ZZ Top

2014 ZZ Top

From their very beginnings, ZZ Top was a Texas band, born and bred. They got together in 1970, after playing in a number of other bands, most notably Moving Sidewalk and American Blues. They established their gritty blues groove sound and never looked back. The first albums they released were filled with the raw sounds of the blues that was their inspiration. The first album, ZZ Top's First Album, was released in 1970 and contained songs such as 'Brown Sugar', 'Back Door Love Affair' and 'Shaking Your Tree' that would later become staples of the ZZ Top sound.

Their second album Rio Grande Mud came out in 1972 and produced their first hits, 'Francine' and 'Just Got Paid'. The next to come down the line was Tres Hombres, their first gold record, and the one that made the 'little ol' band from Texas' nationally known.

This album produced one of ZZ Top's most recognizable songs that established them as a unique sound in the music industry. That song was 'La Grange'; it was their first to hit the top 40 and contains possibly one of the most recognizable guitar riffs in American music history. There were two other notable songs on this album, 'Waiting On The Bus' and 'Jesus Just Left Chicago,' both being beautiful examples of the musical skill of this band.

Through the 70s, they continued establishing themselves as a great concert band. This finally culminated in the World Wide Texas Tour, which broke records for concert attendance. They showcased their rough edged style by featuring live Buffalo, Longhorn Steer, and Rattlesnakes on stage with them during the tour.

During the late 70s they released three more albums: Fandango in 1975, which was a combo live and studio album containing the song 'Tush', a crowd favorite; Tejas in 1976, with such hits as 'Arrested For Driving While Blind' and 'El Diablo'; and finally in 1977, The Best Of ZZ Top, which recapped most of their early songs.

It was after this time that they decided to take a break. After touring relentlessly during the 70s, it was time to step back, and get some perspective. ZZ Top signed with Warner Brothers and started to grow the signature beards that have been icons ever since.

After this three-year break, they came back strong with Deguello in 1979. This album was their strongest offering to date, with songs such as 'I Thank You', 'Cheap Sunglasses' and the crowd favorite 'I'm Bad; I'm Nationwide'. They followed this up with the release of El Loco in 1981, which included 'Pearl Necklace' and 'Tube Steak Boogie'. After the El Loco tour, they took another break. Billy Gibbons spent time finishing the 1933 Ford coupe he had been working on that would later become an icon. They came back with a little bit of a new sound. They had integrated synthesizers into their blues sound and made it even more unique.

They released Eliminator in 1983, which was named after Gibbon's Hot Rod Ford coupe, featured on the cover. The album went multiplatinum, stayed on the charts for 135 weeks, and produced 'Legs', 'Sharp Dressed Man' and 'Give Me All Your Lovin'. Then in 1985 they came out with Afterburner, which was a worldwide hit and included songs such as 'Rough Boy', 'Sleeping Bag' and 'Woke Up With Wood' - the winking inside joke of the album.

Since then they have released six more albums, two of which are greatest hits collections. They continue to tour relentlessly and never fail to fill stadiums. The band is made up of Billy Gibbons on guitar, Frank Beard on drums and Dusty Hill on bass.


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