NEW MUSIC EAR'S FAVOURITES - ZZ TOP "ELIMINATOR"

THESE ALBUM REVIEWS ARE FAVOURITES FROM MY OWN VAST AND VARIED ECLECTIC COLLECTION! I AM A FAN OF THESE ARTISTS SO MY OPINIONS MAY NOT BE ON A PAR WITH YOUR OWN BUT PLEASE ENJOY AND MAYBE THERE ARE SOME ALBUMS YOU MAY LIKE TO SAMPLE FOR YOURSELF OUT OF CURIOSITY :)

ZZ TOP


"ELIMINATOR"


I didn't know much about Blues music apart from seeing "The Blues Brothers" film and seeing various artists playing this genre, including on of my idols Prince.  So when I got into the music of ZZ Top, having in their ranks one of the finest Blues guitarist's in Billy Gibbons I heard a lot more.  Their music is a kind of Blues Rock N' Roll mixed with Classic Rock elements.  It still tickles me today that they have a drummer called Frank Beard who actually doesn't have a beard! He and bass player Dusty Hill provide the fabulous rhythm section backing Billy's unique slant on the Blues and his music arrangement.  I love this band, they seem so down to earth and haven't forgotten their roots in Texas.  They are like Rock N' Roll cowboys on a mission to spread the Blues into all genres.  "Eliminator" made me buy every ZZ Top cd in their catalogue, it is real feel good music!

The UK didn't really know what to make of this trio, two men with long beards and one with a moustache.  The five singles released from this 1983 album  were received all very differently.  The first single remains their biggest hit, reaching number 10 (matched only by their Elvis inspired "Vivea Las Vegas" in later years.  "Gimme All Your Lovin'" was superb, something like I had never heard before.  That pumping drumbeat and twangy Country guitar solos with a sound that seemed like there were definitely more than two guitarists on the record, it was so big and loud.  Add the catchy chorus and it was an immense introduction to ZZ Top.  The video was the first in the classic "keyring and car" videos.  The second single "Got Me Under Pressure" failed to chart here.  It was a classic fast Blues guitar driven track, searing guitar solosand the same pumping drumbeat that appeared on the first single.  Not sure why this wasn't accepted by the Brits, maybe the chorus wasn't as catchy or as frequent.  "Sharp Dressed Man" was the third single and got the Z's back in the chart peaking at number 22.  The cool video also probably helped it to chart, similar in vein to "Gimme All Your Lovin'", al the elements were re-invented for this track and again a superb catchy chorus.  "TV Dinners" had a really weird, scary video and this 4th single also failed to chart here.  It is a much slower track, with a lot more Blues elements, the slow drawl of the guitars and laid back drumbeat, not one of my alltime favourites but its a very quirky, eerie song!  The last track to be released as a single, "Legs" is definitely my favourite ZZ Top song, if not only for the video! Check it out, you will see why it is called "Legs"!  It reached number 16 in the UK chart and was another "keyring and car" video.  An ideal "driving" song, chucg-a-chug drums and guitars, with a great Texas vibe, Blues and Country twang, memorable chorus, it is just a great song!


"I Need You Tonight" is Classic Rock mixed with 80s Rock, at just over 6 minutes it is a guitarist's dream, lots of solos and change in styles throughout.  A classic "air guitar" track.

"I Got The Six" is a real Heavy Rock track, almost like Motorhead, a real angry, pulsating drum and guitar extravaganza.  Top track!

"Thug" is a real experimental track, mixing a few styles together, moments of some great funky "slap bass" in here.  Mostly instrumental but creative musicianship at its best.

"Dirty Dog" is back to the popular ZZ Top riffs, with a little Thin Lizzy hidden in there at times.  Similar to the "Gimme/Sharp/Legs" trilogy but adding some Classic Rock of the 70s and 80s.

"If Only I Could Flag Her Down" reminds me of Status Quo a little, almost 12 bar blues.  A catchy chorus and great Blues solos and slide guitars.

 "Bad Girl" is classic 80s Rock, early ACDC, Def Leppard etc.  Another throbbing rhythm and more typical Rock gruff scream vocals.  Foot stomper for the rockers!





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