Tag Archives: Frank Beard

ZZ Top/ Live-Greatest Hits(2016)

New Release…..

ZZ Top has just released their newest album which as you know by the title is Live and the Two Long Beards(Billy Gibbons/Dusty Hill) and  Stache (Frank Beard)  are telling all that will listen(Moi) that this is the followup up live album to 1975’s Fandango album which was half studio and half live! Course ZZ in recent years has released a few Live DVDs and such but hey it’s their deal so they can say what they wanna say!

41 years between actual Live Album releases! I would say it’s time! In case you’re wondering Tbone bought this on cassette  about 30 years ago so Tbone has been Fandango’n for 3 decades now! Whatever the Hell that means. Sounded cool……

ZZ Top ‘Greatest Hits Live’ Track Listing
1. “Got Me Under Pressure”
2. “Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers”
3. “Cheap Sunglasses”
4. “Waitin’ for the Bus”
5. “Jesus Just Left Chicago”
6. “Legs”
7. “Sharp Dressed Man”
8. “Rough Boy” (with Jeff Beck)
9. “Pincushion”
10. “La Grange”
11. “I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide”
12. “Tube Snake Boogie”
13. “Gimme All Your Lovin’”
14. “Tush”
15. “Sixteen Tons” (with Jeff Beck)

Well, for starters that’s a cool 15 pack of tracks and even as you can see Jeff Beck slings some ax with Billy Gibbons on two tracks!(Rough Boy and a cover of Sixteen Tons)

If you recall from a few weeks back when I reviewed Twisted Sisters Metal Meltdown release I made a point saying I really dug the fact that I enjoyed the rawness associated with the production. Almost a Bootleg like feel to it.

ZZ to my ears anyways has gone the same route. Each of these tracks are recorded in a bunch of different cities(13 different cities with London England being the city with two tracks as those are the shows that Beck appears at) The great city of Vancouver B.C is represented on here as well!(I’m Bad,I’m Nationwide)

ZZ strips back the sound. They don’t gloss up the production and once you wrap your head around the sonics of Frank Beards drums on the opening track Got Me Under Pressure were off to the ZZ Saloon downing  a bunch of  tequila shots with quick dabs of brilliance emulating from Gibbons guitar! What a freakin tone the Man possesses! Must also mention Gibbon’s lead vocals are First Chill Class all the way! Speaking of vocals! How about a round of Hot Sauce and Thumbs up to Dusty Hill  for always delivering the song Tush with a good Ass Texan Kicking…..!

You want a Guitar Extravaganza  Record in how to play real cool licks without sounding like  a Hot Dog. Check out this album for that!

Each song sounds different  I guess as it depended on the sound from where the tracks were recorded from. Audience fades out after every song just as well as some crowds are louder than others.

These guys could have made this a 30 song album easy but putting tunes like Pincushion(great track)Tube Snake Boogie and Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers I was sold and preordered it from iTunes.

I love this album man it’s great to hear the boys(Gibbons and Hill) trade-off vocal lines on certain tracks like Got Me Under Pressure. I mean I always crack up on how cool Gibbons sounds  singing the line “she likes Cocaineee” and adds to it his little magic powdery like riff on the guitar….It’s little things like that bring so much to a track…

They even have someone playing Harmonica(no digital booklet with iTunes purchase so I don’t know who’s playing harp) on a couple of tracks as well and this enhances that Sleazy ZZ feel on numbers like Waitin’ For The Bus & Jesus Just Left Chicago.

Kinda wish some stuff from Recycler/ Rhythmeen would have been added as well tracks from the  fantastic La Futura . But what can ya do? Maybe down the road Fella’s? While were at it how about cueing up and adding Woke Up With Wood to the next ZZ Live Meal Deal?

This is a Low Down Dirty Drippin Blues Fused Texas Taco Rock Album. My  first thought “Yup! Another Live Album!” But the fact these guys went and didn’t tweak the crap out of it in the studio makes it a worthwhile purchase.




ZZ Top/La Futura(2012)


2012 and the big boys all released good albums that year! The Cult(Choice Of Weapon) Van Halen(A Different Kind Of Truth) KISS(Monster) Rush (Clockwork Angels) even my Fanboy band growing up Coney Hatch (Four) cranked an album out  to name but a few…

One album that I  preordered from iTunes that year was ZZ Top and there Rick Rubin produced  Sleazy Style Taco Of Rock that was titled La Futura.

