Get the latest Jimmy Buffett news delivered to your email

Buffett’s Music Catalogue Surging on Billboard Charts

September 11th, 2023

Billboard reports that Jimmy Buffett’s catalogue is surging in plays and sales since his September 1st death.

His 1985 greatest hits album Songs You Know by Heart has re-entered Billboard’s Top 200 albums chart at number 4, its highest ranking ever:

The late Jimmy Buffett returns to the top five of the Billboard 200 albums chart as his best-of collection Songs You Know by Heart: Jimmy Buffett’s Greatest Hit(s) re-enters the Sept. 16-dated list at No. 4. It marks the album’s highest rank ever — and first week in the top 10, or even top 40, dating to its release in 1985 — and Buffett’s 13th top 10-charting album.

In the tracking week ending Sept. 7, Songs You Know by Heart earned 52,000 equivalent album units (up 2,122%) following the singer-songwriter’s death on Sept. 1 at age 76. It marks the 13th top 10-charting album for Billboard’s most famous alumnus. Buffett was a Nashville-based reporter for Billboard in 1969-70, before the release of his first album.

Of Songs You Know by Heart’s 52,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Sept. 7, SEA units comprise 30,000 (up 1,377%, equaling 40.22 million on-demand official streams of the set’s 13 songs), album sales comprise 15,500 (up 6,826% — making it the top-selling album of the week) and TEA units comprise 6,500 (up 8,813%).

Songs You Know by Heart contains Buffett’s only Billboard Hot 100 top 10-charting hit song, “Margaritaville,” which reached No. 8 in 1977. It also houses the top 40-charting tunes “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes,” “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” “Come Monday” and “Fins.”

Songs You Know by Heart joins Buffett’s dozen previous top 10s on the Billboard 200: Life On the Flip Side (No. 2 in 2020), Songs From St. Somewhere (No. 4, 2013), Encores (No. 7, 2010), Take the Weather With You (No. 4, 2006), License to Chill (No. 1, 2004), Meet Me in Margaritaville: Jimmy Buffett The Ultimate Collection (No. 9, 2003), Far Side of the World (No. 5, 2002), Beach House On the Moon (No. 8, 1999), Banana Wind (No. 4, 1996), Barometer Soup (No. 6, 1995), Fruitcakes (No. 5, 1994) and Son of a Son of a Sailor (No. 10, 1978).

In addition to the charting of SYKBH, “Margaritaville” has re-entered the Billboard Hot 100 at no. 38. It last appeared on the chart in 1977!

Jimmy Buffett’s signature song “Margaritaville,” among his many classics, returns to the Billboard Hot 100 this week, re-entering at No. 38 on the Sept. 16-dated ranking. It reached No. 8 in July 1977 and had last appeared on the chart dated Aug. 27, 1977.

Meanwhile, Buffett posthumously boasts the week’s top-selling song with the single, as well as the top-selling album, Songs You Know By Heart: Jimmy Buffett’s Greatest Hit(s).

“Margaritaville” contributes to Buffett’s big week on multiple Billboard charts, as fans flocked to his trademark feel-good sound following his death. In the Sept. 1-7 tracking week, his song catalog surged by 1,476% to 78.6 million official on-demand streams and 7,022% to 103,000 paid downloads in the U.S., according to Luminate. His albums collectively soared by 2,378% to 109,000 equivalent album units in that span. Further, his all-format radio airplay audience bounded by 338% to 21.2 million.

“Margaritaville” gained by 720% to 8.1 million streams; 954% to 1.9 million in airplay audience among Hot 100-reporting stations; and 8,415% to 16,000 sold in the tracking week. It re-enters as Buffett’s first No. 1 on the Digital Song Sales chart and at No. 41 on Streaming Songs. It’s also No. 1 on Country Digital Song Sales and Rock Digital Song Sales and No. 10 on Rock Streaming Songs and No. 17 on Country Streaming Songs.

Before this week, Buffett last charted on the Hot 100 dated Oct. 8, 2011, as featured on Zac Brown Band’s No. 18-peaking “Knee Deep,” the most recent of 13 songs, including seven top 40 hits, that he sent onto the survey during his lifetime.

Along with its Hot 100 re-entry, “Margaritaville” places at No. 7 on Hot Rock Songs, No. 9 on Hot Rock & Alternative Songs and No. 14 on Hot Country Songs, all of which share the Hot 100’s multimetric methodology.

Alan Jackson and Buffett’s “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” also re-enters Hot Country Songs, at No. 22, with 6.1 million streams (up 346%), 2.3 million in airplay audience (up 66%) and 7,000 sold (up 3,543%). The song dominated the chart for eight weeks in 2003.

Plus, Buffett’s “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” from 1978, hits Hot Rock Songs at No. 19 and Hot Rock & Alternative Songs at No. 22, with 4.5 million streams (up 1,454%), 554,000 in radio reach (up from a nominal sum) and 6,000 sold (up 5,402%).

Tagged in Albums, Charts, Singles