A talented songwriter from the beginning, Browne signed a publishing contract with Nina Music, and his songs were performed by Tom Rush, the Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, the Byrds and Steve Noonan, among others. After moving to Greenwich Village, Browne worked, for a brief period, in Tim Buckley's back-up band and on Nico's Chelsea Girl. After leaving New York City, Browne formed a folk band with Ned Doheney and Jack Wilce. In 1971, Browne signed with Asylum Records and released Jackson Browne (1972), which included "Doctor My Eyes", a major hit. He didn't sustain pop success, though, and his next album, For Everyman (1973) was a commercial failure. Late for the Sky (1974) established a significant audience for Browne, who released his breakthrough album, The Pretender (1977) soon after the suicide of his wife, Phyllis. Late for the Sky was a success, and Browne began recording his next LP while on tour. Running on Empty (1978) was an even bigger success.
Browne achieved less critical acclaim with Hold Out (1980), which also began his political protest era; the album was a commercial success, however, as was Lawyers in Love, the follow-up. Lives in the Balance (1986) was an overtly political condemnation of Reaganism, and was a huge success with Browne fans, though not with mainstream audiences. World in Motion (1989) was also politically-oriented, but was not very successful. After four years of silence and a break-up with Daryl Hannah, his girlfriend/actress, Browne returned with I'm Alive, a critically acclaimed album that had no hits but still sold respectably. Looking East (1996) was released soon after, but was not as successful critically or commercially. His most current work, The Naked Ride Home was released up on September 24, 2002.