Blues The best music site on the web there is where you can read about and listen to blues, jazz, classical music and much more. This is your ultimate music resource. Tons of albums can be found within. http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/blues/938.html Sat, 22 Jun 2024 23:41:42 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb ZZ Top - 30 Most Slow Blues (2017) http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/blues/938-zztop/25056-zz-top-30-most-slow-blues-2017.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/blues/938-zztop/25056-zz-top-30-most-slow-blues-2017.html ZZ Top - 30 Most Slow Blues (2017)

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01. Blue Jean Blues
02. It's So Hard
03. Joe Blues
04. 2000 Blues
05. I Need You Tonight
06. Heaven, Hell Or Houston
07. Made Into A Movie
08. Old Man
09. Certified Blues
10. Sure Got Cold After the Rain Fell
11. Brown Sugar
12. Cover Your Rig
13. Just Got Back From Baby's
14. Fuzzbox Voodoo
15. Jesus Just Left Chicago
16. Mexican Blackbird
17. El Diablo
18. Alseep in the Desert
19. Hot Blue And Rightehous
20. Vincent Price Blues
21. Breakaway
22. A Fool For Your Stockings
23. Heawen, Hell Or Houston
24. Mushmouth Shoutin'
25. Leila
26. Over You
27. It's Too Easy Manana
28. Goin' So Good
29. Que Lastima
30. Bang Bang

 

In 1969, ZZ Top got its start in Houston, Texas. The original ZZ Top members include Billy Gibbons on vocals and guitar; Dusty Hill on vocals and bass; and Frank Beard rocking out on the drums. The original band members have performed for more than 40 years, which is a distinct accomplishment for rock bands. ZZ Top Gets Its Start

The remnants of two Houston area garage bands -- Moving Sidewalks (Billy Gibbons) and American Blues (Frank Beard and Dusty Hill) -- formed the band. They began to get significant attention with the release of their third album in 1973, which is called Tres Hombres. The blues-based, guitar-driven boogie beat made them distinctive, as did their signature sunglasses, long beards, and flashy outfits.

While many Southern Rock bands who had thrived in the '70s were fading in the '80s, ZZ Top remained popular by working synthesizers and other electronic enhancements to their sound to keep pace with a changing audience. Nonetheless, the self-styled "Little Ol' Band From Texas" stayed true to its blues roots and Tex-Mex themes.

In 1983, the band released Eliminator, which was their top-selling album. In fact, it sold more than 10 million copies in the United States. The Recording Industry Association of America says ZZ Top is one of the top-selling artists in America. By 2014, they had sold more than 50 million albums. As of 2016, the band had released 11 gold, seven platinum, and three multi-platinum records.

Beard, Gibbons, and Hill also continue to write the vast majority of their songs, as they have throughout their career. The group continues to tour and record. ---Dave White, thoughtco.com

 

Amerykańskie trio hard rockowe, założone w 1969 roku, aktywne do dziś. Przez 40 lat działalności nie zaszła w nim ani jedna zmiana personalna. Członkowie zespołu to wokalista Billy Gibbons, basista Dusty Hill oraz perkusista Frank Beard. Największe sukcesy grupa odnosiła w latach osiemdziesiątych, zespół zdobył serca fanów dynamicznymi piosenkami, ozdobionymi charakterystycznymi, szybkimi gitarowymi riffami, a także dzięki niepowtarzalnemu wizerunkowi scenicznemu. Gibbons i Hill zapuścili długie brody, ubierali się w obszerne koszule, workowate spodnie, kapelusze golfowe i okulary przeciwsłoneczne. Ten specyficzny wygląd przyniósł zespołowi rolę w filmie "Powrót do przyszłości 3", gdzie muzycy pojawili się jako kapela grająca na małomiasteczkowej zabawie na Dzikim Zachodzie. Nie potrzebowali żadnej charakteryzacji. Do największych przebojów zespołu należą takie utwory, jak " La Grange", "Gimme All Your Lovin", "Rough Boy" czy "Viva Las Vegas". W roku 2004 grupa została wprowadzona do Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. ---filmweb.pl

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) ZZ Top Mon, 01 Apr 2019 15:14:52 +0000
ZZ Top - The Heaviest (2015) http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/blues/938-zztop/17753-zz-top-the-heaviest-2015.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/blues/938-zztop/17753-zz-top-the-heaviest-2015.html ZZ Top - The Heaviest (2015)

