ZZ Top performs Got Me Under Pressure from the 1983 Eliminator album live at the Greek Theater, Los Angeles, CA August 13, 2014, co-headling concert with Jeff Beck. ZZ Top is guitarist and lead vocalist Billy Gibbons, bassist and co-lead vocalist Dusty Hill, and drummer Frank Beard, the same lineup for more than forty years.
ZZ Top is an American rock band formed in 1969 in Houston, Texas. The band makes up guitarist and lead vocalist Billy Gibbons, bassist and co-lead singer Dusty Hill, and drummer Frank Beard. One of the few major label recording groups to have actually held the very same lineup for more than forty years, ZZ Top has actually been applauded by critics and fellow artists alike for their technical proficiency. Of the group, music writer Cub Koda stated “As genuine roots musicians, they have couple of peers; Gibbons is among America’s finest blues guitar players working in the arena rock idiom … while Hill and Beard provide the ultimate rhythm area support.” Because the release of the band’s launching album in January 1971, ZZ Top has become understood for its strong blues roots and amusing lyrical concepts, relying heavily on double entendres and innuendo. ZZ Top’s musical style has changed throughout the years, beginning with blues-inspired rock on their early albums, then integrating new wave, punk rock and dance-rock, with heavy use of synthesizers. ZZ Top was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. As a group, ZZ Top possesses 11 gold records and 7 platinum records; their 1983 album, Eliminator, stays the group’s most commercially successful record, selling over 10 million systems.
ZZ Top also ranks 80th in U.S. album sales, with 25 million systems. ZZ Top has actually offered over 50 million albums worldwide. History Early years The original line-up formed in Houston, by Billy Gibbons, organist Lanier Greig and drummer Dan Mitchell. On The Tonight Show, Jimi Hendrix mentioned that Billy Gibbons would be the next most popular guitar player. There were longstanding reports that, at the end of a tour, Hendrix gave Gibbons the pink Stratocaster he had actually been playing as token of his gratitude for Gibbons’ level of talent. ZZ Top was handled by Waxahachie-native Bill Ham, who had actually befriended Gibbons a year earlier. They released their very first single, “Salt Lick”, in 1969, and the B-side contained the song “Miller’s Farm”; both songs were credited to Gibbons. Right away after the recording of “Salt Lick”, Greig was changed by bassist Billy Ethridge, a band mate of Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Mitchell was replaced by Frank Beard of the American Blues.
Due to lack of interest from record business, ZZ Top existed with a record deal from London Records. Reluctant to sign a recording agreement, Ethridge gave up the band and Dusty Hill was picked as his replacement. After Hill moved from Dallas to Houston, ZZ Top signed with London in 1970. They performed their very first show together at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Beaumont on February 10. In addition to assuming the role as the band’s leader, Gibbons ended up being the main lyricist and musical arranger.
With the assistance of Ham and engineer Robin Hood Brians, ZZ Top’s First Album was released and saw the addition of the band’s humor, with “barrelhouse” rhythms, distorted guitars, double entendres and innuendo. The music and tunes reflected ZZ Top’s blues affects. Following their debut album, the band released Rio Grande Mud, which stopped working commercially and the marketing trip consisted of mainly empty auditoriums. First years and signature sound ZZ Top launched Tres Hombres in 1973. The album’s earthy and transmittable noise was the outcome of the propulsive assistance provided by Hill and Beard, and Gibbons’ “roaring” guitar tone. Dan Erlewine wrote that the album “brought ZZ Top their first Top Ten record, making them stars in the process”.
The album included the boogie-driven “La Grange“, which was written about a brothel in La Grange, Texas. On the subsequent tour, the band carried out sold-out performances in the US. ZZ Top recorded the live tracks for their 1975 album, Fandango!, throughout this tour; the album showcased their prowess in interesting live audiences. Fandango! was a top 10 album and its single, “Tush”, peaked at number 20 on the Billboard Hot 100. Tejas, released in 1976, was not as effective or as favorably gotten as their previous efforts, although the album went to No. 17 on Billboard’s Pop Albums chart.
ZZ Top continued the Worldwide Texas Tour in support of Tejas, though they had been exploring for seven years. The band went on exactly what was expected to be a 90-day break from public looks. Gibbons traveled to Europe, Beard went to Jamaica, and Hill went to Mexico. The break extended to 2 years, throughout which Gibbons and Hill grew chest-length beards. In 1979, ZZ Top signed with Warner Bros. Records and launched the album Degüello. While the album went platinum, it only reached No. 24 on the Billboard chart.
The album produced two singles, including “I Thank You,” a cover of a song recorded by Sam & Dave, and “Cheap Sunglasses.” The band stayed a popular concert attraction and toured in support of Degüello. In April 1980, ZZ Top made their first appearance in Europe, carrying out for the German music television reveal Rockpalast. The next album, El Loco, was released in October 1981, featuring three singles. Synthesizer duration ZZ Top’s next album was even more successful. Eliminator, launched in March 1983, featured two Top 40 singles, four Mainstream Rock strikes, and “Legs” peaking at No. 13 on the Club Play Singles chart. Remover was a critical and industrial success, selling more than 10 million copies, and several music videos were in routine rotation on MTV. The band likewise won their first MTV Video Music Awards in the categories of Best Group Video for “Legs,” and Best Direction for “Sharp Dressed Man”.
