Video Classics: ‘Margaritaville’ – Jimmy Buffett

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Margaritas, Like Buffet's Bank Account, Seem to Always Be Getting Larger (Joe Raedle, Getty Image News)

Margaritas, Like Buffetts bank account, seem to always be getting larger (Joe Raedle, Getty Image News)

Emotions seem to run high around [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Jimmy Buffett[/lastfm]. On one hand, his legions of devoted ‘Parrotheads’ flock to his concerts (and have allowed him to make more money from live performances than albums since the mid-’80s) and romanticize the easygoing tropical lifestyle Buffett sends up in his soft rock ballads and beach music. On the other hand, you have the more ‘serious’ rockers who think the one-time country star is just a commercial sell-out (he’s behind two restaurant chains) who panders to his fans and whose music is one step up from a novelty act.

But love him or hate him, there’s no doubt Buffett is a huge success with his share of hits, and “Margaritaville,” his signature song, is the biggest of them all.

“Margaritaville” originally appeared on his 1977 album Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes. The song was a breakthrough hit for him. Not only was it a commercial success, but it also completed the shift in his image from country artist to laid-back tropico (it had been only a few years before that his friend, country singer Jerry Jeff Walker had first introduced Buffett to Key West). Buffett has since embraced the beach bum image wholeheartedly (though his touring schedule makes him work harder than most beach bums), and hasn’t failed to leverage the success of his biggest hit. To date, Buffett has licensed the ‘Margaritaville’ name for the following (list compiled from Wikipedia) …

  • Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, a casual dining restaurant chain
  • Margaritaville frozen seafood
  • Margaritaville Frozen Concoction Maker
  • Margaritaville Chicken Wings
  • Margaritaville margarita mix
  • Margaritaville tequila
  • Radio Margaritaville, a radio station that broadcasts on the Internet and satellite radio
  • Margaritaville Soles of the Tropics Footwear

Commercial? Undoubtedly. But who’s to say that if it had been as marketable as ‘Margaritaville Tequila’, that [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]AC/DC[/lastfm] wouldn’t have tried to make money off of ‘Highway to Hell Brand Facial Tissue?’

Add your thoughts to the comments below or take a look at Video Classics past…

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