ZZ Top is an American band formed in 1969 in Houston and originally composed of Billy Gibbons, Lanier Greig and Dan Mitchell. A group that can boast of having sold less than 50 million albums to date.
The adventure began a year later, in 1970, with the release of their first single "Salt lick", a single that would go completely unnoticed. Ditto for their eponymous debut album which was released a year later in 1971. It was not until 1972 and the release of the album "Rio Grande Mud" to see things finally pick up. Album which will produce their first title classified "Francine".
Success confirmed, and especially amplified, in 1973 when the album "Tres hombres" was released. The album was a notable success, notably thanks to the flagship single "La grange". The success became global two years later in 1975 when the album "Fandango !" was released. Album from which will be extracted mainly the single "Tush".
The end of the decade and the beginning of the following decade will see the release of 3 new albums : “Tejas”, “Deguello” and “El loco”. Three albums that will work well but without bringing the band the long awaited consecration.
The consecration came in 1983 with the release of the album "Eliminator". Critically acclaimed as well as the public, the album went on to sell around 10 million copies. A success partly due to the passage in loop on MTV of titles like “Gimme all your lovin” and “Legs”, two enormous titles which literally explode the notoriety of the group.
But that's without counting on the next album, "Afterburner", which was released in 1985 and remains to this day the highest ranked album of their entire discography. Like its predecessor, the album is a worldwide hit to the point that all the singles extracted will enter the US Top40 singles. In particular "Rough boy", but also and above all, "Sleeping bag".
A big 5 years air hole followed, which did not prevent the band from coming back in dazzling form in 1990 with the album "Recycle". As much as the 2 previous albums massively used synths, this one sees the group returning to its fundamentals with a more Blues oriented sound. A radical change which unfortunately disconcerts the fans and which does not allow to produce a major hit.
New air hole until 1994, when the album "Antenna" was released. Album which will produce the last notorious hit of the group with the title “Pincushion”. Because, even if the albums released thereafter would be more or less successful, none will allow the group to regain the level of excellence reached in the mid-1980s.
To discover or rediscover.
Discography (among others ...) :
Salt lick 1970
La grange 1973
It’s only love 1976
I thank you 1980
Tube snake boogie 1981
Gimme all your lovin 1983
Sharp dressed man 1983
Sleeping bag 1985
Rough boy 1986
Velcro fly 1986
My head's in MIssissipi 1990
Give it up 1991
Viva Las Vegas 1992
What's up with that 1996
1970 ... somewhat psychedelic beginnings. A style that fits well at the time but there is still work to be done, that's clear. Can and must do better ...
1972 ... a work which begins to bear fruit with this first classified title. The ZZ Top style is now in place and just waiting to roll out ...
1973 ... the rise in power is obvious and the group signs here one of its most emblematic titles. In terms of success, it is not yet the planetary tidal wave but it comes, it comes ...
1975 ... side production of titles, for the moment, it is the minimum union. At the rate of one single released per year on average, it is clear that they do not risk overwork ...
1976 ... their 100 % rock base is omnipresent on each title but they sometimes modulate the tempos just to vary the pleasures a little. It is sure that with them we can already give up on the Intimist ...
1980 ... after a fairly poor end of the 1970s in terms of title and especially in terms of inspiration, they are back in force in this new decade. A decade of 80 which will see them literally explode ...
1981 ... it is clear that they will never deliver an Intimist title worthy of the name but here, we are getting very close. Like what, even in their particular style it is possible to do with finesse ...
1981 ... we suspected that the sweet parenthesis was not going to last. Back to pure rock mode and the least we can say is that it pulses !
1983 ... then comes THIS title. After an empty year 1982, the group returned in 1983 in Olympic form and delivered here one of the most emblematic titles of the decade. A 1000 % rock title that will set fire to all the Dancefloor on the planet despite a Sound that does not really lend itself to it. Like what, everything is possible. MAS-TER-FUL !
1983 ... an exceptional year 1983 with a second top hit almost in stride. The group becomes one of the biggest phenomena of the moment and aligns the top hits with disconcerting ease ...
1984 ... after a year 1983 which will have seen the group produce a number of singles as rarely before, we find them in this new year in a production rate which is much more like them, namely a single title. But what a title ! New top hit which confirms that the group is there to do everything except figuration !
1985 ... which will surely remain as the biggest commercial success of all their discography. Not necessarily the most emblematic but what is certain is that they dominate the rock planet thanks to an almost unique know-how. HU-GE !
1985 ... another year with 2 top hits, it becomes a mania for them. The band literally walks on water and everything that comes out now turns immediately to gold. What talent !
1986 ... at the height of their art ! They deliver here a truly amazing title which perfectly mixes strength and finesse, a title which will undoubtedly remain as one of their Masterpiece but also as one of the most striking hits of the decade. MO-NU-MEN-TAL !
1986 ... with them, we now know that it is on average 2 top hits per year. Once again the proof with this title. Admittedly, it will not have the same level of brilliant inspiration as the previous one, but quality is essential, once again. And it's been going like this for 5 years now. What a feat !
1990 ... after 5 years spent familiar with the stars, the group offers itself a break that will last...4 years, just that ! We would have thought that such a long cut would be at the very least unfavorable to them but oh no, the group still has it under the pedal and will prove it in a brilliant way !
1990 ... another title among their most emblematic. Paradoxically, it will only experience limited success in the Charts, but is so revealing of the ZZ Top style. A benchmark model !
1991 ... 1991 will not necessarily be their best vintage. Anyway, they continue to roll out without worrying too much about the results in the Charts and so far, they are doing quite well
1992 ... the last mega hit. All on a luxury cover of a cult title of Elvis dating from 1964 and written by a certain...Mort Shuman. The same Mort Shuman who will shine during the 1970s in France ...
1994 ... new air hole in 1993 and return in 1994 in pure and hard Metal mode. Another winning comeback since the group recorded a new top hit here. But after the last mega hit, this one will be the last top hit ...
1996 ... this time, it is indeed the end of the adventure, at least on the hits side. The inspiration begins to be absent subscribers and the titles produced are of increasingly average quality. The end of a magnificent adventure which saw the group produce several anthology hits and just as such, their place in the musical Pantheon of the 80s is well deserved !
Official Website :
Greatest hits :