Havana Daydreamin' is probably the most laid back, easy going album in the Jimmy Buffett catalog. Songs like the title track, "Defying Gravity", "This Hotel Room", "Something So Feminine about a Mandolin" and "The Captain & The Kid" just sort of float along like a breezy afternoon. Despite the breezy feel there are some songs that disrupt the leisurely pace. "Big Rig" rocks like a semi and "Cliches" as the title suggests is a witty song with some great lines. "My Head Hurts, My Feet Stink & I Don't Love Jesus" is not only one of the best song titles in history, but the best song ever written about a hangover.
on March 19, 2002
This is Buffett when he was still making up his mind if he was a rocker, a folkie, a country balladeer, or a beach bum guitar player (of course, we now know he turned out to be all 4, which is why parrotheads love their leader so much). I'll admit I bought the cd mostly to get my hands on a copy of "This Hotel Room," which ranks right up there in terms of the kind of Buffett song his critics hate and his fans love. I'm incredibly thrilled with the rest of it, though, especially the beautiful, lyrical, eccentric first track, "Woman Goin Crazy on Caroline Street." Buy this cd.
on September 5, 2000
This being the only Jimmy Buffett CD in my collection and judging from the titles of some of the songs, I felt it necessary to purchase "Havana Daydreamin'". Boy, was I taken aback! What a witty and talented songwriter/musician Mr. Buffett is! This is evidenced in the track "Cliches", where the song opens with "He's got a ballpark figure, she's got a ballpoint pen." My favorite lyrics occur later in the track:"He's always tuned into Star Trek, she's always tuned into him. Hiding his cookies when he gets the munchies, tryin' hard just to keep the boy slim". "My Head Hurts, My Feet Stink And I Don't Love Jesus" is a laugh riot! This CD also has a melacholy side, featured in the track "The Captain And The Kid", which is a reworking from one of JB's earlier albums. "Big Rig" is an enjoyful, up-tempo number that also contains a comical line: "I'd rather much be home rollin' with you than watchin' Tom Snyder on TV." Nice easy-going tunes can also be found here: the title track and "Defying Gravity." The Steve Goodman penned "This Hotel Room" is also good for laughs. Parrotheads young and old will have a blast out of this CD. You'll "Kick It In Second Wind" upon the first listen. Please do yourself a favor, and buy this CD. The witty lyrics alone are worth it!
on July 4, 2005
I like this album quite a bit. Material-wise, it's not quite up to the standards set by his previous two efforts, "Livin' & Dyin' in 3/4 Time," and the brilliant "A-1-A,' but I still think this is an essential and important classic Buffett recording that any serious fan of his music should own.
Also, you can say that this album was a tranisitional one in his career as well. It was the last time Don Gant was his producer. Gant clearly did a very good job on the previous three sides, helping to define his sound as something of a country-rock hybrid, which reflected Buffett's musical taste. In my opinion, though, Buffett wanted to move toward a more popular sound, eliminating the steel guitar, for example was a move in that direction, even though some of his most memorable tunes featured that instrument.
In addition, for the first time, there is a real Coral Reefer band, with the Nashville Cats doing backup. Even the Oak Ridge Boys get a credit. In any case, Buffett was living the lifestyle he sang about and it really began to strike a chord with his growing fan base. He and his management recognized this and understood that it might make them all very wealthy if they didn't screw it up. They didn't.
As far as the music goes, there are some very good tunes on this album. It consists of ballads and stories, some of them pretty clever, in typical Buffett style. Side one features the great ballad about his grandfather, "The Captain and the Kid," and his cover of Jesse Winchester's "Defying Gravity." He fills out the side with the humorous "My Head Hurts, My Feet Stink & I don't Love Jesus," the opening cut and Key West soaper "Woman Going Crazy on Caroline St," and "Big Rig." Side two features the great title cut, and a collection of autobiographical story-tunes, "Cliches," "Something so Feminine about a Mandolin," "Kick it in 2nd Wind," and "This Hotel Room."
The classic tunes are the title cut and "Captain & the Kid," and the rest of the material is for the most part, very good, allowing for the comments noted in the opening paragraph. I have no problem saying that this album earns a solid 4 stars, which sure isn't any disgrace. If you can pick up the vinyl of this and the previous two albums, by all means, do so. The artwork and photos are great and are as well on "Changes in Latitudes" and "Volcano."
