Share this site - Email/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest

Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes
Jimmy Buffett

ABC AB-990
Released: January 1977
Chart Peak: #12
Weeks Charted: 42
Certified Platinum: 12/14/77

Jimmy BuffettThe wry humor and carefully etched scenes that made Jimmy Buffett's A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean so endearing have been slowly evaporating. What remains three albums later are the occasional clever line and a lot of self-pitying drinking songs. The only notable exception is the desperately sad "In the Shelter," the tale of a very lost young woman.

The drinking tunes, it should be added, probably work in live performance. One can get away with one-liner songs if the picking and mood are right. Here, however, Norbert Putnam's overwrought production and arrangements milk each number of its potential charm, emotion or, for that matter, shit-kicking impact. A few loose country licks would have been more in order than the strings and flutes provided.

Jimmy Buffett - Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes
Original album ad art.
Click for larger view.
There's a little more enthusiasm on the second side than on the first. But when it comes to this kind of laid-back (uptempo or down) drinking music, Jerry Jeff Walker'll play 'em all under the table any night.

- Ira Mayer, Rolling Stone, 4/7/77.

Bonus Reviews!

I guess the point to make here is that Buffett in transition is still more satisfying than most people snuggled in on a comfortable plateau. The old Buffett swagger is muted here, though there's not much in the words or tunes to suggest why. The arrangements put a little more emphasis on the Caribbean aspect of his peculiar Nashville-Caribbean mix, but they hardly do anything radical. Buffett just sounds a little less sure of himself. Still, he sings well -- doesn't even to badly by Jesse Winchester's "Biloxi," considering that the unbeatable Tom Rush version is called up in my mind and calmly stares down this and other upstart versions. And Buffett has come up with some good songs of his own. A couple are very good: "(Wastin' Away in) Margaritaville," a wry Buffett special of a downer, and "Miss You So Badly," a sort of rhapsody on the theme of "Come Monday." I wouldn't give Buffett a gold star for this one, but he's in solid in the "acquits himself nicely" column.

- Noel Coppage, Stereo Review, 6/77.

Buffett, purveyor of the nautical/Caribbean mystique, is in full bloom here with his fifth LP, possibly his most mature work to date. The themes are provocative enough, exploring maturation, loneliness, boredom, identity searching, expatriatism, human relationships, all done against travel as metaphor for living. Vocals and lyrics are sensitive and there is definite crossover pop and country appeal. Best cuts: "Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes," "Banana Republics," "Lovely Cruise," "In The Shelter," "Miss You So Badly."

- Billboard, 1977.

Further reading on
Super Seventies RockSite!:

Article: 'Jimmy's Really
Big African Adventure'

Jimmy Buffett FAQ

Jimmy Buffett Lyrics

Jimmy Buffett Videos

Jimmy Buffett Mugshots

A lyric by Steve Goodman begs for words we can dance to and melodies that rhyme. And Jimmy Buffett's cohesive Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes fills the request. After last year's disjointed Havana Daydreamin', the new set is a daydream come true. Themed on the Buffett ethic of high times, at sea and elsewhere ("If we weren't so crazy, we'd all go insane"), the album clicks. A song each from Goodman and Jesse Winchester and eight originals fill an album with potential single hits the music matches the worlds and Norbert Putnam's production rings commercial. After working with his energetic road band, Buffett is surprisingly powerful and the harp man, Fingers Taylor, now becomes a ranking musician in his own right. To this add Michale Utley's tasty keyboards and you'll be listening to Jimmy Buffett's most successful album to date. Rosalynn Carter can be proud to show off her Coral Reefers T-shirt.

- Playboy, 4/77.

Buffett's certainly more likable than the average professional rakehell -- he's complex, he's honest, he takes good care of his sense of humor, and above all he doesn't come on like hot shit. This is his most reflective album, and though I'm nothing like him -- "Wonder Why We Ever Go Home" is hardly my take on aging -- I find myself interested whenever he stops and thinks, which happens mostly on side one. "Banana Republics," about expatriates reaping the wages (and pleasures) of imperialism even if Buffett would never put it that way, is my favorite, but I also love this breakthrough insight from his breakthrough single: "Some people claim that there's a woman to blame/But I know it's my own damn fault." B+

- Robert Christgau, Christgau's Record Guide, 1981.

Buffett's biggest selling regular release contains his biggest hit single, "Margaritaville." It's also a peak in terms of songwriting, both for the artist himself and in his covers of the work of Steve Goodman and Jesse Winchester, among others. Funny, wistful, and celebratory, the album is the definitive statement of Buffett's world view. * * * *

- William Ruhlmann, The All-Music Guide to Rock, 1995.

Buffett's breakthrough album, Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes is a perfect sampler of feel-good folk-rockers (the title track, "Margaritaville") and pensive ballads ("Biloxi," "Wonder Why We Ever Go Home"). * * * *

- David Yonke, Musichound Rock: The Essential Album Guide, 1996.

 Reader's Comments

No comments so far, be the first to comment.

 Buying Options
Read more reviews, listen to song samples,
and buy this album at

CD Universe
Prefer CD Universe?
Click here.

Alibris connects shoppers with thousands of
independent music sellers around the world.

eBay Music
Search for great music deals on
CDs, vinyl and tapes at eBay.

 Main Page | The Classic 500 | Readers' Favorites | Other Seventies Discs | Search The RockSite/The Web