Wrestling With The Angel, Chapter 3

Montgomery Ward stood at one end of the Newington Mall. Bradlees stood at the other.

In the 1970’s and ’80’s, the Newington Mall (“It’s one big store, it’s one big store…”) was the destination shopping center in this southeast corner of New Hampshire. In between the two, big name department stores, the main part of the mall contained a large and ever-changing variety of smaller specialty stores including the irresistible book and record store: Paperback Booksmith & Musicsmith and, in the early 1990’s, the sports card collector’s paradise known as Diamond King Sports.

Bradlees sold records too, and that’s where, in 1972, I bought my copy of the self-titled debut album (aka: Saturate Before Using) from singer/songwriter/guitarist & pianist Jackson Browne.

I could write a rather extensive post on the impact and influence this album has had on me over the years, but the purpose of the Wrestling With An Angel series is to highlight and share individual songs that are on a list of mine entitled: Devastatingly Great Songs.

“Something Fine,” the first song on the second side of Jackson Browne, is on that list.

The song was written by Jackson Browne and the recording is quite simple: Jackson  on fingerpicked acoustic guitar and vocals, with David Crosby adding harmony vocals on the chorus. Nothing else is really needed when the lyrics and the melody and the guitar accompaniment are this perfect. It’s even amazing without David Crosby.

Listen.

I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did when I discovered it on YouTube.

“Something Fine” by Jackson Browne.

P.S.: The title phrase, “Wrestling With The Angel,” is my paraphrase of a line from a poem by Herman Melville called Art. You can read the complete poem in my archived post of November 4, 2011: The Source. The first two posts in this series can be found in the archives for October, 2011.

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