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1. Sharp Dressed Man (4:16)
2. Gimme All Your Lovin' (4:00)
3. Over You (4:31)
4. Give It Up (3:32)
5. Sleeping Bag (3:54)
6. Blue Jean Blues (4:42)
7. Chartreuse (2:58)
8. Rhythmeen (3:54)
9. Black Fly (3:33)
10. I Gotsta Get Paid (4:01)
11. Old Man (3:31)
12. Pincushion (4:35)
13. 2000 Blues (4:25)
14. Consumption (3:50)
15. She's Just Killing Me (4:57)

 

ZZ Top began as a rough-and-ready blues-rock power trio from Texas that became a huge mid-1970s concert attraction. Their real commercial peak didn't come, however, until the 1980s, when the "Little Ol' Band from Texas" became MTV superstars and sold multiple millions of albums.

ZZ Top was built around guitarist Billy Gibbons, whose career began with the popular Southwestern band Moving Sidewalks, whose "99th Floor" was a regional mid-'60s hit. They opened one night for Jimi Hendrix, and he later mentioned Gibbons on The Tonight Show as one of America's best young guitarists. After Moving Sidewalks broke up, Gibbons and manager/producer Bill Ham recruited Frank Beard and Dusty Hill from a Dallas band, American Blues.

Beginning with the release of First Album in 1970, ZZ Top has toured constantly, building a national following that has made all the band's albums gold or platinum. A year-long tour in 1976, "The Worldwide Texas Tour," was one of the largest-grossing road trips in rock at the time. Onstage with the band were snakes, longhorn cattle, buffalo, cactus, and other Southwestern paraphernalia. The group sold over a million tickets. They didn't record for the next three years, until 1979's Deguello. Though ZZ Top's only major hit singles had been Tres Hombres' "La Grange" (Number 41, 1973) and Fandango!'s "Tush" (Number 20, 1975), their albums consistently made the Top 40.

With 1983's Eliminator, ZZ Top made a quantum leap from best-kept secret to massive stardom. Thanks to smartly directed video clips for such songs as "Gimme All Your Lovin'" (Number 37, 1983), "Sharp Dressed Man" (Number 56, 1983), "Legs" (Number 8, 1983), and "TV Dinners," Gibbons and Hill, with their long beards (ironically Frank Beard usually wore only a moustache), became MTV icons, as did the cherry red 1933 Ford coupe (restored by Gibbons) that gave the album its name, and which the band drove in the videos. Thanks to this exposure, a whole new audience began buying the band's albums, and Eliminator (Number Nine, 1983) eventually sold some 10 million copies, remaining on the chart for over three and a half years. "Legs" introduced a pulsating synthesizer beat into ZZ Top's crunching blues-rock riffs.

The trend continued with Afterburner (Number Four, 1985), which contained such video hits as "Rough Boy" (Number 22, 1985), "Sleeping Bag" (Number Eight, 1985), "Velcro Fly" (Number 35, 1986), and "Stages" (Number 21, 1986). The album sold over 3 million copies. After another long world tour, ZZ Top — which had long been based in Houston — announced that, through NASA, it had booked passage as the first lounge band on the space shuttle (though the band has yet to actually fly a mission).

At the peak of its success, ZZ Top still remembered its roots, and launched a fundraising drive to erect a Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, Mississippi. At a special ceremony the band unveiled the "Muddywood" guitar, made from a beam taken from the sharecropper's shack in which blues giant Muddy Waters had been raised, and which Gibbons donated to the museum.

ZZ Top appeared to have finally tapped out the motherlode with Recycler (Number Six, 1990), which sold a relatively disappointing 1 million units, and yielded only minor hits in "Doubleback" (Number 50, 1990) and "Give It Up" (Number 79, 1990). After Warner Bros. released Greatest Hits, ZZ Top left the label and signed a $30 million deal with RCA. The band's first album for the new label, Antenna, was named in tribute to rock radio — especially the Mexican border stations of the 1950s and 1960s that influenced the band. The album entered the chart at Number 14 but dropped rapidly and failed to yield a hit single. Still, Antenna went platinum, proving the band still had a considerable fan base. --- rollingstone.com

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) ZZ Top Mon, 11 May 2015 15:50:43 +0000
ZZ Top – One Foot In The Blues (1994) http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/blues/938-zztop/17323-zz-top--one-foot-in-the-blues-1994.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/blues/938-zztop/17323-zz-top--one-foot-in-the-blues-1994.html ZZ Top – One Foot In The Blues (1994)

