Well chosen overview of the ultimate Cali troubadour

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Jackson Browne – The Very Best Of Jackson Browne

Browne’s default mode has always been delicious melancholy, as this double-CD collection proves once again. A total of 32 songs arranged chronologically from a dozen albums spread over 30 years lays bare the peaks and troughs of his career?the classic troubadour recordings of the ’70s, crisis in the ’80s when great songs almost got lost in the production, and a return to core values in the ’90s. The must-own albums remain the first four from 1972-76, when he virtually defined the West Coast school of singer-songwriting. But for a one-stop career retrospective, this is hard to beat.