Song of the Day 10/26

Posted: October 26, 2011 in J.C. Personal
Tags: ,

Yesterday I found out that my uncle is the new drummer for The Ozark Mountain Daredevils, who are apparently really big in areas of Europe right now. Those of you that know who The Ozark Mountain Daredevils are, I congratulate both of you. Anyway, that got me in a southern rock mood and what better way to celebrate that than by looking at a successful Texas trio that plays blues and boogie influenced southern rock. I am, of course, talking about the bearded ones, ZZ Top. I managed to find a ZZ Top song this morning on the radio, it was “Gimmie All Your Lovin’” from the 1983 album Eliminator. “Gimmie All Your Lovin’” reached number 37 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was initially unsuccessful in the UK, but was re-released after the U.S. success and went to number 10 on the UK Singles chart.

ZZ Top formed in 1970 when Dusty Hill and Frank Beard moved to Houston and met Billy Gibbons. They released their first album in the same year, appropriately titled ZZ Top’s First Album. In 1977, the band decided to take a 90 day break from public appearances. This break extended to two years, during which time Gibbons and Hill grew their signature beards. (Strangely, the band member named Frank Beard does not have a beard).

Eliminator would spawn two top 40 singles, sell over 10 million copies and get ZZ Top on regular rotation on MTV with their videos for “Sharp Dressed Man” and “Legs”. The video for “Legs” won the MTV Video Music award for Best Group Video. The heavy rotation on MTV helped usher in elements considered classic ZZ Top today. The video showed the members playing at a gas station and featured the Eliminator car, a customized 1933 Ford coupe, the ZZ keychain, their “cheap sunglasses” and the three women that would feature in several ZZ Top videos.

In 1990, ZZ Top played “band at the party” in Back to the Future Part III. In 1991, the Texas House of Representatives declared ZZ Top “Official Heroes for the State of Texas”, and May 4th was declared “ZZ Top Day”. ZZ Top were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.

There’s no way around the fact that most of ZZ Top’s songs are about sex in some way. Obviously, “Gimmie All Your Lovin’” is no different. There’s not much to say about the song itself. It does, however, give us a prime example of ZZ Top continuing use of synthesizers that they experimented with on their previous album.

Speaking from personal experience, ZZ Top put on an entertaining live show. It may seem gimmicky, but it just looks like three friends having fun and playing music. If you enjoy their music at all, I encourage you to check out a live show or to watch Live from Texas, their concert DVD.

ZZ Top, or “Zed Zed Top”, if you prefer, may not be the biggest album selling band, but they did break concert attendance records set by Elvis and Led Zeppelin and remain a large draw today.

The next time you’re in the mood for some blues influenced southern rock with boogie beats that’s heavily laced with sexual innuendo, there’s only one band you can trust, “That Little Ol’ Band from Texas” and they’ll be there with their beards, cars, spinning guitars and songs about things you can only imagine.

See ya on the “b” side.

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