Musician - 12/92, p.98
"..an impressive 72-song collection...If you like Buffett you already own this. If you don't, maybe you need to fire one up, take a sip of your margarita, get naked and join the conga line.."
Digitally remastered at Future Disc Systems, W. Hollywood, California.
Compiles material from Buffett's albums (1970-1990) and some unreleased songs. Includes extensive liner notes, a track-by-track description by Jimmy Buffett, and color photos.
With sell-out concerts year after year and an empire incorporating everything from best-selling books to a restaurant chain, singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett transformed himself an icon of laid-back, island-dwelling eccentricity. Buffett revels in the world of life's merry dropouts, of beach bums, sailors, barflies, nomads, and minstrels. His box set, BOATS, BEACHES, BARS & BALLADS, cleverly divides his gargantuan catalogue into major themes, offering up four distinct discs that celebrate the subtly varied aspects of his aesthetic.
The BOATS section is dominated by more wistful songs, with occasional gusts of wind like "Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes" and an excellent cover of "On a Slow Boat to China." BEACHES starts fittingly wasted away in his Top 10 moment, "Margaritaville," and is followed by a mix of joy and pain that ends in Buffett's unforgettable novelty hit, "Cheeseburger in Paradise." Naturally, BARS is the most raucous set, peppered with rockers ("Fins"), sing-alongs ("Why Don't We Get Drunk"), and wistful nostalgia ("Pencil Thin Mustache"). Topping off this excellent compilation, BALLADS sums up the oft-forgotten depth of Buffett's storytelling, opening with the extraordinary beauty of "Come Monday" and flipping through a scrapbook of quiet elegance.