Too be perfectly honest with you all out there I wasn’t expecting much from these guys as I fell by the wayside with there last few studio releases(I think the album titled XXX was my last actual purchase of the Tops) but took the chance and for $9.99 it was a chance worth taking..

By golly I’m glad I did! Holy Frigg …what a wicked slab of fuzz out distorted guitars,live sounding drums,pulsating Simple Simon bass lines,lead vocals that are greasy….

Welcome Back ZZ Top!

Cast Of Characters-Billy  Gibbons(Lead Vocals) Dusty Hill (Bass) and Frank Beard(drums)

Seriously dump some gas into the Eliminator and lets full throttle it to The Planet Of Woman! Yee Haw!

I Gosta Get Paid is a real good leadoff track! Billy G with his fuzzed/distorted guitar tone! Dusty showing up to jam on bass and Stache on the drums to fill out the sound. This track kicks a ZZ album off like it’s supposed to! Love the big ass power chords Gibbons drops throughout the chorus. Cool use of production by Rubin as I dig  how the drums sound mixed with a  ton of percussion! The video I posted is classic ZZ! Rockin Roberts my buddy will drool like a fool! Bottom line a ZZ classic!

From there the Mexican Burrito is sliced and diced sonically into the second track which is Chartreuse  which picks up some steam as Beard channels his best Bun E Carlos (Cheap Trick) and plays a quickie like tempo as Dusty tries to keep up and Billy as always takes the charge! This song sounds simple but man its friggin good! Dig the added percussion during Gibbons solo and even Beard gets in the mix with a smash a Roo with the cymbals at one point.

Consumption is a down n dirty heavy bass sounding tune and ZZ proves you can go real heavy at a slower clip as long as you got Gibbons who actually is a real good lead singer! Everyone talks about his guitar playing but not his singing! Part of the guitar solo Billy rips some slide and the drums are sounding heavy and it’s just ZZ stripped down to a 3 piece as the ZZ Synth must have been accidentally unplugged in the studio that day!

And like a few ZZ Top albums in years gone by a slower drip of Texas style Blues as its time for Over You. Pretty good tune and at this juncture of the album I’m good with it! Billy sings with ache in his voice as well as you can hear the pain in his playing! Wowzers getting deep here (Ha!)

Heartache In Blue picks up steam! Some nice jam out ZZ Rock with a ton of harmonica added to the sonics makes this tune a real great piece of Ear Candy. Love the ZZ Greasy Feelof this tune also along with Dusty providing some backing vocals! “Chang Chang…It’s Just A Thang” sings Billy and Yup couldn’t agree with you more there!

I Don’t Want To Lose Lose You is another great ZZ Rocker! Love the slick guitar tone by Professor Gibbons! The verses are rock solid as they lead right into the more rock solid pre chorus. Of course Billy/Dusty and Stache just keep the Tequila flowing and the amps cranked up!

So the first time I head Flyin High the opening riff is right out of the School Of AC/DC! What a killer track! Stache and his drums lay down a Phil Rudd like groove and man oh man Flyin High is that! Once the track rockets into the chorus it takes it to the land of Gold! How about I post the video track! If this is first time hearing it. Welcome aboard and crank this towards the end of the album Gem!

It’s Too Easy Mañana  This is another non jet fuelled ZZ song. Gibbons man the guy drips real cool on the 6 string.  Stache and the drums also play at real chill beat.

Big Shiny Nine! Great song and the boys lower the top down and play a straight ahead rock track. You want some fuzzed out rock guitar look no further. Beard/Hill and Gibbons lower the boom into the Greasy Sleazy ZZ Pit….

Have A Little Mercy gotta love the ZZ end of the album Greasey tune. This tune slips n slides as Billy and Dusty sing the album out. Love the sound of this album big time! it’s not overproduced and it’s not all glossed up the ying yang. ZZ sleazes off into the sunset with tequila and cactus in hand! Friggin Greeeeeeat!

Buy this…NUFF said!

SONIC WAVES….ZZ Top/Recycler

This Blog is for Geoff who writes a real excellent blog that you can find at 1001albumsin10years.wordpress.com   Take the time friends and check it out!

October 1990 and the Tops release Recycler and it’s the followup to Afterburner which came out 5 years earlier in 1985! So I guess the two long beards (Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill )and Stache(Frank Beard) figured it was about time right?

Recycler I have always liked and that’s maybe due to the fact that myself and Tbone caught this tour in early October 1990 a good few weeks before the actual release of the album. So perhaps that’s why maybe I like it  as much since that was the tour I saw who knows but they also threw down some real cool musical mustard on these tracks for the most part! Here’s the review of the show….https://superdekes.wordpress.com/2014/08/20/recycled-in-the-peg/

Tbone is still looking for La Grange!

