The Next Voice You Hear: The Best Of Jackson Browne (Japanese Pressing)

Tracks: 16, total time: 75:28, year: 1997, genre: West Coast Rock

Best Of… Live (Japanese Pressing)

The Next Voice You Hear: The Best Of Jackson Browne Originally Released September 23, 1997
Japanese Compilation Released April 2003 or May 20, 2003

AMAZON.COM Product Description
Subtitled – The Next VoiceYou Hear The Best Of Jackson Browne. Japanese exclusive release limited to one pressing. Released in sync with his concerts in Japan. Reissue of the double-CD set consisting of ‘The Best of Jackson Browne’ (Japan Tour Edition) & ‘Best of Live’. Songs include ‘Take It Easy’, ‘Somebody’s Baby’, & more. 2003.

AMAZON.COM Product Description
Limited Japanese release coupling his 1997 hits collection ‘The Next Voice You Hear’ with the rare 11 track ‘Best Of…Live’ CD, previously only available from Australia with his album ‘Looking East’. The live CD features ‘Doctor My Eyes’,’Running On Empty’, ‘The Load Out’, ‘Stay’, ‘The Pretender’,and ‘Somebody’s Baby’. The studio hits disc drops ‘Sky Blue And Black’ from the U.S. edition in favor of ‘Lawyers In Love’ and ‘Stay’ from ‘Running On Empty’ without ‘The Load Out’ prefacing it for the first time ever! 27 tracks total. Double slimline Album Notes
Reissue of the special edition of his greatest hits CD coupled with a verylimited edition reissue of the long out of print Japan only “Best Of… Live” disc.

THE NEXT SONG YOU HEAR …………., November 19, 2000
Reviewer: “craig_paul” (Pittsburgh, PA)
….. may not be the one you’re expecting. While Browne has included “Doctor My Eyes”, “The Pretender”, and “Running On Empty” in this 15 – track retrospective, many of the songs we might have expected are conspicuous by their absence. Note: The album’s title is “Best Of,” not “Greatest Hits.”
The artist has stated that this collection was put together in a way such that it would provide the listener an account, or a “record” of his state of mind during different stages of his long career. Browne has never been one to hide his emotions, and, by listening to this set chronologically, the listener is able to get a great feel for his growth as a songwriter, because of the songs that ARE included here, not in spite of the ones that aren’t. A novel concept, in my opinion.

Personally speaking, I bought the disc for three reasons: First, it includes “Somebody’s Baby”, a track that had never been released on a Jackson Browne album. (Maybe on the soundtrack to “Fast Times At Ridgemont High,” if there is such a thing). Second, “The Rebel Jesus” is a wonderful song featuring long – time Browne collaborator and friend David Lindley. I had heard a version of “Rebel” on a Chieftains Christmas album, with Jackson providing the vocals, and this reading, while quite different, is just as moving. Third, for the “bonus” track, the title cut. It’s pretty much basic Browne fare, but hey, it’s new Browne, and how often does that happen? Also, a “basic” Jackson Browne song is usually much better than a “great” song by anyone else in this genre.

I own everything Browne has ever recorded, so the only surprise here was the inclusion of so many of the “lesser – known” songs, and how they seemed to fit into the pattern of the recording. “These Days” and “Call It A Loan” are prime examples – both are superb songs that probably didn’t receive the attention they deserved when originally released. Interestingly enough, only one “political” song is present here, the haunting “Lives In The Balance.” Browne was beatenup pretty badly by the so – called experts during the “Lawyers In Love” / “Lives In The Balance” / “World In Motion” trilogy, and I was glad to see he included “Lives” here. Jackson Browne has always been outspoken politically, and to eschew that portion of his career when the bulk of his music was politically motivated would have provided an incomplete story.

“The Next Voice You Hear” gives those who have only heard “Doctor My Eyes” and “Running On Empty” a chance to hear what they have been missing. For those of us who are long – time fans, it’s an opportunity to revisit bits and pieces of the Browne catalog and realize again why his music has meant so much to us for such a long time.

