and sound. If for any reason you are not happy with the sound or condition of the album we are of course happy to take it back for a full refund, including the domestic return postage.


This vintage Asylum pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records can barely BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to “see” the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio with the band, this is the record for you. It’s what vintage all analog recordings are known for — this sound.

If you exclusively play modern repressings of vintage recordings, I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never heard this kind of sound on vinyl. Old records have it — not often, and certainly not always — but maybe one out of a hundred new records do, and those are some pretty long odds.

What the Best Sides of Running On Empty Have to Offer is Not Hard to Hear

  • The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
  • The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1977
  • Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
  • Natural tonality in the midrange — with all the instruments having the correct timbre
  • Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space

No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.

What We’re Listening For on Running On Empty

  • Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
  • Then: presence and immediacy. The vocals aren’t “back there” somewhere, lost in the mix. They’re front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would put them.
  • The Big Sound comes next — wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
  • Then transient information — fast, clear, sharp attacks, not the smear and thickness so common to these LPs.
  • Tight punchy bass — which ties in with good transient information, also the issue of frequency extension further down.
  • Next: transparency — the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the instruments.
  • Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Running on Empty
The Road
Rosie
You Love the Thunder
Cocaine

Side Two

Shaky Town
Love Needs a Heart
Nothing but Time
The Load-Out
Stay

Rolling Stone Magazine, 1978

What I really like about Running on Empty probably has little to do with the generosity or genius of its dual concepts, with the songwriter’s craftsmanship and skill, with how much I admire the music of David Lindley and the Section, but rather with Jackson Browne himself. It’s simple enough to talk about lyrics, aims, structure and all the critical etceteras, but it’s very difficult to pinpoint what it is that’s actually moved you. It has to do with essences, I think, and all those corny virtues like truth, courage, conviction, kindness and the rest of them. In other words, 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.

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