I’ve often mentioned to my wife that Jimmy Buffet’s entire career hinges on one song, Margaritaville. Now it’s official. Keenan Mayo in BusinessWeek.
As a recording, Margaritaville doesn’t post stratospheric numbers. After debuting on Buffett’s 1977 album Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude, it peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard 100 charts. According to the 2012 BBC documentary The Richest Songs in the World, Margaritaville doesn’t crack the top 10, which is populated by three Christmas songs. The two highest-ranking pop songs are You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling, by the Righteous Brothers, and Yesterday, by the Beatles. (No. 1 was Happy Birthday to You.)
What about Margaritaville?
From a larger business perspective, when you combine the two and look at what the song stands for as a lifestyle and as a branding vehicle, it’s worth far more than Happy Birthday. I can’t think of another example of a song that has that total impact.