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1 	Brown Sugar 	5:20
2 	Just Got Back From Baby's 	4:09
3 	A Fool For Your Stockings 	4:16
4 	I Need You Tonight 	6:15
5 	She Loves My Automobile 	2:23
6 	Hi Fi Mama 	2:24
7 	Hot, Blue And Righteous 	3:17
8 	My Head's In Mississippi 	4:20
9 	Lowdown In The Street 	2:49
10 	If I Could Only Flag Her Down 	3:39
11 	Apologies To Pearly 	2:44
12 	Sure Got Cold After The Rain Fell 	6:47
13 	Bar-B-Q 	3:21
14 	Old Man 	3:32
15 	Certified Blues 	3:25
16 	2000 Blues 	4:42
17 	Heaven, Hell Or Houston 	2:32

Frank Beard - Drums (Snare), Percussion
Billy Gibbons – Guitar, Vocals
Dusty Hill - Bass, Vocals

 

Before they sweated their image down to beards, babes and hot rods, ZZ Top were a down 'n' dirty blues-rock trio with a bonafide hot guitar player in Billy Gibbons. On this 14-track offering, Warner goes back through the back ZZ catalog and cobbles together an interesting collection of the Texas trio's bluesier sides that originally appeared on their earliest albums. Highlights include "Brown Sugar," "A Fool for Your Stockings," "My Head's in Mississippi," "Apologies to Pearly" and Gibbons' storming stringwork on "Bar-B-Q." ---Cub Koda, Rovi

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) ZZ Top Sat, 14 Feb 2015 16:55:57 +0000
ZZ Top - El Loco (1981) http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/blues/938-zztop/14840-zz-top-el-loco-1981.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/blues/938-zztop/14840-zz-top-el-loco-1981.html ZZ Top - El Loco (1981)

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1.    "Tube Snake Boogie" – 3:03
2.    "I Wanna Drive You Home" – 4:44
3.    "Ten Foot Pole" – 4:19
4.    "Leila" – 3:13
5.    "Don't Tease Me" – 4:20
6.    "It's So Hard" – 5:12
7.    "Pearl Necklace" – 4:02
8.    "Groovy Little Hippie Pad" – 2:40
9.    "Heaven, Hell or Houston" – 2:32
10.   "Party on the Patio" – 2:49

Musicians:
    Billy Gibbons – guitar, vocals
    Dusty Hill – bass, keyboards, vocals
    Frank Beard – drums, percussion

 

El Loco follows through on the streamlined, jet-engine boogie rock of Degüello, but kicking all the ingredients up a notch. That means that the grooves are getting a little slicker, while the jokes are getting a little sillier, a little raunchier. The double entendres on "Tube Snake Boogie" and "Pearl Necklace" are barely disguised, while much of the record plays as flat-out goofy party rock. Not necessarily a bad thing, but much of it is a little too obvious to be totally winning. Still, the most telling thing about El Loco may be the rhythm of "Pearl Necklace," its biggest single and best song, which clearly points the way to the new wave blues-rock of Eliminator. --- Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) ZZ Top Fri, 27 Sep 2013 15:54:38 +0000
ZZ Top - Texicali (2012) http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/blues/938-zztop/12357-zz-top-texicali-2012.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/blues/938-zztop/12357-zz-top-texicali-2012.html ZZ Top - Texicali (2012)

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01 – I Gotsta Get Paid
02 – Chartreuse
03 – Consumption
04 – Over You

ZZ Top:
Billy Gibbons (vocals and guitar), 
Dusty Hill (vocals, bass, and keyboards), 
Frank Beard (drums and percussion)

 

Dan Hicks nicely captured one of the rubs of making music with his song title “How Can I Miss You When You Won’t Go Away?” Decade-spanning hit makers are rare, and decades-spanning hit makers rarer still. So it is that ZZ Top has enjoyed a few years of renewed reverence largely due to laying low for a spell. The band hasn’t had a million-selling album in 18 years and hasn’t had a charting hit in 26. There hasn’t even been an album since “Mescalero” quietly stiffed nine years ago.

During the break since, ZZT was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, toured tirelessly to a now-cross-generational audience and teamed up with producer Rick Rubin to make a new album. Over the past 25 years, Rubin has — if you’ll allow a ZZ-apropos metaphor — transformed from a car designer to a mechanic who gets classics running again. A full ZZT album — produced by Rubin and singer/guitarist Billy F. Gibbons — is due later this year. Until then there’s the “Texicali” EP, the band’s first new set of songs since 2003.

