Blues-rock has rarely gotten more down and dirty than with Texas's famous long-bearded trio ZZ Top. Billy Gibbons, Frank Beard, and Dusty Hill are responsible for some of the greatest party anthems of all time. They produced a number of 1970s rock classics, and in the '80s they managed to adapt successfully to changing times, scoring hits with a souped-up, synth-flavored sound. Eventually, though, they got back to their gritty, bluesy roots, and in 2004 ZZ top's contribution to rock & roll was officially recognized via their induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
DISC 1 for Greatest Hits (CD) Album
By ZZ Top (Artist)
One of ZZ Top's great gifts is its concision; even in the side-long-jam era of the '70s, the Texans almost always fit 10 cuts on their albums. Surveying two decades of their output, Greatest Hits isn't the perfect overview you might expect, but it's still a pretty darn good driving album. The disc goes easy on the pre-Deguello stuff surveyed on their earlier best-of, and seems to digitally boost the drums on tracks like the 1975 "Tush." Still, later cuts like "I'm Bad, I'm Nationwide" and "My Head's in Mississippi" are full-on triumphs of this trio's very weird, very blues-drenched sensibility. --Rickey Wright
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