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Riddles In The Sand
By: Jimmy Buffett
Release Date: September 1st, 1984
Peak Chart Position: Billboard 200 Chart: #87; Country Chart: #18;

1 – Who’s The Blonde Stranger? (Jimmy Buffett, Will Jennings, Josh Leo & Michael Utley)
2 – When The Wild Life Betrays Me (Jimmy Buffett, Will Jennings & Michael Utley)
3 – Ragtop Day (Jimmy Buffett, Will Jennings & Michael Utley)
4 – She’s Going Out Of My Mind (Mac McAnally)
5 – Bigger Than The Both Of Us (Rhonda Coullet)
6 – Knees Of My Heart (Jimmy Buffett, Will Jennings & Michael Utley)
7 – Come To The Moon (Jimmy Buffett, Will Jennings & Michael Utley)
8 – Love In Decline (Jimmy Buffett, Will Jennings & Michael Utley)
9 – Burn That Bridge (Jimmy Buffett, Will Jennings & Michael Utley)
10 – La Vie Dansante (Jimmy Buffett, Will Jennings & Michael Utley)


Performer Credit
Jimmy Buffett Guitar, Vocals
Reggie Young Guitar
Michael Utley Keyboards
Greg “Fingers” Taylor Harmonica
Larry Lee Background Vocals
Matt Betton Drums, Saxophone
Mac McAnally Background Vocals
Sam Clayton Percussion
Robert Greenidge Steel Drums
Emory Gordy Bass
John Jarvis Synthesizer, Keyboards
Billy Joe Walker Guitar
Wendy Waldman Background Vocals
Thomas Flora Background Vocals

Label: MCA
Produced and Recorded by: Jimmy Bowen


Original Vinyl Information:

MCA-5512, MCA Records. No gatefold. Lyrics and photos on black and white record sleeve.

Original CD Information:

MCAD-31095, MCA Records. No liner notes or pictures.

Two-on-One CD Information:

MCAD-5923, MCA Records. The last of MCA’s two-fer Buffett CDs combines One Particular Habour with Riddles In The Sand. No liner notes, but a few photos. MCA cut “When the Wild Life Betrays Me” from Riddles In The Sand to make everything fit on one CD. Out of print.

Mac McAnally appears courtesy of Geffen Records

Produced and Recorded by: Jimmy Bowen for Lynwood Production, Michael Utley and Tony Brown

Recorded and mixed at: Sound Stage Studio

1st Engineers: Ron Treat – Basic Tracks and Overdubs, Steve Tillisch – Mixdown

2nd Engineers: Mark Coddington and Vicki Hicks

Originally mastered at: Masterfonics by Glenn Meadows

Mixed and mastered: using the JVC Digital Audio Mastering System

Photography by: Jim Shea

Drawings on the sleeve by: Savannah Jane Buffett, Maura and Melanie Lyons

Art Direction by: Jeff Adamoff

Very Special Thanks to:
Nashville – Johnny Dickinson, Charlie Allen, Will “Dr. Wheeeel” Jennings, “Dirt” Lanier, Jessie Noble, Abbe Demontbreun and to the Consistent Nutrition Experts Hap Towned, Luthers’ Bar BQ, Mac’s Cafe and the Ellistio Place Soda Shop
At the Gulf – Dan Sweet, Kenny Wall, Greer and Brooke Radcliff and “Rusty” the Wonder Horse
Out West – Howard Kaufman, Bobby Liberman and Nina Avramides-Berducat

“This album is dedicated with much love to Jane Slagsvol Buffett, who over the years, has been and remains, the ultimate riddle in the sand.”

“What goes around comes around” say wise men in bars. Any good artist feels compelled to change, if not doomed to change, and vary his art as much as he varies his life. Starting from the center, Buffett has shot off to a number of usual and unusual planets. Now in RIDDLES IN THE SAND we see him coming home not quite on A1A, but with the same richness of feeling that informed much of his earlier work.

Years ago, down in Riviera Beach in southeast Texas, I saw some cowboys ride into town on horseback for a dinner of GULF shrimp AND oysters. If you were Superman you could have seen Key WESTERN off there in the distance. This album has a musical range expanding in an arc from Bob Wills to Bob Marley with the Gulf somehow always there: a low and high tidal range, sweet and piney like the Delta soil, Caribbean Islands white with coral dust, ladies as moist and sweet as a fresh broken conch. Rather than a return, Buffett is starting out from the center again, with a vast expansion both musically and emotionally. The music is a triumph for an American sound.

-Jim Harrison

Liner Notes courtesy BuffettRemasters.com