lives in

Lives in the Balance

Lives in the Balance is the eighth album by American singer/songwriter Jackson Browne, released in 1986 (see 1986 in music). It was the first album by Browne where overtly political and socially critical songs dominated, although it also included one of his best remembered songs about relationships, the tragic "In the Shape of a Heart", inspired by his relationship with his first wife. Rolling Stone magazine ranked the album #88 on its list of the best 100 albums of the 1980s. Among Browne's fans, the album can be somewhat divisive. While many feel it is inferior to his 1970's output, others hail it as one of his strongest albums. The radio play garnered by "For America" and "In the Shape of a Heart", and the use of "Lives in the Balance" in the show Miami Vice, gained him many new fans who later went back and discovered Browne's earlier works.

Track listing

All songs by Jackson Browne, except where noted

  1. "For America" – 5:13
  2. "Soldier of Plenty" – 4:37
  3. "In the Shape of a Heart" – 5:41
  4. "Candy" (Browne, Greg Copeland, Wally Stocker) – 4:12
  5. "Lawless Avenues" (Browne, Jorge Calderón) – 5:40
  6. "Lives in the Balance" – 4:18
  7. "Till I Go Down" – 4:19
  8. "Black and White" – 5:15



  • Producer: Jackson Browne
  • Engineer: James Geddes
  • Assistant engineers: Tchad Blake, Murray Dvorkin, Bill Jackson, Coke Johnson, Sharon Rice
  • Mixing: Murray Dvorkin, James Geddes, Greg Ladanyi, Sharon Rice
  • Mastering: Barry Diament, Doug Sax
  • Sequencing: Jackson Browne, Danny "Kootch" Kortchmar
  • Technical engineer: Ed Wong
  • Art direction: Dawn Patrol, Jimmy Wachtel


Album - Billboard (North America)
Year Chart Position
1986 The Billboard 200 23

Singles - Billboard (North America)

Year Single Chart Position
1986 "For America" Mainstream Rock Tracks 3
1986 "For America" The Billboard Hot 100 30
1986 "In the Shape of a Heart" Adult Contemporary 10
1986 "In the Shape of a Heart" Mainstream Rock Tracks 15
1986 "In the Shape of a Heart" The Billboard Hot 100 70
1986 "Lives in the Balance" Mainstream Rock Tracks 33

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