jbuffchangesin#9 – Jimmy Buffett – “Margaritaville” – (1977)

This is Jimmy Buffett’s signature tune. It’s also the name of the many of the Buffett-themed products and restaurants out there. Seriously, when I typed in “Margaritaville” into Amazon, the “Digital Music” category didn’t even appear. Instead, “Home & Kitchen,”  “Appliances,” and “Grocery” were the top results. Cliche or not, this is the perfect song if you’re sitting in white sand and drinking.

#13 – Jimmy Buffett – “Cheeseburger in Paradise” – (1978)

Ah, yes. One of Jimmy Buffett’s most iconic songs. If you’ve ever been to Buffett’s personal cash cow, the Margaritaville restaurant chain, the cheeseburger in paradise is a must-order. “I like mine with lettuce and tomato, Heinz 57 and French fried potatoes…” is the classic breakdown in this song. And yes, don’t worry, when we get to 1977, we will again feature a Jimmy Buffett song during our countdown.

#12 – Jimmy Buffett – “Fins” – (1979)

Depending on where you’re from, Jimmy Buffett is either a singer from the 1970s and 1980s or some kind of mid-life crisis savior figure. Where I’m from (and it’s mentioned in this song, much to this city’s delight), it’s definitely the latter. “Fins” only hit #35 on the Hot 100 but it remains one Buffett’s most popular songs and concert goers expect it played so they can sway when “Fins to the left, fins to the right” is sung. Like him or not (and I do), you have to admit his songs are fun. “Can’t you feel ’em closing in honey…”

Jimmy Buffett – “Brown Eyed Girl” – (1983)

First, sorry for linking to a live version – but ol’ Jimmy ain’t too bad live. Even if he happens to pander to the Chicago crowd in that video. Obviously, this is not a Buffett-original (although I would suggest the Buffett album version over a live version). The song was originally done by the incomparable Van Morrison in 1967. It remains Van Morrison’s signature song. This version was also a hit, hitting #13 on the Adult Contemporary chart in 1983.

Jimmy Buffett – “Another Saturday Night” – (1993)

Why must some songs be so hard to find (bear with that video, it gets there)? This cover of Sam Cooke’s classic was released on the 1993 album Margaritaville Café: Late Night Menu. No, it was not a Jimmy Buffett studio album. It was a compilation album – actually the first of three – that Buffett released that included recordings by a number of artists that regularly performed at his Margaritaville restaurants. He, Buffett, also included a few new recordings of his own on each. So what’s the deal here? Well it has the same sound and feel as the rest of his songs from the 1980s.