CONCRETE AND STEEL- ZZ blast off from the start and this is a great opener! No one and I mean no one has the guitar tone of Billy Gibbons! You hear him and you know it’s him! Plus not only does he play the wicked guitar his voice is so tailor made for this band. It’s a win win. Beard on the drums and Hill on the bass push the song along and it’s the start of the decade and it’s good to have the Tops back boogie Rockin!

LOVETHING-Beard slams down some Thunder and the guitars go in slo mo and than pick up and this is a great track. Tons of percussion jives up the backing tracks and it rocks in a ZZ kinda way! Lots of good Ol sexual innuendo here in this song at Top HQ’s! 2 songs in ….2 sure fire winners!

PENTHOUSE EYES-ZZ takes off with there bluesy cool riffs mixed with Beards drums and we’re off an running to the Penthouse! Isn’t it great when ZZ gets into story telling like this two …..”can’t blame a boy for asking!” Chirps Billster and Wowzers he’s chilling in the Penthouse. Tons of slipping and sliding Blues Riff a Rolla on this track!

TELL IT-this tune is one of my favs from Recycler! TELL IT,tell it like is …Sez Billy and I’m onboard. This song is a cool little creepy crawl of boogie woogie Blues rock! Just a real good laid back tempo! What better way to introduce Gibbons guitar solo with someone chirping BANG! …that’s also the one thing about ZZ tunes not only do you get the great solos in the song but also the great outro solos that take the song out!

MY HEADS IN MISSISSIPPI-hangover is what this reminds me of! Not myself with a hangover but the two Beards and Stache with em! Gibbons voice fits this tune to a T! Cool gruff voice and real catchy guitaring add the salt to the pepper for this tune! I just love it. Crank the video folks!

DECISION OR COLLISION-bam bam this song is pure solid driving ZZ Top! A pretty good tune goes forward Into Billyvilles zone which is guitar blues rock! Good stuff…and a pretty snappy happy ZZ tune!

GIVE IT UP-love the opening riff from Gibbons. Than all the bells and whistles of ZZs driving late 80s sound is unleashed BUT this song still cooks man I love it. Now that summer is upon us when your barbecuing some juicy steaks and knocking it down your hatch with some cold suds crank this track! And invite uncle DeKEs over! Hint hint Probie! Ha!

2000 BLUES-great slow mover groover of a track! Gibbons like he always does lays down a great guitar! 200o Blues is just that Blues down low down sleazy breezy ZZ style! Sign me up!

BURGERMAN- Ok ok so ZZ even though know its 1990 old habits die hard and hey let’s toss Deke and Tbone a musical patty and call it  BURGERMAN! It’s all here a ton of toppings layered with guitars,bass and a loaded up drum sound and a loaded up ZZ! BURGERMAN though is a pretty funny tune from the two beards and stache!

DOUBLEBACK-I tell Ya I love this tune! Sure it’s from Mikey J Foxes Back To The Future Film but this song is Gold! I love the pre chorus and chorus it’s the best of what ZZ does and that’s play a catchey hook! Gibbons nails down some sleazy meaty biggie bouncy riffs of Texas Rock! ….”Running high and low don’t know which way to go I gotta DOUBLEBACK my friends”..sings Gibbons! Wowzers 25 years old this song is and I still love it as much as I did back in 90!

IN CONCLUSION-Afterburner i loved side one of that record and it kinda tailed off for me after Planet Of Women led off side 2 ..read it here….https://superdekes.wordpress.com/2015/02/16/sonic-waves-zz-top-afterburner/

ZZ slam back with a real solid effort and perhaps I dig this one more like i said for the fact that I caught them on the Recycler World Tour?! Who knows for sure but I will say it was a step in the right direction and i still spin this one quite frequently! ZZ was headed into the 90s and they were rolling with the changes but still doing there own deal! Good on them and good for me!



SONIC WAVES….ZZ Top / Afterburner

2 years after the mega selling Eliminator comes Afterburner in Oct of 1985 and to me it’s sides 3 and 4 to Eliminator. ZZ boys decide if it ain’t broke we ain’t fixing! But along with the no fixin claus someone in the Top Organization decides to jack up the synth,throw down some drum machines and  embrace the musical sounds of the mid 80s hard rock style. Plus the cover was cool as they took the ZZ car and torqued up into a rocket ship looking car! Kudos to ZZ there going into frontiers unknown!

