Volcano (Jimmy Buffett album)

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Volcano (Jimmy Buffet album).jpg
Studio album by Jimmy Buffett
Released August 1979 (LP)
October 1998 (CD)
Recorded May 1979
Genre Rock, Gulf and Western
Length 33:37
Label MCA
MCA-5102 (U.S., 12")
Producer Norbert Putnam
Jimmy Buffett chronology
Son of a Son of a Sailor
Coconut Telegraph

Volcano is the ninth studio album by American popular music singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett and is his 11th overall. It was released in August 1979 as MCA 5102 and was his first release on that label after its absorption of ABC Dunhill.

The album and its title song are named for the then dormant Soufrière Hills volcano on the island of Montserrat in the British West Indies where Buffett recorded the album in May 1979 at AIR Studios. (The studio was destroyed by Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and Soufrière Hills erupted again in 1995.) Additional recording was done at Quadrafonic Studios in Nashville Tennessee and Sunset Sound Studios in Los Angeles, California in the United States. The album is dedicated to Buffett's wife and his daughter, Savannah Jane Buffett, who was born just before its release.


All of the songs are written or co-written by Buffett; a Keith Sykes-penned tune, "I'm Not Strange, I'm Just Like You," did not make the final album. Buffett performed "Volcano" with Don Henley at a 1993 Walden Woods Project benefit concert that is available on Henley's 2002 One of These Nights.

Chart performance[edit]

Volcano reached #14 on the Billboard 200 album chart and #13 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. Three singles from the album charted including "Fins" (#35 on the Billboard Hot 100; #42 Adult Contemporary), "Volcano" (#66 Hot 100; #43 Adult Contemporary), and "Survive" (#77 Hot 100).

In the United Kingdom, "Chanson pour les petits enfants" was released as a single for Christmas 1979. It did not chart officially, but peaked at number 86 in the Record Business magazine chart in Christmas week[1] and became an enduringly popular song on BBC Radio 2 in a country where Buffett has had very little success.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[2]

Although the album generated two songs, "Fins" and "Volcano," that have become Buffett concert standards, part of 'The Big 8" [clarification needed] that he has played at almost all of his concerts, critical reception was less positive. Allmusic reviewer Vik Iyengar posits that "this album marks a low point for Jimmy Buffett in a decade in which he delivered one solid album after another."[2]

Track listing[edit]

Side 1:

  1. "Fins" (Jimmy Buffett, Deborah McColl, Barry Chance, Tom Corcoran) – 3:27
  2. "Volcano" (Jimmy Buffett, Keith Sykes, Harry Dailey) – 3:37
  3. "Treat Her Like a Lady" (Jimmy Buffett, David Loggins) – 4:18
  4. "Stranded on a Sandbar" (Jimmy Buffett) – 3:08
  5. "Chanson Pour Les Petits Enfants" (Jimmy Buffett) – 4:01

Side 2:

  1. "Survive" (Jimmy Buffett, Mike Utley) – 4:50
  2. "Lady I Can't Explain" (Jimmy Buffett) – 2:42
  3. "Boat Drinks" (Jimmy Buffett) – 2:37
  4. "Dreamsicle" (Jimmy Buffett) – 2:18
  5. "Sending the Old Man Home" (Jimmy Buffett) – 3:23

Cassette pressings of the album have "Volcano" and "Dreamsicle" swapped in track order.

The running times listed for "Treat Her Like a Lady" and "Survive" on LP and CD pressings are incorrect. They are listed at 3:55 and 4:29, respectively.


