||From the Vault...
"Living And Dying In 3/4 Time"
© MCA Records
Year of Release: 1974
Pencil Thin Mustache
Brand New Country Star
The Wino And I Know
Ballad Of Spider John
God's Own Drunk
Jimmy Buffett related sites:
"Living And Dying In 3/4 Time"
Jimmy Bufett returns as our Album Pick of the Week -- with his 1974 release, Living And Dying In 3/4 Time. This album, along with Son Of A Son
Of A Sailor, and A-1-A, as they were three albums I found at a local garage sale, many years ago. It was my first introduction to Buffett's music.
And, like many introductions to an artist's music, I was not disappointed. Jimmy Buffett's music has been labeled Country, Off-Country, Tropical, Americana.
Yet his music truly never was really categorized as one type, like the many genres mentioned, it is also (like the rest), Rock & Roll.
Living And Dying In 3/4 Time is a catchy title, especially for those who know what "3/4 Time" is. But for those who don't, here's the definition:
3/4 Time is a simple time signature in music, that consist of two numerals, one stacked above the other. The lower numeral indicates the note value that
represents one beat (the beat unit). The upper numeral indicates how many such beats there are grouped together in a bar. (For more info,
There isn't one bad song on this album. Starting with "Pencil Thin Mustache" there are many songs here that are "off-Country." The one just
mentioned, and "Ringling Ringling," "Brand New Country Star" all have this style. In later years, this kind of music would probably be labeled as
"Americana." Steve Goodman comes to mind also on these sounding songs, as both Buffett and Goodman did work together, and their songs consists of funny
day-to-day stories. Another song to mention here is "The Wino And I Know," as many songs from Buffett has lyrics of drinking. The album's closing
song, "God's Own Drunk" (a talking song), definitely tells about a drinking story.
"Come Monday" is one Buffett's best songs written by him. Forget "Margaritaville," "Come Monday" is a close runner-up. This song is
pleasant, a relaxing number, and one of those songs very easy when sitting back, and yes, drinking a few brews. Another pleasant track like this, is
"Livingston's Gone To Texas."
Another genre music style to classify is Southern Rock. "Brahama Fear" is a slowed down track, having a Southern/Allman Brothers feel. The
countryish harmonica is the highlight as well. "West Nashville Grand Ballroom Gown" definitely sounds Off-Country, with it's "ballroom" type sound.
"Saxophones" is more Rock & Roll than Country, and "Ballad Of Spider John" sounds like another "off-Country" act, The Band (Robbie Robertson,
Levon Helm, etc.)
Living And Dying In 3/4 Time is a great introduction to Jimmy Buffett's music. Again, ignore "Margaritaville" (which everyone else
would probably introduce people to). Like many popular songs, "Margaritaville" got overplayed, and many just were getting tired of hearing it.
"Come Monday" is one of those songs you'd never get tired of, unless of course, that particular song would get heavily overplayed. "The Wino And
I Know" is another track that is never tiring. Jimmy Buffett's music is either liked or hated, probably for the drinking and smoking references.
Putting that aside, Buffett's music has always been humorous. Like Steve Goodman, Buffett's music always have a story to tell. Always bright, and full of
humor, it's easy to listen to his music on warm and hot sunny days. His music just fits this kind of weather. Or even during the coldest months, his
albums, just as the one reviewed here, will bring warmness to any cold-filled day.
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