Jimmy Buffett

THE JIMMY BUFFETT COLLECTION; SUN, SEA AND MARGARITAS

Humphead ★★★★

All the Buffett you could wish for

I think the title says it all really – 40 ofthe man’s best songs on two CDs, including all the hits and some that should have been.

Until this collection landed on my desk I had no idea thatthe man has had so many hits, possibly it is a surprise to him as well. For someone with a fairly non-conformist approach to anything resembling a career to, not only, stay afloat but prosper is no small achievement.

That’s enough waffle, now to the heart of the matter- if you are unfamiliar with the songs of Mr Buffett many are written or inspired by the carefree seafaring days spent sailing around the Florida Keys. That is, pretty much, the Buffett template from which come

classics such as Margaritaville, Cheeseburger In Paradise and Son Of A Son Of A Sailor. In fact the collection’s opening track Havana Daydreamin’ sums things up to a large extent – on the surface a frothy lightweight up-tempo ditty, but with lyrics of charm, awareness and depth.

Don’t let that fool you into thinking that here is a one trick pony, for he also offers songs of great introspection and thoughtfulness such as A Pirate Looks At Forty and myfavourite Buffett song He WentTo Paris, a story told to him by a world war one veteran, and for my money should be up there at the pinnacle alongside Guy Clark’s Desperado’s Waitin’For A Train”.

So you have now discovered that he is a fabulous songwriter, he’s no mean singer either and has a great ear for other people’s songs that are ripe to cover. On this collection notable mentions must go to Rodney Crowell’s Stars On The Water, Brown-Eyed Girl from Van Morrison, and the Jesse Winchester classic Biloxi, but head and shoulders above them all is the Parish and Perkins masterpiece from way back in the good old days Stars Fell On Alabama.

A splendid collection, the man in a nutshell – a feast that you can serve fresh over and over again. Ian Ambrose

www.margaritaville.com

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