Again a blast from the MTV past, ZZ Top to me was kind of a gimmicky band. I’m beginning to think that MTV did a disservice in a way to music in that it equated personas and images over content and artistry in the music. Certainly the argument can be made that the MTV videos had their own artistry, but they tended to detract from the music.
Anyway, I was familiar with Legs and Give Me All Your Loving and Sharp Dressed Man the ZZ Top Eliminator car and the hot babes in the videos. So, again, I never really listened to any ZZ Top albums or had any interest to do so.
I really do like music…honest. Sometimes I am a bit jaded by prior encounters I guess.
So today I listened to Tres Hombres by ZZ Top. Released in 1973, it has a nice Mississippi Delta blues meets early metal feel to it. La Grange was quite familiar getting quite a bit of radio play on classic rock stations. But I was surprised to find some other songs that I knew but didn’t know were ZZ Top songs. Waitin’ for the Bus and Jesus Just Left Chicago were like old acquaintances that I knew but didn’t really know much about. Getting to sit down an really listen to these songs was quite enjoyable.
But really rocked my boat was Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers. I was honestly floored when I caught that metal feel to the song. Yes, it’s bluesy, but there in no denying that metal sound.
My own biases lead me to consider ZZ Top as kind a country-rock band and kind of a gimmick act like I said. It is clear to me now they have far more depth than I ever considered. There is certainly a reason they are on this top 500 album list. I don’t think there is one song on this album I can say I don’t like. About the closest I come is Have you heard?, the last song on the album. It is very similar in blues style to other songs on the album but it seemed quite repetitive and I grew tired of it after a while. Again, not a bad song per se, just seemed like I had kind of heard very similar songs on the album already.