Someone’s choicefor “best of”, but not the right one, November 30, 1999
Reviewer: David Pearlman “sound fanatic” (Arlington, MA United States)
There are enough good Jackson Browne tracks to EASILY fill a single (or double) CD best of. So why is this compilationso lame? First off, it takes the questionable approach of including no more than one track per album. That means the classic era albums (through The Pretender) get shortchanged, while later efforts are overemphasized. The one track chosen for each album is also suspect in several cases. On the upside, the mostly unheard and/or previously unreleased material that comes at the end of this CD is suprisingly strong. In fact, much stronger than some of the hits from the post-Pretender era. This ismaterial that deserves to more widely heard. But this compilation serves neither that material, nor Browne’s true best-of properly.

One man’s best is another man’s…., May 3, 2005
Reviewer: Greg Brady “columbusboy” (Capital City)
The story goes that the selections here are the “best” according to Jackson himself..snapshots over the years of what he was thinking between 1972-1997. However, artists are often their own worst songs that were classics into piffle (“Don’t Stand so Close to Me ’86” anyone?) or according status to tunes based on how they felt in their personal lives at the time (Paul McCartney has said that he loves the Beatles’ “You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)” because of the great time he and John had in the studio making it. That’s fine for him, but for the rest of us, it just sounds like screwing around.)

What that means to casual fans (i.e. ones who only own 1 or 2..or no…Browne albums) is that some ofthe songs you remember loving from radio will NOT be on here. “Rock me on the Water” is M.I.A. “Here Come those Tears Again” is absent. No pleas to “Stay” a little longer. If you were singing the phrase “mating cries of lawyers in love” in the Eighties, forget it…it ain’t here. So if you’re hoping for a single disc to gather his hits, you’ll have to keep waiting.

Those who are bigger Browne fans will no doubt, question why more of his latter period work (arguably lesser material) is included at the expense of his early-mid 1970s songs. You can argue that “Stay” isn’t here because it’s a cover and Browne wanted to feature his self-written material but that doesn’t explain why you can’t find “Rock Me on the Water”, “Here Come ThoseTears Again”, or “You Love the Thunder” here.

In the end, only completists will be pleased with this collection including as it does “Somebody’s Baby” (the hit from the movie “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” that’s only appeared until now on thatabysmal soundtrack) and new songs “The Rebel Jesus” (a Christmas song taking America to task for materialism at Yuletide) and “The Next Voice You Hear”.

There are some great selections here, but many great ones missing. It’s hardto argue that this makes the best case for Browne as a significant artist in a single disc. People arguing that the problem is that it HAS to be 2 CDs aren’t being realistic…an artistically and commercially satisfying single disc CD for casual fans COULD have been made, but this isn’t it.

I suggest buying “Very Best of” used for about $10. (ASIN B0001GOH98). With that double disc set, you’ll get most of the glaring omissions plus some fine album tracks.

Nice selection….. but missing a few songs, April 27, 2005
Reviewer: R. C Gorham “rcg2” (AZ)
Jackson Browne is a compassionate, sympathetic, political, wears-his-heart-out-on-his-sleeve kind of composer. He knows how to write a great song and tell agreat story. Browne was at his biggest in the late 1970’s (“The Pretender” and “Running On Empty” time frame). He may well have peaked with “Hold Out” in 1980… and then for various reasons took the backseat to the big arenas he once filled and all the limelight that went with it. He was still writing songs after his glory days, but never again achieving the status he once commanded along with other greats like Bruce Springsteen, Bob Seger, Eric Clapton, CSN(Y), The Eagles, etc. In my opinion, his political views, his publicized abusive relationships, and most importantly his lackluster songwriting in the late 80’s were the main causes. This best of collection (1997) is good, but not as great as it could have been. I give this disc 4-stars for 2 reasons; a few well known favorites omitted (“You Love The Thunder”, “Boulevard”, “That Girl Could Sing”); and the later material (late 1980’s and early 90’s) being good song selections – not great selections. The standards are here like”Doctor My Eyes”, “The Pretender”, “Running On Empty”, and “Tender Is The Night”. The remastered sound is crisp and fresh – like it was recorded last year. Where I feel his 2004 “Best Of” (2 discs, 30 songs) is perhaps too much for the casual fan, this one disc should suffice. The inclusion of “Somebody’s Baby” is great (from “Fast Times At Ridgemont High”) and to my knowledge has never been released on any of his studio albums. I know a single disc can hold 70-80 minutes of material, and I certainly wish the 3 songs mentioned above were included here as well as his original “Take It Easy” which the Eagles made famous. A solid collection – despite missing a few of my personal favorite songs that I felt were deserving – offers a great introduction to Jackson Browne.

