Archive for Tres Hombres

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

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Great Rock Albums of 1981: ZZ Top- El Loco

Posted in 1980s, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 12, 2014 by 80smetalman

250px-ZZ_Top_-_El_Loco

I first listened to “El Loco” in conjunction with another classic ZZ Top album “Tres Hombres.” For me, it turned out to be a double delight getting to listen to two great albums by the same band one after another and it marked another turning point in my musical life. It wasn’t until 1981 that I listened to any ZZ Top at all. That was because back in 1977, the uncle of my best friend had one of their albums, (I don’t know which), and he said it sucked and I was dumb enough back then to let that influence my music listening tastes. That is why I never listened to them back in the 70s and why I don’t allow things like that to happen anymore.

“Tres Hombres” has my two favourite ZZ Top songs of all time on it. You’ll have to read my 1979 post to discover which ones, but “El Loco” is a very good album too. The album was also the beginning of a turning point for the band musically. It was the first album they would use synthesisers in some of their songs and I must comment that they do a grand job of it on the track, “Groovy Little Hippy Pad.” For the most part, however, they stay true to their more bluesier roots. The first track “Tube Snake Boogie” is a classic and still has me rocking away to it whenever I hear it. Billy Gibbons shows his guitar worth on that and many of the other songs here. The final two tracks, “Heaven, Hell or Houston” and “Party on the Patio” are definite standouts. The band also reinforces another dimension to their music in the fact that they have a sense of humour with their songs. “Ten Foot Pole,” “Pearl Necklace” and the fore mentioned “Groovy Little Hippy Pad” bear witness to this. All in all, I remain thankful to yet another old marine buddy who opened my eyes to more cool music in the shape of ZZ Top and “El Loco.”

Track Listing:

1. Tube Snake Boogie

2. I Wanna Drive You Home

3. Ten Foot Pole

4. Leila

5. Don’t Tease Me

6. It’s So Hard

7. Pearl Necklace

8. Groovy Little Hippy Pad

9. Heaven, Hell or Houston

10. Party on the Patio

ZZ Top

ZZ Top

Billy Gibbons- guitar, vocals

Dusty Hill- bass, keyboards, vocals

Frank Beard- drums

I may have missed some of the classic ZZ Top albums when they came out in the 70s, although I did make up for that in the 80s, it didn’t stop me from appreciating what a great band ZZ Top are. The more I travel back in time, the more I have grateful I am to the USMC. Hard core Republicans might not like this fact but my experiences there opened a great chasm in my musical awareness and played a major role in shaping me in the metal head I was to eventually become. I can say that ZZ Top had an hand in that too.

Next post: 1981 Triumph and Tragedy

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

 

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