Although the name ‘ZZ Top’ is now eponymous with mid-1980’s tongue-in-cheek ‘smutrock’ with the still brilliant ‘Eliminator’ and ‘Afterburner’ albums, their roots go a lot deeper. Formed in Houston, Texas as the garage band ‘The Moving Sidewalks’ by Billy Gibbons in 1967, ZZ Top originally landed back in 1970 when Dusty Hill and Frank Beard joined the line-up. Securing a deal with London Records, the hopefully titled ‘First Album’ was released in January 1971.
The straightforward raw simplicity of ‘First Album’ extended itself to the group’s show biz masterplan, something which although still continuing, came to fruition as successful album after successful album hit the streets.
‘Rio Grande Mud’ followed in July 1972, ‘Tres Hombres’ in November 1973 and ‘Fandango’, a live/studio album in June 1975, the latter treating the rising worldwide fanbase to a recorded version of ‘Tush’
However, although since my first introduction with the purchase of the February 1977 ‘Tejas’ album, I’ve since added all 18 releases to my collection, there’s one ZZ Top tune which remains an absolute firm favourite – ‘Cheap Sunglasses’ from the 1979 album ‘Deguello’.
This posting rounds off the JemTunes mini ‘Rock A-Z’ series which has been running on and off throughout 2015. I’ve an ambitious gameplan in mind for 2016 which I’ll whet the appetites for with the next taster post. Watch this space…