One of music’s best singer/songwriters!, February 14, 2005
Reviewer: DanD (Central Illinois)
Jackson Browne has a way with words, and that’s an understatement. His songs are paintings–portraits of other times and places, sung with a voice that is smooth yet flawed–as, when you think about it, rock n roll is supposed to be.

I can’t tell you if this CD is a great retrospective or not; I’ve not been a fan of Browne’s for very long (I can tell you that it doesn’t include enough songs from FOR EVERYMAN and RUNNINGS ON EMPTY, two of the best albums ever). Browne’s earlier work, as displayed on this album, was truly unique; the new track “The Rebel Jesus” is a touching seasonal ballad (although it can be played any time of year, and it’s impact never forgotten), but the other new song, “The Next Voice You Hear,” is a popish throw-away–perhaps in part due to the production by T Bone Burnett–an admittably talented producer, but perhaps a bit out of place here.

What you’ll find on the rest of the record is poetry–about love, tragedy, heartbreak, despair, hope, and acceptance. THE NEXT VOICE YOU HEAR is a classic album filled with classic material by one of theindustry’s best musical poets.

Nice intro, but incomplete, and too many slow songs., November 23, 2004
Reviewer: JWP “Uncle Jesse Tanner” (San Jose, CA) – See all my reviews
NOTE: Keep in mind, for this review, I’mmore likely than not, looking at Jackson Browne from a different POV than many of his fans. I was introduced to him through songs like “Lawyers in Love,” “Running On Empty” and “Somebody’s Baby,” so I always thought of him in the context of a mainstream 80’s pop/rocker.

In fact, before I bought this in late 1997 or early ’98, I had only heard Jackson’s songs from that style and era. Naturally I thought much of his stuff would sound like that. Since it turned out I was wrong, I was a bit disappointed with this collection (I’m a lifelong music fan, yet I was 16 when I got this but still didn’t know).

1972-1976 “EARLY” ERA:
-Doctor My Eyes
-These Days
-Fountain of Sorrow
-Late For the Sky
-The Pretender

Like I said, I’m not only less familiar with this era, but I find it far less enjoyable than his late 70’s-mid 80’s pop/rock period. I enjoy “Doctor My Eyes” as an upbeat folksy pop/rocker, but the rest are basically a snoozefest to me. That said, there is ONE other song from this era missing, which I’ve occasionally heard on classic rock stations–“The Road and the Sky”, a mid paced 70’s rocker with a great Eagles-esque melody.

-Running on Empty

I love this fun, classic rock “live” sounding title track. However, the melodic pop and cover of “Load Out/Stay” and the Clapton-ish “You Love the Thunder” were fairly big hits too, unfortunately missing.

1980’s HOLD OUT:
-Call it a Loan

This country-ish 80’s pop ballad is a great, underrated effort I was glad made the light of day. (Interesting to note, this is a very slightly different version than the album one – this seems a little teeny bit better produced on the vocals, etc. It’s so slight that it can be hard to tell, though.) However, the rockers “That Girl Could Sing” and the heavier “Boulevard” were both huge hits that didn’t deserve to get left out.

-Tender is the Night

IMHO at least, this was JB’s masterpiecealbum. I love this lite new wave-y melodic pop/rocker, but so many other songs deserved a place here, most notably the arena rock title track, and the more mellow “Cut it Away.”

-In the Shape of a Heart
-Lives in the Balance

This whole album was kind of the turning place in his career — still retaining the pop/arena rock sound, but moving into a somber, more political one. Both these are nice forgotten hits, but the revved-up and slightly harder political pop/rocker “For America” was another hit sadly left out.

1989’s WORLD IN MOTION gets completely passed. Though it’s not what I’d call a great album (basically taking LIVES’ sound down to a less energetic and FAR less pop, catchy level), thetitle track and “Chasing You into the Light” are fair-to-good minor hits.

1993’s I’M ALIVE:
-Sky Blue and Black

Here is where he 100% turned his back on the arena rock sound and basically reverted to the singer-songwriter style that had brought him fame in the first place. This is a pretty, mellow pop tune, which is slightly better than some of the 70’s songs earlier in the collection.

