"Running on Empty" is a song written and performed by American singer-songwriter Jackson Browne. It is the title track to his 1977 live album of the same name, recorded at a concert at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland, on August 27, 1977. A #11 hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 when it was released as a single, it spent seventeen weeks on the chart after debuting on February 11, 1978 at position #72. Rolling Stone ranked it at number 496 on its list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time" and it is one of Browne's signature songs. "Running on Empty" was most popular in Canada, where it spent two weeks at number four.
The song was written while Browne was driving to the studio each day to make The Pretender, according to Rolling Stone magazine: "I was always driving around with no gas in the car," Browne is quoted. "I just never bothered to fill up the tank because — how far was it anyway? Just a few blocks."