Easy-listening star Jimmy Buffett had to do his homework before recording his new album of old songs, because he’d forgotten the lyrics to so many of his lesser known tunes.
The singer’s latest release, Songs You Don’t Know By Heart, was initially the idea for a video performance series online during the coronavirus shutdown, and it’s all thanks to his daughter Delaney, and her pal.
“It started out as one of those silver lining things that actually do happen, fortunately, to some people during this pandemic,” Buffett told breakfast show Today.
“Delaney and a friend of hers from high school, who had been working for us for a little while, came up with the idea to go to fans and ask them, ‘Hey, he’s not doing shows, what songs would you like to hear that he hasn’t played in 20 years?’ so that became Songs You Don’t Know By Heart,” he explained.
However, Buffett admitted he didn’t expect fans to dig so deep – and he had to brush up on his old lyrics once they narrowed down the tracklisting.
“There were a lot of them that I had to go back and learn…!” the 73-year-old laughed, “I’m old, and I’ve been doing this for 40 years!”
He went on: “(Delaney and her friend) got like 10,000 setlists (suggested by fans) in a short period of time, and so we collected 50 of the most voted on songs, and went to 15 which we could do, and that was the video (series).”
Buffett shared: “And then we started getting mail back from people saying, ‘Why doesn’t your dad go in the studio and do an acoustic album?’ So as a person who hadn’t made an album in seven years, I made two in three months!”
Songs You Don’t Know By Heart is the follow-up to Life on the Flip Side, which dropped in May. Before that project, Buffett hadn’t released a new album since 2013’s Songs from St. Somewhere.
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