Our Top 10 Jimmy Buffett Songs list presents 10 classic Jimmy Buffett songs that showcase some of his most popular songs along with some lesser know gems. Jimmy Buffet stands in a class all of his own in classic rock history. He is considered more of a cult artist on a mass scale in similar fashion to the Grateful Dead. Like the Grateful Dead who enjoyed a legion of loyal fans called DeadHeads, Jimmy Buffet also celebrated a mass cult following of fans often referred to as Parrotheads. These are fans that will travel and buy tickets to all Jimmy Buffett shows and know the lyrics to every Jimmy Buffett song. While Jimmy Buffett has had some chart success throughout his career, his legacy will always be defined by his live concert performances and a set of songs that his fans loved dearly.
# 10 – A Pirate Looks At Forty
We open up our top 10 Jimmy Buffett songs list with the classic Jimmy Buffett song “A Pirate Turns Forty.” The song was released on the album A1A . (the name of a Florida highway along the eastern coast) The album was released in 1975. The great song “A Pirate Looks At Forty,” is on of the most popular Jimmy Buffett songs and is usually played at almost all his shows. The song has been covered live by artists such as Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Dave Matthews and many others.
# 9 -If The Phone Doesn’t Ring, It’s Me
While this one may not fit the category of the classic Jimmy Buffett concert sing along, it is by far one of his best. This one is dark while being draped in a country sensibility. It says so much by saying so little just like the meaning behind the song’s title. One of those undiscovered gems in the Jimmy Buffett catalog. The song “If The Phone Doesn’t Ring, It’s Me,” was released in 1993 on the album Last Mango In Paris.
# 8 – Fins
Continuing with our top 10 Jimmy Buffett songs list we turn to a great one. “Fins,” is one of those songs that some people are caught saying they didn’t realize that it was a Jimmy Buffett song. Just don’t let a parrot head hear you saying that. There is a little bit of a Pablo Cruise sound happening on this one. One can definitely here the sound of 1979 in this recording. “Fins,” was released as the first single from the album Volcano.
# 7 – The Great Filling Station Holdup
Jimmy Buffett’s country infused Charlie Daniels Band sounding song “The Great Filling Station Holdup,” was released in 1973. The song was issued as the first single from the album A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean. The song “The Great Filling Station Holdup,” would hit number fifty three on the U.S. Billboard Country music charts. From a historical viewpoint, this is a pretty important song within Jimmy Buffett’s catalog. It is the first Jimmy Buffett song to land on any of the U.S. Billboard music charts.
# 6 – Come Monday
Some of Jimmy Buffett songs have infiltrated our lives deeply. “Come Monday,” is one of them. This fabulous Jimmy Buffett song was released in 1974. It was issued as a single from the album Living & Dying in ¾ Time. The song “Come Monday,” would become Jimmy Buffett’s first top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. The song peaked at number 30.
# 5 – Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes
As we hit the half way point on our top 10 Jimmy Buffett songs list we present the title track to his 1977 album Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes. The song “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes,” was released as the album’s second single. It followed the release of Jimmy Buffett’s most successful single of his career in the song “Margaritaville.”
The single “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes,” also celebrated chart success for Jimmy Buffett. The song gave Jimmy Buffett his second straight top 40 hit on the U.S. Billboard Top 40. It also landed in the top 20 of the U.S. Billboard Adult Contemporary music charts.
# 4 – Nobody From Nowhere
While this one may not be one of the most famous Jimmy Buffett songs, it surely is one of his best. This is the most recent Jimmy Buffett song to make this list. The song was released in 2009 on the album Buffett Hotel. The song was written by Will Kimbrough and Tommy Womack. “Nobody From Nowhere,” was the album’s opening track. There is a bit of a Tom Petty feel to this one. Great guitar work and such soulful backing vocals fill this one up to 11.
# 3 – Cheeseburger In Paradise
Who doesn’t love this one. How could anyone not love a song called “Cheeseburger in Paradise.” This great upbeat Jimmy Buffett song remains one of his all time standards. In 1977 and 1978, Jimmy Buffett was enjoying great commercial success. “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” was his third straight top 40 hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. Has there ever been a better sing along line than…. “I like mine with lettuce and tomato!”
# 2 – Son Of A Son Of A Sailor
At number two on our top 10 Jimmy Buffett songs list is our favorite Jimmy Buffett song title. It is also one of our all time favorite Jimmy Buffett songs. The legendary song “Son Of A Son Of A Sailor,” was released on the album also called Son Of A Son Of A Sailor. The album was released in 1978. The song was never released as a single. Nonetheless there is a sentiment in the song that has always made this one special. At times he sounds a bit like Harry Chapin on this one.
# 1 – Margaritaville
We close out our Top 10 Jimmy Buffett songs list with Jimmy Buffett’s most successful commercial song. While parrot heads all have their own individual favorites, there is no denying the commercial success of the song “Margaritaville.” Jimmy Buffett’s gem was released in 1977 on the album Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes. The song “Margaritaville,” was the first of two singles released from the album. “Margaritaville,” would go on to become Jimmy Buffett’s only top 10 hit of his career on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. The song would also reach number one on the Billboard Adult Contemporary music charts.
Crossing multiple genres, “Margaritaville,” also broke the U.S. Billboard Country Chart’s top 20. For the casual Jimmy Buffett fan and those who just know a little bit about him, “Margaritaville,” is easily his most recognizable song. Nonetheless, if you have ever been to a Jimmy Buffet concert, you have heard the wild roar of the crowd when Jimmy Buffett launches into “Margaritaville.”
Feature Photo at top of page credit: Taps staff, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
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