Archive for Billy Gibbons

Great Rock Albums of 1983: ZZ Top- Eliminator

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-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.”

The famous ZZ Top Eliminator car

The famous ZZ Top Eliminator car

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?

Remember these ladies from the ZZ Top videos?

Remember these ladies from the ZZ Top videos?

Track Listing:

  1. Gimme All Your Lovin’
  2. Got Me Under Pressure
  3. Sharp Dressed Man
  4. I Need You Tonight
  5. I Got the Six
  6. Legs
  7. Thug
  8. TV Dinners
  9. Dirty Dog
  10. If Only I Could Flag Her Down
  11. Bad Girl
ZZ Top

ZZ Top

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!

Next post: A Revelation That Might Interest Some Readers!

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

Great Rock Albums of 1979: ZZ Top- Deguello

Posted in 1979, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 17, 2013 by 80smetalman

Once again, I realise that I missed at least one more great classic album from before 1978. I could have included several albums by ZZ Top in my “Great Rock Albums of the 70s” chapter, but the one I should have definitely visited was “Tres Hombres.” So here it is:

ZZ_Top_-_Tres_Hombres

What I love about this album is that it features two of my very favourite ZZ Top songs of all time: “La Grange” and “Jesus Just Left Chicago.” Of course the rest of this album is totally killer too, so without any further ceremony, let us proceed to their great offering from 1979, Deguello.

ZZ_Top_-_Degüello

This is the album that when I heard it in my early military days, had me playing air guitar around the barracks, not caring how silly I might have looked. Billy Gibbons shows why he should be counted among the great guitarists of the 70s on this album. It is a fantastic album. It holds many of what I consider some of the forgotten classics by this trio. Of course, I remember the opener “Thank You” and the next to last song on this album, “Cheap Sunglasses,” another great fave of mine. But in between those two are some of the very tracks I used to bop my head to, drink beer to and cruise down the road to while playing on the cassette or 8-track. (Sometimes, I did all three at once.) “She Loves My Automobile,” “I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide” and “Hi fi Mama” were great anthems for me throughout those days. Plus, the bluesy sound of “Fool For Your Stockings” is reminiscent of my favourite “Jesus Just Left Chicago.” So, what’s not to like about “Deguello?”

Track Listing:

1. Thank You

2. She Loves My Automobile

3. I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide

4. A Fool For Your Stockings

5. Manic Mechanic

6. Dust My Broom

7. Lowdown in the Street

8. Hi Fi Mama

9. Cheap Sunglasses

10. Esther Be the One

ZZ Top

ZZ Top

Billy Gibbons- guitar, vocals

Dusty Hill- bass, keyboards, vocals

Frank Beard- drums, percussion

Four years after this great album came out and I returned to civilian life in New Jersey, many of the slightly younger than me generation were all going nuts over the “Eliminator” album. Yes, it’s a great album and I will visit it, but I was rather amused at the way they thought the Top were some great new thing. For me, I always knew how gifted Gibbons, Hill and Beard were and the Deguello album proves it for me. Thanks for giving me great memories.

Next post: Van Halen II

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London