The video were included in their Greatest Hits video, which has been launched on DVD since and quickly went multi-platinum. Billy Gibbons, breaking 3 years of silence on the subject, stated factors for a change in their direction as he went over engineer Linden Hudson to a journalist in June 3, 2013, Gibbons stated: “He brought some components to the forefront that assisted reshape exactly what ZZ Top were doing, beginning in the studio and ultimately to the live stage. Linden had no fear and was eager to experiment in ways that would terrify most bands. However we did the same, and the synthesizers started to appear on record.” However, the Eliminator album was not without debate.
According to previous impresario David Blayney in his book, Sharp Dressed Men, sound engineer Linden Hudson co-wrote much of the product on the album while working as a live-in high-tech music teacher to Beard and Gibbons. And, in spite of continued denials by the band, it settled a five-year legal battle with Hudson, paying him $600,000 after he proved he held the copyright to the song “Thug” which appeared on Eliminator. Regardless of not selling as lots of copies as Eliminator, 1985’s Afterburner was still as effective commercially, becoming their highest-charting album, and acquiring sales of 5 million systems. All the singles from Afterburner were Top 40 hits, with 2 striking No. 1 on the Mainstream Rock chart.
The video for “Velcro Fly” was choreographed by pop singer Paula Abdul. ZZ Top’s difficult Afterburner World Tour lasted well into 1987, which likewise saw the release of The ZZ Top Sixpack, a three-disc collection of ZZ Top’s albums from 1970 to 1981, with the exception of Degüello. The albums ZZ Top’s First Album, Rio Grande Mud, Tres Hombres, Fandango and Tejas were remixed with the result that the sound of the product from the first five albums was altered to seem like they had actually been tape-recorded in the 1980s, with echo and drum devices, and extremely unlike their original album noise. Much of the initial blends were used on the 2003-CD box set Chrome, Smoke & BBQ, and its companion piece Rancho Texicano.
Likewise, remastered versions of Tres Hombres and Fandango! were eventually launched on CD in 2006 with the original mixes intact. In 2013, Warner Brothers launched The Complete Studio Albums 1970– 1990, a 10-CD box set which contained the initial mixes of ZZ Top’s First Album, Rio Grande Mud, and Tejas for the first time on CD. Recycler, released in 1990, was ZZ Top’s last studio album under contract with Warner Records. Recycler was likewise the last of a distinct sonic trilogy in the ZZ Top catalogue, marking a return towards the earlier, easier guitar-driven blues sound with less synthesizer and pop bounce of the previous 2 albums. This relocation did not completely suit the fan base that Eliminator and Afterburner had built up, and while Recycler did attain platinum status, it never matched the sales of Eliminator and Afterburner.
The cartoonish and sexy-ZZ-girl videos continued in singles like “My Head’s in Mississippi”, “Give It Up”, and “Burger Man”. Go back to guitar-driven sound In 1992, Warner released ZZ Top’s Greatest Hits, in addition to a brand-new Rolling Stones-style cut, “Gun Love”, and an Elvis-inflected video, “Viva Las Vegas”. In 1993, ZZ Top inducted a significant influence, Cream, into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 1994 the band signed to a $35 million deal with RCA Records, launching the million-selling Antenna in 1994. Subsequent RCA albums, Rhythmeen and 1999’s XXX sold well, however did not reach the levels delighted in previously.
ZZ Top, however, continued to play to passionate live audiences. In 2003 ZZ Top launched a last RCA album, Mescalero, an album close harsh Gibbons guitar and featuring a hidden track– a cover variation of “As Time Goes By”. RCA impresario Clive Davis wanted to do a cooperation record for this album. In an interview in Goldmine magazine, artists Pink, Dave Matthews, and Wilco were among the artists slated for the project.
ZZ Top performed “Tush” and “Legs” as part of the Super Bowl XXXI halftime show in 1997. A comprehensive four-CD collection of recordings from the London and Warner Bros. years, Chrome, Smoke & BBQ, was released in 2003. It included the band’s very first single, a number of uncommon B-side tracks in addition to a radio promotion from 1979, a live track and a number of prolonged dance mix variations of their most significant MTV hits. 3 tracks from Billy Gibbons’ pre-ZZ band, The Moving Sidewalks, were likewise included. Critical acclaim and retrospective releases In 2004, ZZ Top was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones gave the induction speech. ZZ Top provided a quick efficiency, playing “La Grange” and “Tush”. Broadened and remastered versions of the initial studio albums from the 1970s and ’80s are currently in production.