-Barricades of Heaven

Surprisingly, this is a pretty good song – amedium tempo pop/rock hit with a youthful reminiscent theme, brining to mind the California coast in the summer. There’s a definite 70’s mellow AOR sound to it, like something Fleetwood Mac could’ve done. I don’t know of any other songs from the album, but if they mostly sounded like this, I wouldn’t have minded one or two more.

-Somebody’s Baby (1982 – Fast Times at Ridgemont High)

Classic song from a classic movie. This brings the value of the collection way up with its upbeat love song sound set to a classic/80’s rock beat.

-Rebel Jesus
-The Next Voice You Hear

These are decent songs as well. In fact, I’d even like to hear a full JB album go in this direction sometime. “Rebel Jesus” is a very mellow and slow song about Christmas. Though I’m not religious, and normally a song this down-tempo would turn me off, somehow it works well. The title track, on the other hand, is a very unique, slow pop song with a little bit of a jazz and even a (then) modern “lite alternative rock” sound to it (I even heard it briefly on a related station).

OVERALL: Despite the many complaints I have about the tons of missing songs from the 1977-1986 era along with the (IMHO) overemphasison his early career, it’s still a pretty good single-disc intro to Jackson, even if I only listen to the middle of it.

He recently had a two-disc collection (VERY BEST OF) which, although it takes the general sequence of this album — abundanceof early songs, medium focus on the 80’s and later — it still comes out as a better single buy. Just from my personal mindset, though, I’d recommend getting the studio albums HOLD OUT, LAWYERS, and BALANCE if you’re into 80’s pop/rock with an arena rock influence (i.e. Eddie Money, Tom Petty, the latter-day Van Halen) and intelligent lyrics. Details
Contributing artists: Danny Kortchmar, David Crosby/Graham Nash, David Paich, Graham Nash, Jeff Porcaro, Jorge Strunz, Mike Campbell, Russ Kunkel

Album Notes
Full title: The Next Voice You Hear: The Best Of Jackson Browne.
Personnel includes: Jackson Browne (vocals, guitar, piano, programming); Kevin McCormick (acoustic guitar, bass); David Lindley (electric & slide guitars, viola, tambour); Scott Thurston (guitar, baritone guitar, keyboards, loops); Mike Campbell (electric 12-string guitar); T Bone Burnett (guitar, baritone guitar); Rick Vito (guitar, background vocals); Danny Kortchmar, Jorge Strunz (guitar); JaiWinding (harmonium, piano, organ, synthesizer); Craig Doerge (piano, keyboards); David Paich (piano); Doug Haywood (organ, bass, background vocals); Leland Sklar (bass); Russ Kunkel (drums, congas); Mauricio Lewak (drums, surdu); Jim Keltner, JeffPorcaro, Stan Lynch (drums); Luis Conte (percussion); David Crosby, Graham Nash (background vocals).
Producers include: Richard Sanford Orshoff, Jackson Browne, Al Schmitt, John Landau, Greg Ladanyi.
Engineers include: John Haeny, Fritz Richmond,Greg Ladanyi, Dennis Kirk, James Geddes.
Jackson Browne has had a long and varied career, from his days as a one-man song factory for people like The Byrds, Nico and unsung folk hero Steve Noonan to his groundbreaking 1970’s folk-rock albums and his more politically-oriented later material. Throughout, his work has been marked by intelligent, often poetic lyrics and sophisticated-but-accessible arrangements. THE NEXT VOICE YOU HEAR provides a handy overview of the seminal singer-songwriter’swork. It includes pop hits like “Doctor My Eyes” and “Running On Empty” as well as lesser known songs like “Sky Blue And Black.” As an added incentive to Browne fans, there are two new tracks. On one of them, the collection’s title track, Browne enters into new territory by exploring ambient textures and trip-hop rhythms. YEAR: 1997

S/N Time Song Title
1. 3:21 Doctor My Eyes
2. 4:40 These Days
3. 6:54 Fountain Of Sorrow
4. 5:39 Late For The Sky
5. 5:54 The Pretender
6. 4:57 Running On Empty
7. 2:30 Stay
8. 4:19 Call It A Loan
9. 4:23 Somebody’s Baby
10. 4:38 Tender Is The Night
11. 3:48 Lawyers In Love
12. 5:43 In The Shape Of A Heart
13. 4:17 Lives In The Balance
14. 5:44 The Barricades Of Heaven
15. 3:58 The Rebel Jesus
16. 4:48 The Next Voice You Hear