Deep Cuts: Jackson Browne – "Here Come Those Tears Again" (1976)

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Rock stars whose dad jammed with Django Reinhardt when said rock star was an infant, and dated Nico not long after after high school deserve my eternal respect and admiration, but as far as I know, only Jackson Browne falls into that category. It was only years later when he begun to make his own records and those first three (Jackson Browne, For Everyman and Late For The Sky) are generally regarded as his best. But I think there’s a lot to like about his forth one, too, The Pretender. One of the cuts from there that got a fair amount of airplay from the album rock stations at the time, “Here Come Those Tears Again.”

“Here Come Those Tears Again” was a single from The Pretender, having peaked at #23 in 1977. That might not make it such a “deep” cut, but it remains one of his less prominent hits. The anguish in its lyrics are worn on its sleeve, heck, even in the song’s title. Coming on the heels of the suicide of Browne’s first wife Phyllis Major, this song about fighting an uphill battle against heartache from a lost lover can easily be seen as his grieving the sudden loss of his spouse. There was certainly a connection to his deceased wife, but it comes by way of the fact that the lyrics were largely written by her mother Nancy Farnsworth. Farnsworth asked Browne to finish the song for her and this was the product of that collaboration.

I was drawn to the song long before I was aware of such trivia, though, because the song’s direct, despondent lyrics get a lift from the piano and organ driven arrangement of a melody that’s nearly paradoxically upbeat. There’s a gospel flavor prevalent that’s helped along by strong and prominent female backup vocals by who I am pretty sure was Rosemary Butler. Dang, she’s got some pipes and nearly upstages Browne. But ultimately, the song’s appeal comes down to Browne ability to channel pain, reflection and soul searching into song. He did that rather forcefully on “Here Comes Those Tears Again.”


S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SVictorAaron
S. Victor Aaron
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  • Charlie

    Jackson Browne has always been one of my favorites. I don't think we saw a decline in his albums until Lawyers in Love. Late For The Sky and Running On Empty are my favorites.

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