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Living And Dying In 3/4 Time

4.8 out of 5 stars 85 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 27, 1987
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After two early LPs failed to chart, Jimmy wrote the song-his Top 40 hit Come Monday -that put him on the easygoing path to fame. This 1974 LP has that plus Pencil Thin Mustache; God's Own Drunk; The Ballad of Spider John , and more!

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Jimmy Buffett's third album, Living and Dying yielded the hit single "Come Monday," which still ranks among his finest compositions. As wistful and romantic as that number may be, the dominant feeling of the album is gentle good humor, as on songs like the richly detailed "Brand New Country Star," the nostalgic "Pencil Thin Mustache," and a recitation of the Lord Buckley tall tale "God's Own Drunk." Buffett approaches country & western-style topics on "Livingston's Gone to Texas" and "Brahma Fear" without succumbing to the blandness of de rigueur Music City product. "West Nashville Grand Ballroom Gown," meanwhile, has to be considered the definitive song of debutante rebellion. It's a thin field, admittedly, but a song worthy of the title nonetheless. --Daniel Durchholz
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 27, 1987)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Geffen
  • ASIN: B000002PBH
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,583 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This album may not be a favorite of some younger parrotheads, but lyrically it represents some of Jimmy's best work. "Pencil Thin Moustache" is an ode to the "Boston Blackie" series that will have youngersters scratching their heads, but hopefully they'll research it for themselves. I especially love the reference to "Sky King's Penny", obscure except to those of us who watched the "Sky King" episodes. "The Wino and I Know" is one of my personal favorites. "Ice Cream man, he's a hillbilly fan. Got '78's by Hank Snow", is telling of Buffett's musical influences. The best rendition of "God's Own Drunk" can be found here also. Jimmy had to give up performing it in concert when the estate of Lord Buckley sued him for 'willfully and maliciously mutilating and adulterating' the original version. A real shame he is forbidden to perform it; it was a real hoot. Musically, this is perhaps one of his most ecletic efforts, sure to satisfy country fans and old Buffett fans alike. And no, a real Buffett fan from the '70's DOES NOT refer to himself as a "Parrothead". I leave that moniker to the youngersters who "recently" discovered Buffett, and think that such mediocre efforts as "Banana Wind" and "Beach House on the Moon" are classic Buffett. Sorry to dissappoint you, but classics must first stand the test of time. Most of Jimmy's work from the '70's (including this one) has done just that.
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Format: Audio CD
1974's Living and Dying in ¾ Time was Buffett's second major label album and fourth overall release. The quality of the music is 5 star material, as Buffett was at his singer/songwriter peak.

I would love to give a review that deals with the music contained within, but I must make a point of stress on this CD release. It's just plain bad. The sound quality is full of tape hiss, which contrary to what the disclaimer says on the back of the case, does NOT have to be heard when analogue recordings are transferred to digital. All it takes is finding the master tapes and preparing the tracks for a higher resolution format.

Don't expect to get any more artwork or liner notes with the disc either. What you see in the image at the top of this page is the only thing left from what was included in the original 1974 package. Gone is the rear cover photograph of a shark, a beautiful Key West sunset painting form the gatefold, a photo of Jimmy form the insert, band credits and complete lyrics to each song. Not to faithful to the original release, eh? Maybe that was excusable in the 80s when the CD boom was still taking place, but now... No.

Please, if your an MCA executive and are reading this, it's time to re-release.
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Format: Audio CD
Living & Dying in 3/4 Time is Jimmy Buffett's last recording that concentrates on country music. He would still keep a country flavor in his music, but this album contains none of the Caribbean rhythms or beach themes that would permeate his future work. The album opens up with the vaudevillian "Pencil Thin Mustache" which is one of his more enduring classics. "Come Monday" is a trippy folk number that deservedly became his first Top 40 hit. "Ringling, Ringling", "Brahma Fear", "Brand New Country Star" and "Livingston's Gone To Texas" all are in the country theme and take on subjects such as the circus, rodeo riding, the Nashville music scene and head out to the range. "The Wino & I Know" speaks of the wisdom of old drunks. "Saxophones" and "Ballad Of Spider John" are slight numbers, but the album closes out with Mr. Buffett's take of Lord Buckley's "God's Own Drunk". It is a perfect song for Mr. Buffett as it fits perfectly into his storytelling persona and he more speaks the story than sings it.
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Format: Audio CD
It's a toss up between this album and A-1-A for Buffett's best. But, I have to give the edge to Living and Dying and 3/4 Time for "God's Own Drunk," the quintessential Jimmy Buffett song. He's tried a lot of different things in the years since, but nothing compares to the bar room banter that can be found in this song. Buffett could also dig deep inside himself and pull out such ballads as "Come Monday." From top to bottom this is a great album and went a long way toward establishing Buffett's storied career. He continues to draw on these songs in his concerts, but for some reason has relegated "God's Own Drunk" to the past. Too bad because it combined the humor and pathos he is most famous for. Buffett could always play the crowd, and give them what they wanted to hear, but in this album one finds a bit of personal introspection and some of the finest Buffett ballads to be had.
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Format: Audio CD
And still my favorite. This is Buffett before he became popular, bordering on caracature. Seems he was living what he was singing about. I used to listen to this over and over on 8 track (along with Gord's Gold) in a cabin in the Canadian wilderness. For some reason, it seemed to fit that environment. Not a lot of distraction or amenities, just family, nature and some countrified music. Simple pleasures.
It's a bit country and a bit more but what makes this album so great is the fact that he's a phenomenal storyteller. He writes stories about people and places nobody writes songs about.
'Come Monday' is the song that put him on the map and it never ceases to get old yet there are some true gems on here. He's got moments of lyrical comedy that are pure gold (and not the lyrics that are comedy in the 'clown' sense that seems to characterize his later work). 'God's Own Drunk' has to be one of the best (and funniest) songs ever recorded.
If you haven't dug into his old stuff, you're missing out.
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