The Epic 2017 Project #366 (the last): 171231
ZZ Top – Rhythmeen (1996)
Rhythmeen is the twelfth studio album by the American blues rock band ZZ Top, released in 1996.
It was the first ZZ Top album to have a title track, although 1994’s Antenna featured a song called “Antenna Head”. It is also the last album with longtime producer, Bill Ham.’s Antenna featured a song called “Antenna Head”). It is also the last album with longtime producer, Bill Ham.
Today marks the last episode in the JemTunes ‘Epic 2017 Project’. I’ve worked my way through 365 albums from A-Z, featuring a different one every day with a track from the same. It’s been a good project, one which I’ve enjoyed researching, writing and blogging.
But I needed something different for 2018. Still going to be a year-long project with a post for every day. But the theme and design’s a little different.
I’ll be 59 in 2018 (which means I was born in 1959). So the 2018 JemTunes project – starting tomorrow – is ‘The 59 Project’. Still going to look at a different album every day, but this year I’ll be working through the 59 years from 1959 right though to 2018 – about 4 years a month.
Be good to have you on board as I start on 1st January 2018 with Dave Brubeck’s 1959 album ‘Time Out’.
The Epic 2017 Project #364: 171230
ZZ Top – Eliminator (1983)
ZZ Top’s subliminal eighth studio album was the now infamous ‘Eliminator’. It was released on March 23, 1983, by Warner Bros. Records. Recorded in Tennessee during 1982, the album was produced by the band’s manager Bill Ham and peaked at the top of the charts in many countries.
“Gimme All Your Lovin'”, “Got Me Under Pressure”, “Sharp Dressed Man”, “TV Dinners” and “Legs” were released as singles all helping to make Eliminator ZZ Top’s most commercially successful release.
The Epic 2017 Project #363: 171229
ZZ Top – Fandango (1975)
Fandango – released in 1975 – was ZZ Top’s 4th album and is a combination of studio material and live recordings.
Tush was the only single from the album.
The Epic 2017 Project #362: 171228
ZZ Top – Tres Hombres (1973)
ZZ Top’s third album – Tres Hombres – was released in 1973. It was the first time the band worked with Terry Manning as engineer, successful as it marked the band’s commercial breakthrough. In the US, the album entered the top ten and the single “La Grange” reached No.41 in the UK singles charts.
At the height of ZZ Top’s success in the mid-1980s a digitally remixed version of the recording was released on CD and the original 1973 mix was no longer issued. The remix version created controversy because it significantly changed the sound of the instruments, especially drums. The remix version was used on all early CD copies and was the only version available for over 20 years. A remastered and expanded edition of the album was released on February 28, 2006, which contains three bonus live tracks. The 2006 edition is the first CD version to use Manning’s original 1973 mix. Subsequent releases on digital platforms such as iTunes have used the original mix as well.
The Epic 2017 Project #361: 171227
ZZ Top – Rio Grande Mud (1972)
ZZ Top’s second album, inspired by the river that borders Mexico and Texas, was released in 1972.
It was later remixed for CD release and, on January 11, 2011, Rhino released a remastered version from the original 1972 mix on vinyl only. Download only versions (on Amazon and iTunes) followed in 2012 The original mix of the album was re-released on CD in June 2013 as part of the box set The Complete Studio Albums (1970-1990).
The Epic 2017 Project #360: 171226
ZZ Top – First Album (1971)
So, as the Jemtunes ‘Epic 2017 Project’ draws to a close, episodes 360-365 take us to the letter Z. And although there are other bands with names down at this end of the alphabet, Epic 2017 finishes with six albums from the masters of Texan 12-bar blues – ZZ Top.
Their debut studio album was produced by manager Bill Ham, and released on January 16, 1971, on London Records. Establishing their attitude and humour, ZZ Top incorporated boogie, hard rock, and Southern rock influences into their sound. Seeking inspiration from Fleetwood Mac, ZZ Top began recording the album at Robin Hood Studios in Tyler, Texas. Somebody else been shaking your tree/Neighbour Neighbour was released as a single but failed to chart.
In 1987, the album was remixed for CD release and In 2013, the original vinyl mix was released on HD Tracks in high-resolution digital download formats.
Here’s Bedroom Thang – as good a slice of 12-bar as you’re likely to hear.
The Epic 2017 Project #359: 171225
Neil Young – After the Goldrush (1970)
After the Gold Rush was the third studio album from Neil Young. Released in September 1970 on Reprise Records, it is one of four high-profile albums released by each member of folk rock collective Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young in the wake of their chart-topping 1970 album Déjà Vu. Gold Rush consists mainly of country folk music, along with the rocking “Southern Man”, inspired by the Dean Stockwell-Herb Bermann screenplay After the Gold Rush.
The album peaked at No.8 on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart; the two singles taken from the album, “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” and “When You Dance I Can Really Love”, made it to number 33 and number 93 respectively. Despite a mixed initial reaction, it has since appeared on a number of “greatest albums” lists (including mine)
The Epic 2017 Project #358: 171224
Yes – Going for the One (1977)
Going for the One is the eighth ‘Yes’ studio album, released on 15 July 1977 by Atlantic Records. It was recorded in Montreaux, Switzerland after the band took a break in activity for each member to release a solo album and their 1976 North American tour. It marks the departure of keyboardist Patrick Moraz and the return of Rick Wakeman, who had left to pursue his solo career after musical differences surrounding Tales from Topographic Oceans (1973). In a departure from their previous three albums, Going for the One features shorter and more direct songs written without a unifying theme or concept, and saw Yes record with new producers, engineers and cover designers.
A remastered edition was released in 2003 that contains several previously unreleased tracks from the album’s recording sessions. Yes supported the album with a six-month tour of North America and Europe.
The Epic 2017 Project #357: 171223
Yello – Stella (1985)
Stella is the fourth studio album by the Swiss electronic band Yello, first released in Germany, Switzerland and Austria on 29 January 1985, and in the UK and US in March 1985. It was the first album made by the band without founder member Carlos Perón, and with his departure the remaining duo of Boris Blank and Dieter Meier began to move away from experimental electronic sounds towards a more commercial synthpop and cinematic soundtrack style.
As well as becoming the first album ever by a Swiss group to top the Swiss album chart, it was the band’s breakthrough album internationally, helped by the success of the song “Oh Yeah”, which gained the band worldwide attention the following year after it was prominently featured in the 1986 film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and then a year later in The Secret of My Success.
It’s also renowned for being the song that my two eldest children rode their tricycles round the kitchen table to in the late 80’s. So this one’s dedicated to them.
The Epic 2017 Project #356: 171222
XTC – Go To (1978)
Go 2 is the second studio album from XTC, released on 6 October 1978.
The album’s cover was designed and executed by Hipgnosis. It consists of an essay about how album covers are used to attract buyers of the album. On the first British pressings of the LP version of the Go 2 album the track listing on the vinyl disc label mimicked the type style of the cover art. The label is crammed full of text.
In some non-English speaking countries, the group shot that was featured on the album’s inner sleeve in the UK was used instead as the album cover. The French 13-track album, including the bonus track “Are You Receiving Me?”, was one of the releases that featured this sleeve.