Great Rock Albums of 1983: ZZ Top- Eliminator
I wasn’t completely accurate when I said that Molly Hatchet’s “No Guts No Glory” album was the first vinyl record I bought after leaving the marines. In fact, I was only telling half the truth because I bought the record through a mail order record club but not only did I buy Molly Hatchet, I had also bought “Eliminator” by ZZ Top and they came in the same package. I won’t lose any sleep over it though, after all I had two great albums from 1983 to listen one right after the other, which I did.
For many people, ZZ Top’s “Eliminator” album epitomized 1983. It was one of those albums that brought people of different musical tastes together. Johnny-come-lately trendies liked it because ZZ Top sounded a little different and back then, anything to mainstream enthusiasts that sounded different was branded new wave. However, for harder rockers like me as well as those who had been listening to them for years, it was the fact that ZZ Top managed to do so well without compromising their musical style, well not too much anyway. They retained their Texas-bad boy-boogie-blues style rock that had endeared them to listeners such as myself. Believe me, unlike some artists about this time, “Eliminator” has never had me pining for their earlier classics like “Tres Hombres” or “El Loco.” It’s great as it stands.
The main reason why I like is that Billy Gibbons just basically rips through the entire album with his guitar solos. Pick any song on this album and guaranteed, I will be rocking away to his solo on it. But while Billy is sensational, you must give credit to the Dusty Hill and Frank Beard who must be one of the tightest rhythm sections in music. Another plus for “Eliminator” is the songs are so upbeat without being mushy. Most of the songs are topics we can all identify with. Yes, every girl is crazy about a sharp dressed man. It’s just too bad I didn’t take those words to heart back then and more than the average man, I am definitely a sucker for a nice pair of legs. We’ve all eaten TV dinners at one time in our lives. Oh, I do like that song because ZZ Top proved that they could add keyboards and still sound great. Then I think everybody gets the innuendo with “I Got the Six.” I could say that the song was about a dice game but I don’t think anyone would believe me somehow. One more thing, I think that “Got Me Under Pressure” is a very underrated song with some amusing lyrics.
“She don’t like other women, she likes whips and chains.
She likes cocaine and filppin’ out with great Danes.
She’s about all I can handle, it’s too much for my brain.”
Another first for me with this album was that it was the first one where I was influenced by video. Videos for the songs “Gimme All Your Lovin,'” “Sharp Dressed Man” and “Legs” all featured the famous eliminator car, (see above) and those three lovely ladies. Now, I’ll be the first one to say that ZZ Top didn’t need such things for this album to succeed because the music is that good but on the other hand, who am I to complain?
- Gimme All Your Lovin’
- Got Me Under Pressure
- Sharp Dressed Man
- I Need You Tonight
- I Got the Six
- TV Dinners
- Dirty Dog
- If Only I Could Flag Her Down
- Bad Girl
Billy Gibbons- guitar, vocals
Dusty Hill- bass, keyboards, vocals
Frank Beard- drums, percussion
“Eliminator” by ZZ Top brings back fond memories of 1983 for me. It was a great album and on a personal note, it was a great one to return to civilian life to. It’s an album in the ZZ Top style that happened to gain loads of commercial success. Well done!
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This entry was posted on April 14, 2016 at 8:30 pm and is filed under 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags Americans, Billy Gibbons, Blues, Classic Rock, El Loco, Eliminator, Guitarists, hard rock, Heavy Metal, Heavy Rock, marines, Molly Hatchet, new wave, No Guts No Glory, Southern Rock, The 1980s, Tres Hombres, videos, ZZ Top. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.