Gibbons’ playing is tight and on point throughout. Little fragments from riffs and solos past seem faintly audible as though each song in the band’s catalog is a customized piece of origami folded from the same piece of paper. It’s a mesmerizing balance between familiar and new. Bassist Dusty Hill and drummer Frank Beard continue to drag heavy metal through their bluesy swamp. The effect of Gibbons’ pointed solos popping in and out of the rhythm section retains a visceral charge particularly on “Consumption.”,/

Lyrically, Gibbons growls out the sort of old-school blues nastiness the band has served for more than 40 years. “Chartreuse … that color just turns me loose,” he snarls on “Chartreuse” before offering up his services. “When you get the blues, baby, I got the juice.” The recasting of the local underground rap hit “25 Lighters” into “I Gotsta Get Paid” is a savvy crossover play that infuses ZZT’s body of work with an ageless feel: They effortlessly pooch from hip-hop thanks to a shared set of concerns (lighting things, getting paid, big speakers in the trunk of the car, etc.)

“Over You” is the sole song that doesn’t push relentlessly. It’s a rough-edged R&B ballad that provides gentle ballast to the four-song digital EP. Though it benefits over previous ZZT ballads for the lack of digitized adornment, Gibbons?? voice is allowed to crack and break with uncharacteristic clarity. It’s not likely to replicate the chart success of “Rough Boy”26 years ago, but then the “Afterburner” era is part of the past the band is looking to shake free from — a time when refining style began to swallow defining substance. “Texicali” seems a strong reclamation statement. Presumably the band is holding back some of its strongest new material for the upcoming album. Which makes it a more tantalizing taste. ---Andrew Dansby, 29-95.com

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) ZZ Top Thu, 14 Jun 2012 17:27:53 +0000
ZZ Top – Fandango! (1975) http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/blues/938-zztop/12352-zz-top-fandango-1975.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/blues/938-zztop/12352-zz-top-fandango-1975.html ZZ Top – Fandango! (1975)


01. Thunderbird – 4:09
02. Jailhouse Rock (Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller) – 1:55
03. Backdoor Medley – 9:50 including:
a). Backdoor Love Affair (Gibbons, Bill Ham) 
b). Mellow Down Easy (Willie Dixon) 
c). Backdoor Love Affair No.2 (Gibbons) 
d). Long Distance Boogie 
04. Nasty Dogs And Funky Kings – 2:41
05. Blue Jean Blues – 4:42
06. Balinese – 2:36
07. Mexican Blackbird – 3:05
08. Heard It On The X – 2:23
09. Tush – 2:15

10. Heard It On The X (live) - 2:36
11. Jailhouse Rock (live) - 1:53
12. Tush (live) - 3:41

Personnel:
- Billy Gibbons – lead guitar, slide guitar, harmonica, lead vocals
- Dusty Hill – bass, backing vocals, lead vocals (02,06,09,11,12), co-lead vocals (08,10)
- Frank Beard – drums, percussion
+
– Bill Ham - producer

 

Blessed with their first full-fledged hit album, ZZ Top followed it up with Fandango!, a record split between a side of live tracks and a side of new studio cuts. In a way, this might have made sense, since they were a kick-ass live band, and they do sound good here, but it's hard not to see this as a bit of a wasted opportunity in retrospect. Why? Because the studio side is a worthy successor to the all-fine Tres Hombres, driven by "Tush" and "Heard It on the X," two of their greatest songs that build on that album by consolidating their sound and amplifying their humor. If they had sustained this energy and quality throughout a full studio album, it would have been their greatest, but instead the mood is broken by the live cuts. Now, these are really good live cuts -- and "Backdoor Medley" and "Jailhouse Rock" were fine interpretations, making familiar songs sound utterly comfortable in their signature sound -- and Fandango! remains one of their better albums, but it's hard not to think that it could have been even better. --- Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) ZZ Top Wed, 13 Jun 2012 17:24:33 +0000
ZZ Top – Rhytmeen (1996) http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/blues/938-zztop/10459-zz-top-rhytmeen-1996.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/blues/938-zztop/10459-zz-top-rhytmeen-1996.html ZZ Top – Rhytmeen (1996)

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1. "Rhythmeen" (Billy Gibbons) 	3:53
2. "Bang Bang" (Gibbons) 	4:28
3. "Black Fly" (Gibbons) 	3:31										play
4. "What's Up with That" (Gibbons, Joe Hardy, Ingram, Rice) 	5:19
5. "Vincent Price Blues" (Gibbons, Dusty Hill, Frank Beard) 	6:04
6. "Zipper Job" (Gibbons, Hill, Beard) 	4:14
7. "Hairdresser" (Gibbons, Hardy) 	3:48								play
8. "She's Just Killing Me" (Gibbons, Hill, Beard) 	4:55
9. "My Mind Is Gone" (Gibbons, Hardy, Gary Moon, Wonder) 	4:06
10. "Loaded" (Gibbons, Hardy) 	3:47
11. "Pretty Head" (Gibbons, Hill, Beard) 	4:37
12. "Hummbucking, Pt. 2" (Gibbons, Hill, Beard) 	5:13

Musicians:
    Billy Gibbons – guitar, vocals
    Dusty Hill – bass, keyboards, vocals
    Frank Beard – drums, percussion

 

ZZ Top's long-awaited return to the blues finally arrived in 1996, well over a decade after they abandoned their simple three-chord boogie for a synth and drum machine-driven three-chord boogie. Like Antenna before it, Rhythmeen is stripped of all the synthesizers that had characterized the group's albums since Eliminator but the key difference between the two albums is how Rhythmeen goes for the gut, not the gloss. It's a record that is steeped in the blues and garage rock, one that pounds out its riffs with sweat and feeling. Though ZZ Top sounds reinvigorated, playing with a salacious abandon they haven't displayed since the '70s, they simply haven't come up with enough interesting songs and riffs to make it a true return to form. For dedicated fans, it's a welcome return to their classic "La Grange" sound, but anyone with a just a passing interest in the band will wonder where the hooks went. --- Stephen Thomas Erlewine, allmusic.com

 

This sturdy American blues-rock trio from Texas consists of Billy Gibbons (guitar), Dusty Hill (bass), and Frank Beard (drums). They were formed in 1970 in and around Houston from rival bands the Moving Sidewalks (Gibbons) and American Blues (Hill and Beard). Their first two albums reflected the strong blues roots and Texas humor of the band. Their third album (Tres Hombres) gained them national attention with the hit "La Grange," a signature riff tune to this day, based on John Lee Hooker's "Boogie Chillen." Their success continued unabated throughout the '70s, culminating with the year-and-a-half-long Worldwide Texas Tour.

Exhausted from the overwhelming workload, they took a three-year break, then switched labels and returned to form with Deguello and El Loco, both harbingers of what was to come. By their next album, Eliminator, and its worldwide smash follow-up, Afterburner, they had successfully harnessed the potential of synthesizers to their patented grungy blues groove, giving their material a more contemporary edge while retaining their patented Texas style. Now sporting long beards, golf hats, and boiler suits, they met the emerging video age head-on, reducing their "message" to simple iconography. Becoming even more popular in the long run, they moved with the times while simultaneously bucking every trend that crossed their path. As genuine roots musicians, they have few peers; Gibbons is one of America's finest blues guitarists working in the arena rock idiom -- both influenced by the originators of the form and British blues-rock guitarists like Peter Green -- while Hill and Beard provide the ultimate rhythm section support.

The only rock & roll group that's out there with its original members still aboard after three decades (an anniversary celebrated on 1999's XXX), ZZ Top play music that is always instantly recognizable, eminently powerful, profoundly soulful, and 100-percent American in derivation. They have continued to support the blues through various means, perhaps most visibly when they were given a piece of wood from Muddy Waters' shack in Clarksdale, MS. The group members had it made into a guitar, dubbed the "Muddywood," then sent it out on tour to raise money for the Delta Blues Museum. ZZ Top's support and link to the blues remains as rock solid as the music they play. A concert CD and DVD, Live from Texas, recorded in Dallas in 2007 and featuring a still vital band, were both released in 2008. --- Cub Koda, Rovi

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) ZZ Top Fri, 07 Oct 2011 08:37:30 +0000
ZZ Top – Afterburner (1985) http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/blues/938-zztop/7493-zz-top-afterburner-1985.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/blues/938-zztop/7493-zz-top-afterburner-1985.html ZZ Top – Afterburner (1985)

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01 - Sleeping Bag
02 - Stages
03 - Woke Up with Wood
04 - Rough Boy
05 - Can't Stop Rockin' play
06 - Planet of Women
07 - I Got the Message
08 - Velcro Fly
09 - Dipping Low (In the Lap of Luxury) play
10 – Delirious

ZZ Top:
Billy Gibbons (vocals, guitar);
Dusty Hill (vocals, bass guitar);
Frank Beard (drums).

 

After scoring its biggest hit ever with its eighth release, 1983's polished ELIMINATOR, ZZ Top decided to continue in the same mainstream direction for its next release two years later, AFTERBURNER. Another big hit for the band, the album did spawn several hits, yet wasn't as strong overall as its predecessor.

It was impossible to avoid the following ZZ hits on either MTV or radio between 1985-'86--the ballad "Rough Boy" (which innovative video was based on AFTERBURNER's space-age cover art), the synth stomper "Velcro Fly," the melodic "Sleeping Bag," or the rocking "Stages." 15 years after the band's debut release, AFTERBURNER found ZZ Top more popular than ever.

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) ZZ Top Wed, 24 Nov 2010 16:55:59 +0000
ZZ Top - Wonderful Legs (1980) http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/blues/938-zztop/3557-zz-top-wonderful-legs.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/blues/938-zztop/3557-zz-top-wonderful-legs.html ZZ Top - Wonderful Legs (1980)

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01. I Thank You [4:06]
02. Waiting For The Bus [2:51]
03. Jesus Left Chicago [3:59]
04. Precious And Grace [2:45]
05. I'm Bad I'm Nationwide [4:22]
06. Manic Mechanic [3:38]
07. Lowdown In The Streets [5:49]
08. Fool For your Stockings [10:35]
09. El Diablo [3:47]
10. Cheap Sunglasses [4:53]
11. Arrested For Driving While Bund [3:16]
12. Beer Drinkers - Hell Raisers [9:28]
13. La Grange [2:40]
14. She Don't Love Me, She Loves My Automobile [3:24]
15. Dust My Broom [3:26]
16. Jailhouse Rock [1:52]

Grugahalle Essen - Rockpalast - 20-04-1980

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) ZZ Top Fri, 19 Feb 2010 16:48:42 +0000
ZZ Top – Mescalero (2003) http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/blues/938-zztop/3556-zz-top-mescalero.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/blues/938-zztop/3556-zz-top-mescalero.html ZZ Top – Mescalero (2003)

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1. Mescalero
2. Two Ways to Play
3. Alley-Gator
4. Buck Nekkid
5. Goin' So Good
6. Me So Stupid
7. Piece
8. Punk Ass Boyfriend
9. Stackin' Paper
10. What Would You Do
11. What It Is Kid
12. Que Lastima
13. Tramp
14. Crunchy
15. Dusted
16. Liquor
Personnel Billy Gibbons – guitar, vocals, producer Dusty Hill – bass, vocals Frank Beard – drums, percussion Marimbas de Chiapas – marimba Dan Dugmore – pedal steel guitar James Harman – harmonica

 

Ever since ZZ Top signed with RCA, they fitfully tried to break free of the synthesized blues that once was their savior but quickly became a straitjacket. Like any addict, it was hard for them to quit that processed, sequenced sound cold turkey, so they weaned themselves off the robo-boogie, sometimes relapsing and adding too many synths to mix, other times breaking loose with some credible boogie. Apart from the dreadful misstep of 1999's XXX, they showed signs of life on all their RCA albums, and their fourth, 2003's long-delayed Mescalero, is no exception to the rule. Billy Gibbons' fat guitar tone really has some presence here, at least on some of the album, and there are enough rhythm tracks not performed to a didactic click track to provide some real swing. There are even moments that suggest Gibbons' songwriting chops might be returning, such as the closing "Liquor," the rampaging instrumental "Crunchy," and the lithe "What Would You Do." On these cuts, along with a cover of Lowell Fulson's "Tramp," ZZ Top sound like a worthy veteran act, returning to their strengths and building on them. Unfortunately, that's four songs on an overlong 17-track album (including an uncredited closing cover of "As Time Goes By," hidden after "Liquor" -- as most uncredited covers of "As Time Goes By" are, I suppose), and the rest of the record is pretty much devoted to by-the-books latter-day ZZ Top, relying too much on overly polished sound and familiar form, not gutbucket hooks and dirty grooves. What's frustrating is that those aforementioned cuts prove that the boys could still turn out a really cool, modernistic roadhouse blues-rock album, if only they had a good editor or producer. Left to their own devices, they repeat their same mistakes and wind up with a record that's pretty damn near the same as their other RCA platters. --- Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) ZZ Top Fri, 19 Feb 2010 16:15:55 +0000