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* live recording *

8/17/77 to 9/17/77

Released: December 6, 1977

Rating: 3.434 (average of 8 ratings)

Genre: rock singer/songwriter

Quotable: --

Album Tracks:

  1. Running on Empty
  2. The Road
  3. Rosie
  4. You Love the Thunder
  5. Cocaine
  6. Shaky Town
  7. Love Needs a Heart
  8. Nothing But Time
  9. The Load-Out
  10. Stay


sales in U.S. only 7 million
sales in U.K. only - estimated --
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated 7 million


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart 3
peak on U.K. album chart 28

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • Running on Empty (2/11/78) #11 US
  • The Load-Out/ Stay (6/10/78) #20 US, #12 UK, #47 AC
  • You Love the Thunder --


Rated one of the top 1000 albums of all time by Dave’s Music Database. Click to learn more.

Running on Empty
Jackson Browne
“Having acknowledged a certain creative desperation on The Pretender, Jackson Browne lowered his sights (and raised his commercial appeal) considerably with Running on Empty, which was more a concept album about the road than an actual live album, even though its songs were sometimes recorded on-stage (and sometimes on the bus or in the hotel). Unlike most live albums, though, it consisted of previously unrecorded songs” (Ruhlmann).

“Browne had less creative participation on this album than on any he ever made, solely composing only two songs, co-writing four others, and covering another four. And he had less to say – the title song and leadoff track neatly conjoined his artistic and escapist themes. Figuratively and creatively, he was out of gas, but like ‘the pretender,’ he still had to make a living” (Ruhlmann).

“The songs covered all aspects of touring, from Danny O’Keefe’s The Road, which detailed romantic encounters, and Rosie (co-written by Browne and his manager Donald Miller), in which a soundman pays tribute to auto-eroticism, to, well, Cocaine, to the travails of being a roadie (The Load-Out)” (Ruhlmann).

“Audience noises, humorous asides, loose playing – they were all part of a rough-around-the-edges musical evocation of the rock & roll touring life. It was not what fans had come to expect from Browne, of course, but the disaffected were more than outnumbered by the newly converted. (It didn’t hurt that ‘Running on Empty’ and ‘The Load-Out"/"Stay’ both became Top 40 hits)” (Ruhlmann).

“As a result, Browne’s least ambitious, but perhaps most accessible, album ironically became his biggest seller. But it is not characteristic of his other work: for many, it will be the only Browne album they will want to own, just as others always will regard it disdainfully as "Jackson Browne lite’” (Ruhlmann).

Review Source(s):

Last updated May 29, 2008.