The Coral Reefer Band:

  • Jimmy Buffett: Vocals and acoustic guitar
  • Keith Sykes: Guitar and background vocals
  • Barry Chance: Lead guitar
  • Andy McMahon: Fender Rhodes
  • Mike Utley: Piano and Organ
  • Russell Kunkel: Drums, percussion, congas on "Volcano"
  • Greg "Fingers" Taylor: Harmonica
  • Johnny Montezuma: Anything and everything on "Fins"
  • Jackie Dangler: Pans on "Fins" and "Boat Drinks"
  • Steve Forman: Percussion on "Fins"
  • Donald Douglas: banjo-uke on "Volcano"
  • Wilfred Tuitt: Guitar on "Volcano"
  • James Elmer: Bass pipe on "Volcano"
  • Billy Puett & Bill Jones: recorders on "Chanson Pour les Petits Enfants"
  • Ferrell Morris: Tambourine on "Chanson Pour les Petits Enfants"
  • Steve Forman: Shakers on "Chanson Pour les Petits Enfants"
  • James Taylor: Background vocals and guitar on "Sending the Old Man Home"
  • Norbert Putnam: Bass on "Sending the Old Man Home"
  • Deborah McColl: Background vocals
  • Alex Taylor: Background vocals
  • Hugh Taylor: Background vocals
  • Dave Loggins: Background vocals
  • Venetta Fields: Background vocals
  • Brenda Bryant: Background vocals
  • Paulette Brown: Background vocals
  • Juan Cadiz: Background vocals


  • "Fins" b/w "Dreamsicle" (Released on MCA 41109 in July 1979)
  • "Dreamsicle" b/w "Dreamsicle" (Released on MCA 41109 in July 1979)
  • "Volcano" b/w "Stranded On A Sandbar" (Released on MCA 41161 in November 1979)
  • "Survive" b/w "Boat Drinks" (Released on MCA 41199 in February 1980)


Buffett set out on a You Had to Be There Tour from February through April 1979. The remainder of the year was dedicated to promoting his 1979 album Volcano. Jimmy headed back to the west coast, then to the east coast. September brought Jimmy to Hawaii for the first time opening for the Eagles in Aloha Stadium.[3]

1979 Coral Reefer Band[edit]

  • Jimmy Buffett: Vocals and guitar
  • Barry Chance: Guitar
  • Harry Dailey: Bass and background Vocals
  • Deborah McColl: Background Vocals
  • Greg “Fingers” Taylor: Harmonica and background Vocals
  • Michael Utley: Keyboards
  • Andy McMahon: Organ
  • Sammy Creason: Drums

Set list[edit]

The only set list from the tour that's been confirmed is that of the opening night at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, California. While the structure of Buffett's set lists generally remain the same in a given tour, the song selection varies from night to night; so it's more than likely that there were many changes to the set list as the tour progressed.[4]

Greek Theatre
Sunday, July 29, 1979

  1. "It's Too Late" (Fingers on vocals)
  2. "Mañana
  3. "Pencil Thin Mustache"
  4. "Trying to Reason With Hurrican Season"
  5. "Volcano"
  6. "Come Monday"
  7. "Why Don't We Get Drunk"
  8. "Fins"
  9. "Margaritaville"
  10. "Banana Republics" (Steve Goodman cover) (acoustic)
  11. "God's Own Drunk" (Richard Buckley cover) (acoustic)
  12. "Sending the Old Man Home"
  13. "Chanson Pour Les Petits Enfants"
  14. "Coast of Marseilles" (Keith Sykes cover)
  15. "Cheeseburger in Paradise"
  16. "A Pirate Looks at Forty"
  17. "Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes"
  18. "Treat Her Like a Lady"
  19. "Son of a Son of a Sailor"
  20. "Dixie Diner" (Larry Raspberry And The Highsteppers cover)
    Encore 2:
  21. "Survive"


  1. ^ Superpop magazine, 12 January 1980
  2. ^ a b Vik Iyengar. "Volcano - Jimmy Buffett | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-05-24. 
  3. ^ "1979 Volcano Tour Dates » Jimmy Buffett World". Buffettworld.com. Retrieved 2014-05-24. 
  4. ^ "Sunday, July 29th, 1979 – Berkeley, CA – Greek Theatre » Jimmy Buffett World". Buffettworld.com. 1979-07-29. Retrieved 2014-05-24.