groove

ZZ Top

About

ZZ Top is an American rock band formed in 1969 in Houston, Texas. For 51 years, the band comprised vocalist-guitarist Billy Gibbons, drummer Frank Beard and vocalist-bassist Dusty Hill, until Hill's death in 2021. ZZ Top developed a signature sound based on Gibbons' blues guitar style and Hill and Beard's rhythm section. They are popular for their live performances, sly and humorous lyrics, and the similar appearances of Gibbons and Hill, who were rarely seen without their long beards, sunglasses, and hats.

ZZ Top formed after the demise of Moving Sidewalks, Gibbons' previous band. Within a year, the members signed with London Records and released ZZ Top's First Album (1971). Subsequent releases, such as Tres Hombres (1973) and Fandango! (1975), and those albums' singles, "La Grange" and "Tush", gained extensive radio airplay. By the mid-1970s the band became renowned in North America for its live act, highlighted by its performances during the Worldwide Texas Tour from 1976 to 1977, which was a critical and commercial success.

After a hiatus, ZZ Top returned in 1979 with a new musical direction and image, with Gibbons and Hill wearing sunglasses and matching chest-length beards. With the album El Loco (1981), the group began to experiment with synthesizers and drum machines. They established a more mainstream sound and gained international favor with Eliminator (1983) and Afterburner (1985), which integrated influences from new wave, punk, and dance-rock. The popularity of these albums' music videos, including those for "Gimme All Your Lovin'", "Sharp Dressed Man", and "Legs", helped propel them onto the television channel MTV and made the band one of the more prominent artists in 1980s pop culture. The Afterburner Tour set records for the highest-attended and highest-grossing concert tour of 1986. After gaining additional acclaim with the release of their tenth album Recycler (1990) and its accompanying tour, the group's experimentation continued with mixed success on the albums Antenna (1994), Rhythmeen (1996), XXX (1999), and Mescalero (2003). They most recently released La Futura (2012) and Goin' 50 (2019), a compilation album commemorating the band's 50th anniversary. By the time of Hill's death in 2021, ZZ Top had become the longest-running band with an unchanged lineup in the history of popular music. Per Hill's wishes, he was replaced by their longtime guitar tech Elwood Francis on bass.

ZZ Top has released 15 studio albums and sold an estimated 50 million albums worldwide. They have won three MTV Video Music Awards, and in 2004, the members were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2015, Rolling Stone ranked Gibbons the 32nd greatest guitarist of all time. The band members have supported campaigns and charities including Childline, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and a fundraiser for the Delta Blues Museum.

Articles

May 13, 2022

Dropout Boogie

Even with the help of outside songwriters and ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, the blues-rock duo can’t help reverting to the same old same old.

pitchfork.com

May 11, 2022

Black Keys Get Loose and Stretch Out on ‘Dropout Boogie’

ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons is among the guests on the long-running arena-garage band's latest

www.rollingstone.com

March 21, 2022

Willie Nelson announces tour with Jason Isbell, ZZ Top and more

The Outlaw Music Festival Tour features a rotating line-up of guests The post Willie Nelson announces tour with Jason Isbell, ZZ Top and more appeared first on NME.

www.nme.com

March 21, 2022

Willie Nelson Announces Tour With Jason Isbell, ZZ Top, More

The 2022 Outlaw Music Festival Tour of the United States also features Larkin Poe, Steve Earle, Nathaniel Rateliff, the Avett Brothers, and more at select dates

pitchfork.com

March 21, 2022

Willie Nelson, Jason Isbell, and Nathaniel Rateliff Set for Outlaw Music Festival Tour 2022

ZZ Top, Charley Crockett, and Billy Strings are among the rotating cast of artists on the summer tour

www.rollingstone.com

March 15, 2022

ZZ Top announce new live album and North American tour

'Raw' will be the band's first release since the death of death of bassist Dusty Hill The post ZZ Top announce new live album and North American tour appeared first on NME.

www.nme.com

March 10, 2022

‘It’s F-cking Insane That We’re Still Here’: The Black Keys Talk New Album

“We’ve been trying to channel our inner ZZ Top for the last three or four years," says Patrick Carney

www.rollingstone.com

December 21, 2021

ZZ Top sell publishing rights and back catalogue for undisclosed fee

It's expected to be a multi-million dollar deal The post ZZ Top sell publishing rights and back catalogue for undisclosed fee appeared first on NME.

www.nme.com

December 21, 2021

Gotsta Get Paid: ZZ Top Sell Publishing Catalog, Royalty Rights

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees have inked a new deal with BMG and the investment firm KKR

www.rollingstone.com

December 21, 2021

ZZ Top Sells Catalog to BMG and KKR

BMG and KKR have acquired all of ZZ Top’s music interests, including the band’s publishing catalog and recorded music royalties.

www.billboard.com

August 30, 2021

Randy ‘Baja’ Fletcher, Production Manager for Keith Urban and Brooks & Dunn, Dies After Stage Injury

Randy "Baja" Fletcher, known for his work as a production manager on tours for Waylon Jennings, Brooks & Dunn, Randy Travis, ZZ Top and Keith Urban, died Friday, Aug. 27.

www.billboard.com

August 15, 2021

See Billy Joel Perform Goo Goo Dolls’ ‘Iris’ With John Rzeznik at Buffalo Show

Singer also pays tribute to ZZ Top's Dusty Hill again with "Tush" snippet within "River of Dreams"

www.rollingstone.com

Discs

RAW ('That Little Ol' Band From Texas' Original Soundtrack)

July 22, 2022

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Heard It On The X

June 24, 2022

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Tube Snake Boogie

May 20, 2022

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La Grange

April 22, 2022

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Brown Sugar

March 25, 2022

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Tush (Live from Chicago)

September 2, 2016

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Sixteen Tons (feat. Jeff Beck) [Live From London]

August 11, 2016

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Sharp Dressed Man (Live from Los Angeles)

July 15, 2016

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Rough Boy (Live)

June 17, 2016

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Rough Girl

January 15, 2016

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La Futura (Deluxe Version)

September 11, 2012

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La Futura

September 11, 2012

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Live From Texas

January 1, 2008

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Hi Five: ZZ Top

July 19, 2005

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Mescalero

April 15, 2003

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X X X

September 28, 1999

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Rhythmeen

September 17, 1996

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Antenna

January 18, 1994

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Recycler

October 16, 1990

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Afterburner

October 28, 1985

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Eliminator

March 23, 1983

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Legs / Bad Girl

January 1, 1983

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Live In Germany - Rockpalast 1980

January 1, 1980

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Tejas

November 29, 1976

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Fandango! (Expanded 2006 Remaster)

April 18, 1975

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Tres Hombres (Expanded 2006 Remaster)

July 26, 1973

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Rio Grande Mud

April 4, 1972

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ZZ Top's First Album

January 16, 1970

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