One oddity, though, is the use of the Spanish letter "enye" in the word Havana, so it reads as "Havanya." It's not correct at all -- I mean, it's the equivalent of spelling "New York," as "New Yorc." What the hell, Buffett's a wordsmith and he should know better. Maybe they kept it that way, because it looks kind of cool and figured that most of his fans wouldn't know the difference. I didn't until I learned Spanish....
Also, on the back cover of the album, can anyone out there verify that the artwork is what used to be Sand Key?
on June 8, 2014
I have been a Jimmy Buffett fan for a long time. I like his music as many songs have a good story ling to them. His music also gets you into the correct mind set for Key West, slide a CD in at Key Largo and listen to his music all the way to Key West.
on September 27, 2013
Don't get me wrong, the first ten years of Jimmy's career was sheer genius. Along with James Taylor, Gordon Lightfoot and Steely Dan, I cannot imagine any artist that can place you in a situation via song better than he. He is sort of a Stephen King of music. I would LOVE to give his first 10-15 albums five stars, but I can't because they still have yet to be remastered. I have the original cd releases and they are no better than the ones available today. The input is low and the sound is flat. I imported them into a WAVE program and remastered them myself for my own listening, so I don't know why a more proficient engineer cannot do the same. I have been awaiting the full remasters for nearly thirty years, and it is a shame that there aren't any at this point. If you are starting your Buffet collection, by all means buy these; they are very cheap (in both senses of the word). If you have the originals, try to be patient!
on December 29, 1999
This album is responsible for pushing me off the BIG cliff between a casual --Songs You Know By Heart-- Buffett fan and a sun-soaked, margarita-soaked Parrothead. Many Decembers ago when I was working in a supermarket in fridged, frozen upstate New York I happened across a stack of cassettes that the once-a-month floor-waxing crew had forgotten. Trapped in the stock room while the wax dried, I perused the tape collection. Amoung a few Molly Hatchet, Willie Nelson, and Led Zepplin cassettes I came upon a rather filthy, beat-up copy of this Jimmy B offering. Liking what I knew of mainstream Bubba I became overcome with curiosity and gave it a spin. The rest be history, mon. The tape went home with me that morning and, needless to say, when the crew returned the next month they never asked about its whereabouts and I offered no information. I still have the tape even though I'm now on my second copy of the CD (the first mysteriously falling victim to abrasions from a sand-like substance and a generous coating of some green, sticky, sweet-smelling fluid), and it will one day go away with me to Key West to die.
on December 12, 2012
This remains one of my very favorite Jimmy Buffett albums, nearly the equal of greats such as "A-1-A" and "Living and Dying in 3/4 Time". Long before the Parrothead silliness set in, this was the impressive Buffett who skillfully balanced light-hearted and comical tunes such as "My Head Hurts, My Feet Stink and I Don't Love Jesus", Steve Goodman's "This Hotel Room" and the bluesy "Big Rig" with eloquent and lovely songs like the title track, Jesse Winchester's "Defying Gravity" and what could be the best song he ever wrote, the poignant "The Captain and the Kid." The only knock against this CD is the horribly cheap packaging by MCA, which by default is now Universal. Zero liner notes, zero songwriting credits, zero bonus tracks. If you didn't already know who wrote these songs or who played on the album, you are out of luck. An album as fine as this one deserves much better treatment. Times for a deluxe reissue with maybe some bonus live tracks, and proper booklet with liner notes.
on November 29, 2000
"Havana Daydreaming" should make you want to write your congressman and end the stupid embargo now. The title cut makes me want to go there now. The cut "Defying Gravity" alone is worth the price of the album, if only for Greg "Fingers" Taylor's harmonica melodies intersperced throughout this relaxing, melodic tune. The autobiographical "Captain and the Kid", evokes memories of my own seafaring grandfather, who sailed for Delta Lines as master for years. All in all, a true artifact of his laid back Key West days when "money didn't mean nothin' to him", and he "went down to Bridgetown to spend some time in the Barbados sun, instead his plans took a skid when he smoked a whole lid and wound up where he'd begun". (See "A1A")
on January 1, 2015
I give all these Buffett CDs four stars-5 stars for the music but a one star deduct for the packaging. The CD covers/sleeves are not the originals. These are a second run of the producing of these CDs. I like to be able to read the covers like an album jacket-these have a generic look to all of them with no information on the inside about album production, lyrics, etc.