Marketed as “Remastered and Expanded”, these releases include extra live tracks which were not present on the initial recordings. 3 such CDs have been released to date. The very first 2 were launched in 2006 and use the original mixes free from echo and drum machines, while Eliminator was released in 2008. The Eliminator re-release also includes a collector’s edition version consisting of a DVD featuring several videos and extra live tracks. The Eliminator Collector’s Edition CD/DVD, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the band’s renowned RIAA Diamond Certified album, was launched September 10, 2008. The release includes seven bonus tracks and a bonus DVD, consisting of 4 tv performances from The Tube in November 1983. The band performed at the 2009 Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo on the final night on March 22, 2009. In July, the band appeared on VH1’s Storytellers, in celebration of their four years as recording artists.
La Futura Billy Gibbons mentioned in an interview in August 2011 that the new album had actually been tape-recorded, with preliminary recording taking place in Malibu, California, prior to transferring to Houston, but was still unnamed and had yet to be mixed and mastered. Gibbons stated that the expected release date was sometime in March or April 2012 however in the future, a release in the late summertime or fall had been announced. Consequently, the album was launched on 11 September 2012. Entitled La Futura, the album is produced by Rick Rubin. The very first single from the album, “I Gotsta Get Paid,” debuted in a marketing campaign for Jeremiah Weed and appears on the soundtrack of the film Battleship. The song itself is an analysis of “25 Lighters” by Texan hip-hop DJ DMD and rappers Lil’ Keke and Fat Pat. The very first 4 tunes from La Futura debuted on June 5, 2012 on an EP called Texicali. DJ Screw was a major influence on the album also, particularly due to the fact that Gibbons and Screw both dealt with the engineer G.
L. Moon throughout the late 1990s. Other looks ZZ Top contributed a song, “Doubleback”, and appeared as a hillbilly band in the wild-west dance scene in the 1990 movie, Back to the Future Part III. The band likewise appeared in the 1990 TV film, Mother Goose Rock ‘n’ Rhyme, portraying the Three Men in a Tub. ZZ Top carried out at the 2008 Orange Bowl video game in Miami, in addition to the Auto Club 500 NASCAR event at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. On June 23, 2008, ZZ Top celebrated the release of their first live show DVD entitled Live from Texas with the opening night, an unique look, and charity auction at the Hard Rock Cafe in Houston. The DVD was formally launched on June 24, 2008. The featured performance was culled from a performance shot at the Nokia Theater in Grand Prairie, Texas on November 1, 2007. On January 22, 2010, Billy Gibbons accompanied Will Ferrell and others playing “Free Bird” on Conan O’Brien’s last Tonight Show appearance as host. O’Brien joined in on guitar. On June 8, 2011, a news release, reported on various media sources, announced that the new tune “Flyin’ High” will debut in space. Astronaut and pal of ZZ Top, Michael Fossum, was offered the launched single to listen to on his journey to the International Space Station.
On June 4, 2014, ZZ Top opened the CMT Awards performing La Grange with Luke Bryan and Florida Georgia Line. Band members Discography Studio albums ZZ Top’s First Album Rio Grande Mud Tres Hombres Fandango! Tejas Degüello El Loco Eliminator Afterburner Recycler Antenna Rhythmeen XXX Mescalero La Futura Filmography In addition to recording and performing performances, ZZ Top has also been included with movies and television. In 1990, the group appeared as the “band at the party” in the film Back to the Future Part III, and played the “Three Men in a Tub” in the movie Mother Goose Rock ‘n’ Rhyme.
ZZ Top made further looks, including the “Gumby with a Pokey” episode of Two and a Half Men in 2010 and the “Hank Gets Dusted” episode of King of the Hill in 2007. The band was also guest hosts on an episode of WWE Raw. Billy Gibbons likewise represents the daddy of Angela Montenegro in the television show Bones. Their song “Sharp Dressed Man” is currently used as the signature tune on television program Duck Dynasty. Awards and accomplishments ZZ Top’s music videos won awards throughout the 1980s, winning when each in the classifications Best Group Video, Best Direction, and Best Art Direction. The videos that won the VMAs are “Legs,” “Sharp Dressed Man,” and “Rough Boy.” A few of the high honors ZZ Top have actually accomplished consist of induction into Hollywood’s RockWalk in 1994, the Texas House of Representatives calling them “Official Heroes for the State of Texas”, a declaration of “ZZ Top Day” in Texas by then-governor Ann Richards on May 4, 1991, and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.
They were likewise given celebratory rings by star Billy Bob Thornton from the VH1 Rock Honors in 2007. ZZ Top also holds numerous chart and album sales tasks, including six number one singles on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. From the RIAA, ZZ Top has attained 4 gold, 3 platinum, and 2 multi-platinum album accreditations, in addition to one diamond album. In addition to this, a lot of their songs have actually ended up being classic rock and hard rock radio staples.
(Sources: ZZ Top equipment List of best-selling music artists List of artists who reached number one on the U.S. Mainstream Rock chart References Bibliography Gregory, Hugh. Roadhouse blues: Stevie Ray Vaughan and Texas R&B. San Francisco: Backbeat Cooks. ISBN 978-0-87930-747-9. External links Official website ZZ Top at The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame .)