Late For The Sky

Album: Late For The Sky (1974)
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  • Jackson Browne told Mojo magazine April 2008 about the album: "Late For The Sky was made very quickly, in about a month. I had moved back into the house that my grandfather had built when my father was just an adolescent (its name was Abbey San Encino; Browne's grandfather founded Abbey Press). I was newly a father, and I would look at my son playing in this house and remember being that age myself with my father. I wrote those songs, sitting in the miniature chapel my grandfather had built in this house, with a pipe organ in it and a choir loft. There was this kind of continuum, some kind of great metaphoric terrain there for me: I grew up there, moved away, but had come back to raise my family."
  • Browne says that this is one of his most personal songs. He told Mojo in 1997: "It's about a moment when you realize that something has changed, it's over, and you're late for wherever you're going to be next."
  • Browne recalled to Uncut magazine August 2010: "I had this one phrase, 'late for the sky,' and I wrote that whole song in order to say that one phrase at the end of it."
  • This song plays in the 1976 movie Taxi Driver during a scene when Robert De Niro's character, Travis Bickle, sinks into a dangerous depression.

Comments: 18

  • Marty Asher from NycUsually when you hear an album a lot of times, the beauty starts to fade as the music becomes predictable. I'ver been loving this album now for god-knows-how-man-decades-and-formats and every time I put it on (an honor only shared with ABBEY ROAD) it sounds like the first, as clear and beautiful as ever, and lyrics that seem to become more meaningful the older I get. It's just a f--king masterpiece, nothing more needs be said. Thanks for the site.
  • Elaina from Los AngelesThis album and particularly the title song got me through the passing of my Mom when I was only 21. The lyrics spoke to me. I heard it recently on the radio and it brought me to tears. In my opinion JB is the best lyricist bar none!
  • Cherie from Tacoma,waI had heard this song since the 70’s. One day I was driving while listening to it and found myself in tears. I had finally come to the realization that I needed to end my 40 plus year marriage for many reasons. Late go the Sky just put it all in front of me.
  • Steve from Santa Rosa, CaThis album, and especially this song, has more meaning and connection for me than any other album, or song, bar none. The meoldies and lyrics tap into a hidden pain and longing, and every time I hear it I well up. As well, I first heard this album when I was first learning to play electric/lead guitar, and loved the music so much that I would play along with it endlessly, for years. It has really influenced my music to this day. I saw Jackson in Santa Barbara at the Santa Barbara Bowl in 1976, when David Lindley was accompanying him, and was moved to no end. I remember Phoebe Snow opened. Great show!!!
  • Jake from San Francisco, Ca. Irondequoit,n.y.Don't dismiss the entire album. If you're going through a personal struggle, you know you're not alone. Late For The Sky is one of four songs that will make you well up. I listened to the album on Christmas Eve. Not a wise decision, goes right to the jugular. It appears many others have a similar take on this song and album. Beatles still number one, but Jackson is up there. Possibly the most overlooked singer songwriter of a generation. It's hard to imagine or listen to the " singer - songwriters" of the here and now . Taylor Swift and the " genius " Max Martin . They couldn't write a lyric and melody with their entire "team", yet they are immortalized by a young six second attention span of young and naive children. Music is at its nadir, and I'm not saying that as an old man, rather a composer who cares about music. It would have been nice to have heard Amy Winehouse sing some of the ballads off of Late For The Sky. I think she would have understood...
  • Alex Earle from Hebburn UkI've been a fan of Jackson Browne since the early 1970s and Late for the sky is a favourite song (and album). Having seen him perform this song many times over the years I was surprised at a recent gig when he hadn't played it during the course of his set. He played Running on empty as an encore, which was followed by Take it easy. When he returned to the stage to play another song I couldn't resist the urge to shout for Late for the sky. As I was in the centre of the second row my request was clearly heard by Jackson and, to my astonishment, he looked straight at me and said "really?". He finished his set with my request and I left the gig very satisfied!
  • Erik from Torrington, CtJust months before I separated from my now ex-wife, I was flying to Las Vegas, and listened to this song on my iphone. I had heard it hundreds of times before, but the words seemed to ring so true to my relationship, it's as if I wrote them to her myself. I cried in my seat and got so depressed at what was happening to my life. "Looking hard into your eyes, there was nobody I'd ever known, such an empty surprise, to feel so alone". Makes me cry just thinking about those lost 15 years. What an amazing song...Right up there with with a couple other sad songs, These Days, and Boston's Man I'll Never Be.
  • Michael from Penfield, Nyas stated above , there is just something about this song , and alblum that grabs me right in my heart. Just listen to it while typing this and the memories, the days gone by, the reality..... always seems to bring a tear,
    hauntingly familar
  • Eric from San Francisco, CaAmazing song on an amazing album. No one can intelletualize in a love song like Jackson Browne. Just got out of college when I heard this, and had never believed that I would ever like an album more than Abbey Road....

    Eric, San Francisco
  • Bob from Southfield, MiThis album also has one of my all time favorite album covers. Does anyone know if there was any special significance to the house in the picture?
  • Amy from Traverse City, MiSadly I tried to kill myself in 1996 and this was the song that I put on the CD player and the last thing I heard before going to sleep. Obviously I didn't die, but it is only recenly I have been able to listen to this song again. It is really about love and living and I'd be ashamed if Jackson knew what I did to his beautiful song.
  • Roger from Newfield, NjThis has got to be the greatest song ever written. It brings back lost feelings and emotions that only the best songwriters can. "My opening farewell" and "Sky blue and black" are very close, but this is his best work.
  • Jim from Glasgow, ScotlandJosh, i agree wholeheartedly.The complete song, for me.
    Harry, your speaking my thoughts exactly.
  • Josh Mollner from St. Paul, Mnmaybe the greatest song ever
  • Harry from Ayr, ScotlandI've been a big fan of Jackson Browne for more years than I care to remember. Across those years he has repeatedly stunned me with his ability to lay bare in such simple terms the deepest and most painful emotions the human heart can suffer. Additionally he never fails to find music that makes many of these songs so hauntingly beautiful. This entire album is loaded with lyrics and music that makes it a masterpiece confirming JB as probably the finest lyricist since Shakespeare.
  • Jaym from The Dark Side Of The MoonBeautiful song. That whole album is just amazing.
  • Carroll from Toms River, NjProbably the most influential musician in my life, with the exception of The Beatles, throughout what I consider to be THE greatest period of the rock n roll era. All of is songs...and this one in particular, I felt he was singing about my life. His "EveryMan" style and the piercing lead guitars by one of the all-time greats...David Lindley...unfortunately, they just aren't making stuff like this anymore. I will admit...his later stuff was not on the same level as his earlier stuff...but the first three albums I will put up against anyone.
  • Nick from Nyc, Nyhe's watching american bandstand watching people slow dance to this song, and knocks the tv over, breaking it. he's upset about it. great song, great movie.
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