Jimmy Buffett
(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

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Jimmy Buffett (born in Mississippi, but raised in Alabama) has concocted a hybrid of singer-songwriter, comedian, romantic individualist, eccentric and drunkard. He has dedicated his career to the sea.

Buffett began his career in Nashville, as one of the many country music singers in search of glory. His early albums Down To Earth (Barnaby, 1970) and High Cumberland Jubilee (Barnaby, 1971), later compiled as Before The Beach (MCA, 1993), are as original as a hamburger.

After moving to Florida, Buffett founds his mission in life. His first masterpiece was A White Sport Coat & A Pink Crustacean (Dunhill, 1973), that contains colloquial vignettes such as Great Fillin' Station Holdup and They Don't Dance Like Carmen No More, and Death Of An Unpopular Poet, the first of a long gallery of nostalgic and ironic characters that express his humane but detached view of life and the world: Lord Buckley's God's Own Drunk on Living & Dying in 3/4 Time (Dunhill, 1974), that also contains the catchy Come Monday, Pirate Looks At Forty and Life Is Just A Tire Swing on A1A (Dunhill, 1974); Livingston Saturday Night on Rancho Deluxe (United Artists, 1975) Havana Daydreaming on Havana Daydreamin' (ABC, 1976), which also contains the bizarre My Head Hurts My Feet Stink; and the most famous of them all, the ode to laziness and relaxation Margaritaville, on Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes (ABC, 1977), which also contains Changes In Attitudes. His style slowly mutated into a quirky Carabbean honky-tonk (i.e., colored with elements of reggae, salsa and calypso).

Cheeseburger in Paradise, Cowboy In The Jungle, African Friend and Son Of A Son Of A Sailor make Son Of a Son Of a Sailor (ABC, 1978) one of his best.

Fins on Volcano (MCA, 1979), The Weather Is Here and It's My Job on Coconut Telegraph (MCA, 1981) continued the party, but Somewhere Over China (MCA, 1981), One Particular Harbour (MCA, 1983), with We Are The People Our Parents Warned Us About, became less and less entertaining.

Riddles In The Sand (MCA, 1984) and Last Mango in Paris (MCA, 1985) were mediocre country albums, the latter still offering comic relief in Please Bypass This Heart and If The Phone Doesn't Ring.

Songs You Know By Heart (MCA, 1985) is an anthology.

Floridays (MCA, 1986), Hot Water (MCA, 1988), Off To See The Lizard (MCA, 1989), not to mention the live albums, kept the legend alive but continued the artistic decline.

Boats Beaches Bars & Ballads (MCA, 1992) is am anthological 4-CD box-set.

After a five-year hiatus, Fruit Cakes (MCA, 1994) resumed the trip, lulled by the usual Caribbean lullaby (Delaney Talks to Statues), fueled by the usual Caribbean dance party (Fruitcakes) and steel-band novelty (Quietly Making Noise), laced in fairy-tale melodies (Lone Palm) and solemn country-gospel hymns (Six String Music), peppered by an unusual syncopated blues-rock number (Vampires, Mummies & the Holy Ghost). Buffett's storytelling skills are as strong as ever. His melodic talent may have even increased. Only a few covers spoil the show.

It was followed by: Barometer Soup (MCA, 1995), Banana Wind (MCA, 1996), Don't Stop The Carnival (Island, 1998), Beach House on the Moon (Island, 1999), Far Side Of The World (Mailboat, 2002).

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