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Best of the Early Years
By: Jimmy Buffett
Release Date: February 5th, 2002
Notes: Re-issue of tracks previously released on “Down To Earth” and “High Cumberland Jubilee”
1 – The Missionary (Jimmy Buffett)
2 – Truckstop Salvation (Jimmy Buffett)
3 – Ace (Jimmy Buffett)
4 – Rockefeller Square (Jimmy Buffett & Buzz Cason)
5 – Bend A Little (Jimmy Buffett & Buzz Cason)
6 – In The Shelter (Jimmy Buffett)
7 – Death Valley Lives (Jimmy Buffett)
8 – High Cumberland Dilemma (Jimmy Buffett & Buzz Cason)
9 – The Hangout Gang (Jimmy Buffett & Buzz Cason)
10 – High Cumberland Jubilee/Comin’ Down Slow (Jimmy Buffett & Buzz Cason)
11 – There’s Nothin’ Soft About Hard Times (Jimmy Buffett)

Performer Credit

Format: Compact Disc (01811190402)
Original release year: 2002
Label: LaserLight (USA)
Catalog #: 46121

Liner Notes:

Singer / songwriter Jimmy Buffett is best known for his humorous chronicles of laidback beach life and tales of escapism from the hectic and mundane world. Yet, little do most people know that Jimmy Buffett’s career is rooted in Nashville, Tennessee, which is a world far, far away from the sunshine in Key West, Florida.

Born and raised in the south, Buffett attended Auburn University and then the University of Southern Mississippi, where he studied History and Journalism respectively. He would later work as a freelance writer, which included a brief stint for Billboard.

In 1969, Buffett moved to Nashville in an attempt to gain a recording deal as a country singer. He was quickly signed to Barnaby Records, which released 1970’s Down To Earth. Due to alack of promotion, the debut album reputedly sold only 324 copies. Suspiciously thereafter, the master tapes of Buffett’s follow-up album, High Cumberland Jubilee, were “misplaced” by the record label. The album’s release was delayed indefinitely.

In 1972, Buffett quit Barnaby Records and moved to Key West with country singer Jerry Jeff Walker. It was there that Buffett began creating and living his famous seafaring persona, and was signed by a major record label.

After the success of Buffett’s next few releases, the previously “lost” masters for High Cumberland Jubilee resurfaced, and the album was released by Barnaby Records.

1976 brought the release of Buffett’s Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes, which contained his Top Ten hit and signature tune, Margaritaville. The rest, as they say, is history.

Best of the Early Years offers a rare glimpse into Jimmy Buffett’s career before he made the famous (or should we say infamous?) move to Key West. Impressively, Buffett displays on artful and crafty touch to his early music. His early work offers much more than escape fantasies and drinking songs. Using his literary background, he renders keen commentary on ordinary people and their lives, his songs are filled with heart and empathy, and every tune is stamped with Buffett’s hallmark, wry sense of humor.

Best of the Early Years is a wonderful retrospective of the music and early career of Jimmy Buffett. With his Nashville foundation and the soon-to-come influence of Key West, this collection shows just where Buffett had been, where he would eventually go, and the stories he would inevitably tell.