These Days

Album: For Everyman (1973)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • This sad, hurting song was originally written by Jackson Browne when he was just 16 years old in either 1964 or 1965. It appeared on a Browne demo in early 1967 under the title "I've Been Out Walking." Later in the same year it gained its first release when Andy Warhol's protégé Nico recorded it on her Chelsea Girl album, with Browne playing acoustic guitar. Other artists covered it over the following few years, including the Nitty Gritty Junk Band on their Rare Junk album and Tom Rush on his 1970 self-titled set.

    Browne himself recorded the song on his 1973 For Everyman LP, with an arrangement written by Gregg Allman (who also covered it around the same time on his Laid Back debut solo set). Browne's version differed from Nico's both in style and lyrics. In the latter case several lines were changed or omitted, such as a couple of lyrics about "rambling" and "gambling." This song has continued to be covered by a number of acts including Fountains of Wayne who used it as the B-side of their 1999 single "Troubled Times."
  • Nico's version featured in the 2001 film The Royal Tenebaums. Browne later recalled on KGSR Radio Austin that he'd forgotten that he'd licensed them to use this song. He explained: "This is one of those things that comes to you in the mail and you don't know what they're talking about and you simply give them their permission. You're sitting in the movie theater and there's this great moment when Gwyneth Paltrow is coming out of a bus or something like that. I'm thinking to myself, I used to play the guitar just like that. And then the voice comes on and it's Nico singing 'These Days,' which I played on."

Comments: 5

  • Rockynot from TennesseeThe line is “…I had not forgotten them”
  • Eddie from Braselton, GeorgiaAmazing that he wrote this at age 16. Talk about an old soul, it sounds like he's got 50 years of pain behind him.
  • Talena from Arcata, Ca"Don't confront me with my failures, I have not forgotten them."
    Too true, my friend, too true.
  • Barry from New York, NcGregg Allman plays this song a lot in concert. Also there's a nice version on his LAID BACK lp.
  • Carolyn from St Pete, FlHe also said he played electic guitar (not acoustic)on the song because Andy Warhol wanted her (Nico's)version to sound more modern.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Donnie Iris (Ah! Leah!, The Rapper)

Donnie Iris (Ah! Leah!, The Rapper)Songwriter Interviews

Before "Rap" was a form of music, it was something guys did to pick up girls in nightclubs. Donnie talks about "The Rapper" and reveals the identity of Leah.

Emmylou Harris

Emmylou HarrisSongwriter Interviews

She thinks of herself as a "song interpreter," but back in the '80s another country star convinced Emmylou to take a crack at songwriting.

Tom Keifer of Cinderella

Tom Keifer of CinderellaSongwriter Interviews

Tom talks about the evolution of Cinderella's songs through their first three albums, and how he writes as a solo artist.

Waiting For The Break of Day: Three Classic Songs About All-Nighters

Waiting For The Break of Day: Three Classic Songs About All-NightersSong Writing

These Three famous songs actually describe how they were written - late into the evening.

Randy Newman

Randy NewmanSongwriting Legends

Newman makes it look easy these days, but in this 1974 interview, he reveals the paranoia and pressures that made him yearn for his old 9-5 job.

Adele

AdeleFact or Fiction

Despite her reticent personality, Adele's life and music are filled with intrigue. See if you can spot the true tales.