I'm not going to try and muster a connection between these two classics.
Neither am I going to write at length about the amazingly mature musical dexterity, unmatched ensemble playing and brilliantly timeless songwriting on The Band's amazing 2nd album.
Instead I'm going to direct you to Seamus's consummate articulations over on his Vapour Trails blog.
That leaves me to concentrate on Jackson Browne's 'Late for the Sky' where Browne tapped into a similar rich vein of romantic, cinematic escapism as Springsteen's 'Born to Run', which was irresistible to my early adolescent self, trapped behind boarding school windows.
Wide screened yet intimate; and there was always a car...
Look, you're standing in the window
Of a house nobody lives in
And I'm sitting in a car across the way
Let's just say an early model Chevrolet
You go pack your sorrows
The trash man comes tomorrow
We'll throw 'em on the curb
And then just sail away
After seeing him on an Old Grey Whistle Test Special Jackson was irresistible to me; he had that lanky long hair that I'd always craved and he cared about the planet and all of its inhabitants...
His environmentalism and humanism may have been vague and occasionally vacuous - "somewhere between the time you arrive and the time you go may lie a reason you were alive, but you'll never know" - but I believed every word that he sang; his intense wide eyed sincerity convinced you of his conviction. His sharp sad eyed observations were tempered by a soft focussed mellow musicality, he made a great choice of side kick in David Lindley whose fiddle and guitar ramblings added another layer of emotive melody.
This was an important release; it paved the way for a glut of lyrical West Coast singer songwriters. Whether you thank or curse JB all depends where you stand on The Eagles: some might say 'on the back of their necks' but then... without 'Late For the Sky' there might have been no platform for Warren Zevon or Tom Waits...
I love this album so much; it offers comfort and nostalgia.
It also contains a song that always makes me think of Di.
I play 'For a Dancer' and she always dances for me.
I've worn out 2 LPs, a cassette and I'm currently on my 3rd remastered CD.
£3 from Amazon here.
Buy it and put it on the car stereo.
The middle of the road will never be a sweeter place to be...