The 80s and ZZ Top go hand in hand and for me I jumped on the bandwagon as soon as those real cool ZZ top videos started into massive rotation at Muchmusic. We could as guys relate to this concept…geeky guy gets pushed around by some bikers and it takes some super cool dressed up chicks to come to the geeks rescue. My only deal was when I got pushed around no super cool dressed chicks came my way….they went the other way!
Yeah so ZZ Top is this new sound with some ripping guitar,cool laid back vocals,straight ahead bass and drums and viola the videos but when I got this on cassette back in 1983 there was way more to this slab of Texas Rancho Rock than the vids. These guys (Billy/Dusty and Frank) laid down some serious law with there sound and to top it off they ran it thru a synth and even made me the little Metal Boy take notice….
Wowzers lets see what the ZZ boys be a cookin!
GIMMIE ALL YOUR LOVIN- Frank lays down the drum beat and man it’s Billy Gibbons time to lay it down with his guitar on top of the synth while Dusty holds down the fort with bass! This is ZZ 1983 style driving towards your house with the top down and not taking any hostages. Since this was my first taste of ZZ it becomes apparent real fast that this Gibbons fella can play the six string! Great track that everyone knows and knows and knows…
GOT ME UNDER PRESSURE- now I guess I could call this one Snappy Top! This song just drives along at a little rapid pace and man what a cool tune! Love the guitar sound on this album and wow did he, Billy really say ‘Cocaine’? Hahahaha. As a music buying junkie myself to hear this dude say Cocaine as a 16 year old=Street cred! Cool song and better cool solo! Two songs in and what the hell this is musical gold,plain and simple!
SHARP DRESSED MAN-the real big hit and bigger video which propelled ZZ Into Hugeness which was well deserved as they had been going already for about 13 years at this point(8 albums in) Love the guitar sound on this tune and it blends well with the synth and thanks Billy for not letting the synth take over this record. Imagine that if the synth took over Eliminator back in 83? Thank god it didn’t but why would it. Billy rocks the shit out of his guitar and this solo is top notch!
I NEED YOU TONIGHT- whoa….Billy/Frank and Billy stop into a local watering hole,and slow things down and Billy teaches me that you don’t have to rock it nonstop 24-7 that it’s ok to shift gears and well they do and like I have said a few times and if you are a daily reader(I thank you) this song does not puss out! Billy goes into places unknown and makes me a believer!
I GOT THE SIX- Gimmie your 9. Ha,ZZ makes lyrics seems cool with there little one lines of jibber jabber. Dusty takes the lead vocals and he rocks it down with Frank and Billy letting Dusty get some centre stage action with some real fine lyric crafting …Like look at this,what a pair,she won’t let me touch her there,she’s so discriminating. This is weird,it’s time to crow I just heard the rooster blow. I guess I’ll have to spank my monkey…..ladies and gents welcome back to the 80s and crank this one up and well ummm let loose….(I think)
LEGS-even a bigger video than Sharp Dressed?? Who knows lets call it a tie! Legs take away the imagery of the video for a second and this is as good as a well written piece of ZZ Rock that you will find. Snappy sound,snappier guitar,cool vocals and man that bloody friggin synth just drives the song down a one way street into top 40 ville and thats ok because think back to the video and Frank/Billy and Dusty are in there ZZ work clothes and there filthy looking so the vid makes Em look nasty and thank god cuz if they were wearing tuxes in this song …..shit I ain’t going there!
THUGS-after the ZZ girls split the ZZ crew decides to go to Alcatraz and sing about some banditos that went haywire and this song is cool quirky Top. Jingle jangle with some percussion and man some cool jamming on the bass by Dusty? Naaa that ain’t Dusty that has to be Billy fuckin around as I never heard snappy happy bass tapping before or after on a ZZ album…..
TV DINNERS- hahaha…I remember one of the first titles that caught my attention when I first held the cassette tape was Tv Dinners! Like what a great title for a song. Growing up in the early 80s my parents would surprise us and pull out the TV trays with out TV dinners to sit down in front of the TV ! ( once in a blue moon though)Holy crap I’m flash backing! Back to the song though this is a slow paced down in dirty meal deal and Billy tells us what’s good and bad about TV Dinners…….
DIRTY DOG- the ZZ synth machine is back in action and drives the bus on this song and Billy of course lays down his sound on this tune….bam your just a Dog…..bam…cue Gibbons and his solo….ZZ are Dirty dogs as they know how to get down n dirty with the best of em…(musically that is!)
IF I COULD ONLY FLAG HER DOWN- once again and it’s no secret that I love on mega selling albums those hidden pieces of musical golden nuggets and ZZ delivers big time with this song. This has in all of its 3 minutes what I love about ZZ ….driving synth,driving guitar,chill lead vocal,Beard bashing along and Dusty playing his 3 notes! This song is my fav on this record..it does not get better than the on the chorus!….ok I’m breaking protocol and putting this song up as well….Crank it and if Ya ever bump into ZZ tell em that Deke sent Ya!
BAD GIRL- ZZ ends the album in a tavern(no surprise there!) and Dusty says ‘are you ready” and the boys crank it up and tell me as a 16 year old at the time about the Bad Girl. Yes sirree fella’s sign me up! And ZZ ends the album on high note and man they kick me out before I can even get close to the Bad Girl! Great end of album number….leaves Ya wanting more!
IN CONCLUSION- 1983 and I’m 16 and ZZ comes along and slaps me in the side of the head with there sound and they make me a believer that you can drive songs with a synth and be cool and for that….thank you to the ZZ Tops….What a great way for me to debut my listening pleasure with ZZ and Eliminator!