ZZ  stays the course and me for one I’m ok with it kinda as Eliminator was solid top to bottom Afterburner lags a little behind but it’s not  close to 3/4’s Filler material here at Arena Rock!

Billy/Frank and Dusty fire up the Afterburners(Ha) and take off and hey where did that dang drum machine go…….

SLEEPING BAG- cue Frank Beard and the drum machine and some robotic musical patterns and whoosh thank God here comes Billy with his guitar and uhhey this has too be the coolest song ever written about a Sleeping Bag. This is total 80s sound in production trickery. All the bells and whistles are here folks including ,Jesus ? Is Frank Beard even playing drums ? Beats me but man 80s ZZ Top is a different beast than 1970s ZZ Top as Tbone had bought Fandango and man it’s one side live one side studio and them dudes on Fandango don’t sound anything like the slick polished Afterburner dudes !

STAGES- ahh this sounds familiar. This song rocks straight ahead with Gibbon’s guitar driving the tune cool catchy song and was one of the singles that did well for them.

WOKE UP WITH WOOD- what a great title! This is top heavy with the synthy rhythms and beats and shit but man it’s once again like Quirkey Top. I love this tune and still do! The  solo, the outro solo is real good as well! Hey ladies be careful lying next to a piece of wood and no I’m not warning you!! Billy Gibbons/ Frank Beard and Dusty Hill are warning Ya!

ROUGH BOY- ah yes track 4 and it time to slow the brakes down. Just like Eliminator with that track number 4 ( I Need You Tonight) ZZ plays some power spacey blues that I guess it’s as close to a ZZ ballad as any. Well played and Billy, well played guitar as always! Love his sound!

CAN’T STOP ROCKING- Dusty takes over and this is 4/4 ZZ saying hey we can chillax with the Rough Boy but we ain’t staying quiet for too long….

PLANET OF WOMEN- oh yeah…one of my all time fav ZZ tunes! This song rips right out of the gate and Billy tells us he’s a nervous wreck that the girls are everywhere so check it out! Hahahaha….love it man. Super catchy chorus and wickedly good Gibbon’s solo!

I GOT THE MESSAGE- drums drums and more electronic drums Done ZZ Style….this song is pretty much saved by Billy Gibbon’s guitaring which punches in and punches out on this track! It’s pretty amazing listening back to this album after a lot of years that ZZ was firmly entrenched into 1985 musically. I mean man other bands at the time like Duran Duran were using the electronics and basically they made me wanna puke where as When ZZ dialed up 1-800-ZZ-Drums they made it at least sound cool!

VELCRO FLY-ha….big time lets makie bakie a single and shove it through some electronic gadgets and see what it pukes out! Velcro Fly is upon us! This is one that I did not play much…..I think they have a tuity fruity video of this as well…..c’mon Billy dump some cool ripping guitar will Ya….speaking of the vid …Jesus was that Dusty playing the keyboard in the vid? Single single singles……chasing the hits but can Ya blame em? They had tons o hits on Eliminator so how does that not play in your noggin when your,lazing around eating tacos,drinking tons of Corona and trying to cut 10 tracks for Afterburner?

DIPPING LOW (IN THE LAP OF LUXURY)- pretty catchy harmony vocals in this tune and its a better track than Velcro Fly! Haha…Billy slaps,down some cool guitar and ZZ sees the finish line!

DELIRIOUS- Dusty rocks up with his second lead vocal….this song is pretty good for a ending tracks but ZZ falls thru the trap door with the robotic sounding vocal of Delirious! the vocal of the chorus reminds me of Styxs Mr Roboto…Hahahaha….but at least ZZ goes to the ends with a rocker of a track !

IN CONCLUSION- ZZ doesn’t want the payday to end and neither do we,so millions buy Afterburner including of course myself and Tbone. Afterburner for me is a good record but over time after the 6th song (Planet Of Women )the album kinda lags a little and its one of those albums that I did not find one of those end of album Gems(as I call em) like I did on the previous Top album with If I Could Only Flag Her Down. So for me ZZ still pass I mean, here I am at the time In  1985,17 years old and these Ol Fuzzy Beards write a tune called Woke Up With Wood……hahaha…..classic ….the one big gripe over time is the drums on this album. Too many studioery gadgets and bells and whistles ringing off but man you still got Gibbon’s and his guitar. Plus the dude sings a cool chill vocal…..Dusty and Frank, my question is are you two hombres even on this record?

SONIC WAVES….ZZ Top/Eliminator

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!