A genuine American original, Key West troubadour Buffett mixed Hank Williams with Xavier Cugat, and in the process introduced Caribbean rhythms to the staid musical denizens of Nashville. After a stretch in the basic (yet eclectic) singer-songwriter vein yielded a 1974 hit ballad "Come Monday," Buffett found his trademark mellow Key West groove and the 1977 hit ("Margaritaville") that would launch a cottage industry which even included a restaurant chain. While the singer often played up his one-hit wonder status, he has enjoyed a long, storied and varied career, as well as the enduring loyalty of his fans, otherwise known as "parrotheads." A 2004 star-studded country album brought him a surprise chart-topper and even more fans.
When Jimmy Buffett eventually becomes the subject of a college course--and given his enduring popularity as a singer-songwriter and author, you know he will someday--here''s what''ll be on the final exam. Boats, Beaches, Bars & Ballads is so named because the four-CD collection divides Buffett''s collected works among those categories, giving each disc a theme. From early classics such as "Biloxi" and "Come Monday" to more recent fare known only by the Parrothead cognoscenti, this set is the perfect accompaniment to a cool drink and a hammock on a summer afternoon. What kind of cool drink? Well, that''ll be on the final, too. --Daniel Durchholz
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