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ZZ Top

ZZ Top is an American rock band formed in 1969 in Houston, Texas. The band consists of three members: Billy Gibbons (guitar and vocals), Dusty Hill (bass and vocals), and Frank Beard (drums).

In the 1970s, ZZ Top gained popularity with hits such as "La Grange" and "Tush" from their album "Tres Hombres". Their 1983 album "Eliminator" brought them even greater success, with hits such as "Gimme All Your Lovin'", "Sharp Dressed Man", and "Legs". The band continued to release successful albums throughout the 1980s and 1990s, including "Afterburner" and "Recycler".

ZZ Top's music has been described as a combination of blues, rock, and boogie-woogie, and they are often associated with the Southern rock movement. Their distinctive sound is characterized by Gibbons' guitar work, Hill's basslines, and Beard's precise drumming. The band has also been noted for their humorous and sometimes surreal lyrics.

In addition to their music, ZZ Top is also known for their distinctive appearance. They are often seen wearing sunglasses and sporting long beards, which has become their trademark look.

Over the course of their career, ZZ Top has sold more than 50 million albums worldwide and and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.

Despite the passing of Dusty Hill in 2021, the band still performs with the addition of Elwood Francis on bass.

"That little ol' band from Texas." -GSH

The Saints(1963)
  • Billy Gibbons - guitar/vocals - b. Houston, Texas

The Coachmen (1964)
  • Billy Gibbons - guitar/vocals

Billy G. and the Ten Blue Flames(1965)
  • Billy Gibbons - guitar/vocals

The Moving Sidewalks (1966 - 1969)
  • Billy Gibbons - guitar/vocals
  • Tom Moore - keyboards
  • Don Summers - bass
  • Dan Mitchell - drums
Single:"99th Floor"

ZZ Top I (1969 - 1970)
  • Billy Gibbons - guitar/vocals
  • Dan Mitchell - drums
  • Lanier Greig - keyboards - formerly with Neil Ford & The Fanatics.

ZZ Top II (1970 - Present)
  • Billy Gibbons - guitar/harmonica/vocals
  • Dusty Hill - bass/vocals - b. May 19, 1949, Dallas, Texas - formerly with The Starliners, The Deadbeats, Lady Wild and the Warlocks, and The American Blues Band (1967-1970).
  • Frank Beard - drums - formerly with The Hustlers, The Cellar Dwellers, and The American Blues Band.
  1. "ZZ Top's First Album" (1970) - Single: "(Somebody Else Been) Shaking Your Tree" - This first offering from ZZ Top is still my favorite of all their albums.  Being much more bluesier and anything else they ever recorded, there's blistering guitar work from Gibbons all over this album.  Favorite cuts are "Just Got Back From Baby's" and "Bedroom Thang", but there's not a weak song. This is pure blues-rock at its finest.
  2. "Rio Grande Mud" (1972) - Single: "Francine"
  3. "Tres Hombres" (1973) - Single: "La Grange"
  4. "Fandango" (1975) - Single: "Tush"
  5. "Tejas" (1976)
  6. "Deguello" (1979)
  7. "El Loco" (1981)
  8. "Eliminator" (1983) - Singles: "Gimme All Your Lovin'", "Sharp Dressed Man", "Legs"
  9. "Afterburner" (1985) - Singles: "Sleeping Bag", "Stages", "Rough Boy", "Velcro Fly"
  10. "Recycler" (1990) - Singles: "My Head's in Mississippi", "Doubleback"
  11. "Antenna" (1994)
  12. "Rhythmeen" (1996)
  13. "XXX" (1999) - ZZ Top's 30-year anniversary album.

  1. "The Best of ZZ Top" (1977)
  2. "ZZ Top Six Pack" (1987) - Reissue of albums 1-5 and 7 (don't ask me why they skipped "Deguello"!) on three CDs, remastered to emphasize the techno-rock sound that made them famous with "Eliminator" and "Afterburner".  Although I sort of prefer the original un-remastered sound, this is a great way to get a lot of ZZ Top's early work at a reduced price.
  3. "Greatest Hits" (1992)
  4. "One Foot in the Blues" (1994)

  • I like their first three albums the best.  Out of these three, the one absolutely essential album is "ZZ Top's First Album" which is blues-rock at its best.  It just doesn't get any better than this, and I recommend this album without reservation.


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Last Revised:  April 14, 2001
© 1999, 2001 by Gary S. Hartman.  All rights reserved.

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